The United States is very strict about child support enforcement. If a paying parent falls significantly past-due on their child support payments, he or she will face a number of consequences. For example, their wages can be garnished, their bank account can be garnished, they’re tax refund can be intercepted, their driver’s license can be suspended, and they can even be denied a passport! According to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, “If you owe $2,500 or more in child support, you are not eligible to receive a U.S. passport.” So, if you’re planning on travelling abroad for a honeymoon, for work, or to visit family, and you owe more than $2,500 in child support, you will not be able to get a U.S. passport.
What if I Applied for a Passport?
If you already applied for a U.S. passport and you can afford to catch up on your child support arrears, the first thing you need to do is contact the appropriate child support enforcement agency and pay the child support arrears. Once you do that, the child support agency will notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). From there, the HHS will remove your name from its list and it will notify the U.S. Department of State. Then, the U.S. Department of State will verify with the HHS that your name was removed. Once all the above has been done, your passport application will be completed as normal. If you are not sure how much child support you owe, you are urged to contact the applicable child support agency handling your case. Is past-due child support getting in the way of you obtaining a much-needed U.S. passport? If so, don’t hesitate to contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a consultation with a Plano immigration attorney who can help!