U.S. Passport & Citizenship FAQs

Our Frequently Asked Questions are answered below:


Applying for a passport

You may renew your passport at any time before or after it expires.

If you require a personal appearance for your renewal and do not have imminent travel plans, we ask that you do not request a regular appointment at this time to allow citizens with urgent needs to take advantage of any availability online. If you qualify for a mail-in renewal, follow the instructions to renew your passport.  

Yes. In nearly all cases, your old passport will be cancelled and returned to you with the new one. If we are not able to return your old passport for any reason, we will discuss this with you at the time of application.

We do not have the authority to transfer visas or stamps issued by other countries. When you renew your passport, your old passport will be cancelled and returned to you with your new one; you should then contact the appropriate authority of the country that issued the visa for further information.

For information regarding Swedish visas and permanent residence permits, please contact Migrationsverket directly.

No.  You must apply for the passport at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you are currently present.  If you are in Sweden, you must submit your application to this Embassy.

You should disregard the instructions on the passport forms as they refer specifically to passport applications processed in the United States. You should follow the instructions on this website.

In general, children under the age of 16 are issued passports valid for five years; those 16 and over are issued passports valid for ten years

As of January 1, 2016, it is no longer possible to add extra pages to a U.S. Passport.  You are required to apply for a new passport and in most cases may do so by mail.


Fees

The fees vary depending on the service you are applying for, and accepted payment methods will depend on whether you are applying in person or by mail. We do not, however, accept personal or U.S. issued bank checks. Please refer to the individual instructions for your specific passport service.

If you are submitting your application in person in Stockholm, you may pay in USD or SEK.


Supporting documents

No. You are required to furnish the originals or copies certified by the issuing authority bearing the official’s seal and signature. This applies to marriage certificates, birth certificates and proof of physical presence.

Please bring copies of all of your original documents with you to your appointment.

Written translations by an accredited translator are required for any documents not in English.

You may obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate from the state in which you were born. The National Center for Health Statistics maintains a list of states’ contact information for this purpose.

If you were born abroad, your parents should have registered your birth at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and received a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Form FS-240. This form is acceptable legal proof of birth and U.S. citizenship. Records are kept at the Passport Correspondence Office in Washington, DC.

You may obtain a certified copy of these documents from the state in which the marriage/divorce or death occurred. The National Center for Health Statistics maintains a list of states’ contact information for this purpose.


Photographs

Yes, everyone, including children and babies are required to furnish photographs. We will reject any photograph that do not meet our requirements.

Photo requirements are the same for all applicants. In the case of very young babies the head may be supported as long as the baby’s face is clear. There is no requirement that the baby’s eyes be open.

Yes. As long as the photos meet our specifications.

You may furnish digital photograph provided they meet the specifications. Acceptable photographs are printed on high-quality photographic paper, have a continuous tone image that is very photo-like, and show the subject clearly in focus.


Children

If your child has a claim to U.S. Citizenship, s/he is required to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. Passport. S/he should not enter the United States on a foreign passport with a visa, or visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.

If you are eligible to transmit citizenship, you may register your child’s birth at the Embassy and obtain a passport and social security number for him or her. The instructions and information on making an appointment are available on our Consular Report of Birth Abroad page.

A Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Form FS-240, is official evidence of U.S. Citizenship issued to a person under the age of 18 who was born abroad to U.S. Citizen parent(s) and acquired citizenship at birth.

The birth should be reported to us as soon as possible after the baby is born and before his or her first trip to the United States. Persons over the age of 18 are not eligible for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

Adoption by a U.S. citizen parent does not automatically confer citizenship, but it does qualify a child for expeditious naturalization, or citizenship upon entry into the United States. Read more at the travel.state website.

U.S. citizenship is for life. No child has to do anything at any age to retain, choose, affirm, or confirm American citizenship.

No.  All children, including babies, must have their own passport.

Yes. All children under the age of 18 are required to appear in person for all passport services. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by both parents. An appointment will be required; please see the instructions for your specific passport service for more information.

Yes, the consent of both parents/legal guardians is required, even if one parent is not a U.S. citizen. Read more at our passports for minors page.

The other parent may submit his/her consent by completing form DS-3053 before a notary and submitting acceptable ID. Read more at our passports for minors page.

Children aged 14 and over may sign their own passports. For children under the age of 14, a parent should sign. In the space provided for the signature, the mother or father must print the child’s name and sign his/her own name. Then, in parentheses, by the parent’s name, write the word (mother) or (father) so we know who signed for the child.

Because of increasing instances of child abduction in custody cases, and a growing number of children who are the victims of trafficking or pornography, an immigration officer, airline, or travel company may ask you to provide some form of letter of consent if your child is traveling internationally with only one parent or with another adult, such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc.

For for more information please see Customs and Border Protection’s information center.

