Monday, 19 August 2013

USA approves new "long forms" for some passport applicants

Two years ago, I was the first to report (in an article cross-posted at Consumertraveler.com and on the Identity Project blog at PapersPlease.org) on an impossibie new "long form" that the U.S. Department of State proposed to require be completed by some (but not all) applicants for USA passports.

It turned out that the State Department was already illegally using an unapproved version of this form (all forms and other standardized "information collections" by federal agencies must be preapproved by the White House office of Management and Budget and contain an OMB "control number"), and publicity generated by my reports prompted more than 5000 people to file formal objections to the proposed form.

Undeterred, the State Department ccontinued to use the unapproved form, even while renewing its application for OMB approval.

In the latest act of this saga, OMB has now approved the new two-part forms, DS-5513 and DS-5520. There are still no publicly-disclosed rules or guidlines for who will have to fill out either or both of the new "long forms". The most reasonable inference is that the new forms are designed to be impossible to complete, so as to provide a pretext to deny you a passport if the State Department doesn't like your looks (or your opinions, or whatever).

I've posted more details including links to the newly-approved forms at PapersPlease.org and ConsumerTraveler.com.

Link | Posted by Edward on Monday, 19 August 2013, 18:08 ( 6:08 PM) | TrackBack (0)
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