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How to get a passport for a child living in Africa for over 20 years?

by Ken
(Alvin, TX, USA)

Question: My friend was born in Maryland in 1980 and moved to Ghana with her parents in 1982. Both parents are now deceased and she wishes to return to the US. She has her original passport, and birth certificate (or copy).

The travel agent there told her that for $1500 she can get a renewed US passport, but will still need a visa to enter the US. - This makes no sense to me. How can she get a new passport and can I assist from here in the States? Additionally, why would she need a visa to return to the US - the country of her birth?

Thank you in advance for your answer!

Answer: First of all, the fees for a U.S. passport are the same whether in the United States or abroad. The application fee is $110 and the execution fee is $25. It sounds like someone is trying to take advantage of your friend.

As an American citizen, she does not need a visa to enter the U.S. but only a valid passport.

A previously-issued passport can be used as evidence of U.S. citizenship. Since your friend's passport is more than 20 years old, she may need to present another document. Only original or certified copies of birth certificates are acceptable. It may be necessary for her to obtain a certified copy of her birth certificate from the vital records office in Maryland.

It is recommended that your friend visit the embassy in Ghana where the U.S. citizen services department can assist her.

U.S. Embassy in Ghana

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