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How can I prove that I never had a passport before 1986?

by Stacie
(Paris, France)

Question: I am American, and currently live in France. To register my son as an American citizen, I need to prove at least one continuous year of physical presence, for myself, in the United States.

I was born in 1971, in Indiana, and did not leave the country until 1986 (for a one-week trip to Europe). So I have 15 years of uninterrupted physical presence in the US, but cannot PROVE it (school transcripts do not count as I could have left the country for a weekend or during vacations).

My first passport was only issued in 1986, so I could not have left the country between 1971 and 1985. Is it possible to prove that this was indeed my first passport?

Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it.

Answer: Passport records can be obtained but they do not prove what you want to prove. The record only states that you applied for a passport but not that it was the first one ever issued to you.

Either your present passport or the one issued to you in 1986 should serve the same purpose. Upon your return from Europe in 1986, your passport should have been stamped with the date you entered the U.S. If the next exit stamp dates more than one year later, then it should prove continuous presence.

However, this is just one piece of evidence and the more you can present the better. Here are some suggestions.

Official records from the United States, such as high school diplomas and transcripts, university and advanced degree diplomas and transcripts are very helpful (not conclusive, but helpful).

Employment records are helpful too. If you have copies of your W2 tax forms from your employer, salary slips, and tax returns, they will help to establish your presence. If your parents could claim you as a dependent on their U.S. tax returns, you can bring their papers.

Some persons have even submitted newspaper articles, school yearbooks, family picture albums, vaccination and doctor records, dental records, and letters with U.S. postmarks used to show time in the United States.

Again, gather as many supporting documents as possible and present them in an organized form.

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