If you are a resident of Sweden and fear that your U.S. citizen child might be taken abroad by the other parent without the mutual consent of both parents, the child’s name can be entered into the U.S. Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP). The CPIAP is a service for the parents and legal guardians of minor children. It enables the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues to notify a parent or legal guardian, when requested, before a U.S. passport is issued to that parent or legal guardian’s child. The parent, legal guardian, legal representative, or the court of competent jurisdiction must submit a written request for entry of a child’s name into the program, as well as supporting documents.

To request the entry of a Swedish resident child’s name into the CPIAP, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at the Department of State directly here.


U.S. Citizenship

Most people born in the United States are U.S. Citizens. The only exception being children of foreign diplomats who have full diplomatic immunity. Anyone else can apply for a U.S. passport by presenting an original birth certificate showing birth in the United States and adequate identity documents.

Yes. Naturalization in a foreign country, employment with a foreign government, and/or voting in a foreign election does not automatically jeopardize U.S. Citizenship. However, please note that all U.S. Citizens, even dual nationals, must enter and depart the United States on U.S. Passports.

No. U.S. Citizens must enter and leave the United States on valid U.S. Passports, even if they hold a passport from another country. If your U.S. Passport has been lost or stolen, or if it has expired, you must apply to replace it before traveling to the United States.

Adoption by a U.S. citizen parent does not automatically confer citizenship, but it does qualify a child for expeditious naturalization, or citizenship upon entry into the United States. Read more at the travel.state webpage. 

U.S. citizenship is for life. No child has to do anything at any age to retain, choose, affirm, or confirm American citizenship.

A U.S. citizen cannot transmit citizenship to a spouse. If your spouse wishes to reside indefinitely in the United States s/he will require an immigrant visa and reside in the United States as a lawful permanent resident (LPR). An application for naturalization can be made to the Department of Homeland Security on fulfilling a residency requirement. Once naturalized, your spouse would be eligible to apply for a U.S. passport.


Miscellaneous

Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm has suspended routine notary services, and we do not know when we will be able to resume routine services.

For those seeking to notarize documents for use in the United States, you may wish to consider using alternative options, to include utilizing a Swedish notary or a remote notarial service provider. A growing number of states accept documents notarized through online services; you will need to research whether they can be used in the state where your document will be filed. Remote notarization could fulfil your need for notary services more quickly.

We recommend that you register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP); click here for further information. Enrollment is voluntary and costs nothing and means that we can better assist you in case of an emergency while you are abroad. We encourage you to enroll whether you are visiting Sweden or residing here.

U.S. citizens may be asked to present a “certificate of good conduct” or “lack of a criminal record” for a variety of reasons for use abroad or in the United States, including adoption, school attendance, employment, etc.

Information on applying for a criminal records check is available from the Federal Bureau of Investigation website. Alternatively you can contact the local police department where you reside or last resided in the United States to request that they conduct a criminal records search and provide you with a document reflecting that there is no history of a criminal record.

If you are a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Resident Alien, the rules for filing income, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated tax are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside.

Unfortunately the U.S. Embassy is unable to assist in cashing stimulus checks. Many U.S. citizens who have bank accounts in the United States have been able to cash their check via that account, either remotely or in person.

If you don’t have a U.S. bank account you may want to consider opening one. Some banks in the United States will allow you to open an account remotely, but we are not able to recommend any particular bank. Some U.S. citizens have reported success reaching out to banks in the location of their last U.S. residence and opening accounts remotely – either online or through a mobile app.

For additional inquiries on this we recommend you reach out to the IRS.

You may also consider looking at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) website, which has good, practical information about banks offering accounts that can be opened online.

It is difficult to trace someone in the United States when their whereabouts are completely unknown as there are no central records of names and addresses available to the public. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to provide you with information on U.S. Citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or foreign nationals who travel to or reside in the United States.  These records are protected by the Privacy Act and cannot be divulged to third parties.

We can assist in locating a U.S. Citizen in Sweden in cases of parental child abduction or missing persons cases, or when a friend or loved one has not arrived at a location on the scheduled date and time. We cannot, however, help you trace your ancestry in Sweden.  You may find the information on our website useful.

You need to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the U.S. state where your license was issued. An online search should give you the relevant contact details. The U.S. Embassy in Sweden cannot assist with the renewal of your U.S. driver’s license.

Yes, as long as you have registered your marriage with the Swedish tax authorities (Skatteverket).

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) does not apply to U.S. Citizens. Only citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries (such as Sweden) must apply for travel authorization online prior to traveling to the U.S. Please note that according to Section 215 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1185), it is illegal for a U.S. Citizen to enter or leave the U.S. on any other document than a U.S. Passport. This applies to dual citizens as well, meaning that persons holding e.g. both Swedish and American citizenship and passports must enter and leave the U.S. on a U.S. Passport. They may not enter/leave the U.S. on a Swedish passport. This applies to children as well as adults.