8 FAM 503.2
Travel with Special Issuance Passports
(Office of Origin: CA/PPT/S/A)
8 FAM 503.2-1 Persons Permanently Assigned Abroad
a. Bearers of special-issuance passports who are permanently assigned abroad must use their special-issuance passports when entering and departing their country of assignment, and for return to the United States from their country of assignment. Regular passports must be used for personal travel except when entering or exiting the country of assignment abroad.
b. With the exception of those traveling with courtesy diplomatic passports, bearers of special-issuance passports must use a regular passport for all personal travel, including personal travel originating from the United States. Misuse of a special-issuance passport may be investigated and prosecuted as a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1544. When bearers of a special-issuance passport apply for a regular passport, they must pay all applicable fees.
8 FAM 503.2-2 Temporary Duty Travel
There is no general requirement that special-issuance passports be used for temporary duty travel originating from the United States. However, the country of travel may have rules regarding the conduct of official U.S. Government business using a regular passport. Travelers should check with the U.S. embassy or consulate as to whether country clearance will be approved for travel on a regular passport and if such travel can be accomplished without question by the local government. Generally, the Department will not reimburse fees incurred in obtaining a regular passport for use on official travel.
8 FAM 503.2-3 Contractor Travel Abroad
a. Non-personal services contractors (non-PSCs) (e.g., commercial contractors, independent contractors, industrial contractors, third-party contractors, etc.) traveling abroad to perform duties in furtherance of contracts with the U.S. Government are, in most circumstances, properly documented with their regular passports. See 8 FAM 503.3 for limited, exceptional circumstances under which a special-issuance passport may be approved.
b. Every country has different visa, immigration, labor, and tax laws and regulations. As with any U.S. businessperson conducting international business travel, when foreign visas are required, contractors traveling on regular passports should contact the embassy or consulate of the destination country to determine the particular documentary requirements that apply to their travel.
c. Official or diplomatic passports will not be issued to assist contract personnel or companies to evade foreign taxes or to circumvent contractual obligations regarding obtaining local business licenses, work permits, or otherwise violating the prohibition in 2 FAM 221.2 against seeking or obtaining diplomatic privileges and immunities for persons who are not authorized those privileges and immunities.
8 FAM 503.2-4 Travel to Taiwan
a. In keeping with the absence of diplomatic relations between the United States and Taiwan, all travel by executive branch personnel to, from, or through Taiwan must be with the use of a regular passport.
b. Special-issuance passports must not be used for travel to, from, or through Taiwan.
c. U.S. Government employees assigned to Taiwan who already possess special-issuance passports may retain and renew their special-issuance passports in-country, but may not use them for travel to or from Taiwan, or for any other purpose while in Taiwan.
8 FAM 503.2-5 Compliance with Host-Country Visa Requirements
a. The Department makes every effort to stay informed of foreign visa regulations, and expects official travelers to comply with the visa regulations and requirements of foreign governments.
b. Country specific visa requirements can be obtained on the ECountryClearance application and on the CA/PPT/SIA web page under Official and Diplomatic Visa Information.
c. Posts should inform both the country desk and CA/PPT/SIA when host country visa requirements change.
NOTE: Although the Department repeatedly advises U.S. Government agencies that some countries (e.g., France and Egypt) have visa requirements for all persons entering on official or diplomatic passports, travelers still arrive in these countries without the required visas. The traveler’s attention to visa requirements is essential and must be addressed well in advance of any proposed travel.