Author Topic: A question of passport ownership  (Read 3015 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Claus

  • Subscriber
  • I live here
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 2616
  • -Receive: 801
  • Posts: 2069
A question of passport ownership
« on: 23:28 07-Sep-2007 »
Not so long ago, when I entered the US at JFK I asked the immigration officer to not staple my paper into my passport (explaining him, that in many European countries, a page of a passport with holes in, is an invalid page).
He exploded very violently, but leave that part of it - it must be a damned stressful job! It is about his statement I want to ask.
He said (I quote): 'Your passport don't belong to you, it belongs to the state!'
Under other circumstances I'd have liked to discuss and investigate that - but you just don't discuss with an immigration officer who has your passport in his hand, nowhere and never  ::)
But naturally I afterwards looked up the rules; and found that according to the USA I'm not a citizen of Denmark but a subject of Her Majesty, the Danish Queen. Surprise! I actually thought that I was both  ;). And nothing I could find about passport ownership, but of course for me US law is sort of a jungle (no offence meant).
The Danish rules about this I easily found: I own my passport, it's my personal document and therefore my property (of course authorities could decide that they'll not issue a passport for me, but that's another story).

So, please all of you - tell me who owns your passport!

j'y suis, j'y reste!

ecocks

  • Guest
Re: A question of passport ownership
« Reply #1 on: 07:06 08-Sep-2007 »

Good question.  I have never heard of any of my countrymen being denied a passport, but it I have read of courts ordering them surrendered by persons awaiting trial or sentencing.  The government is said to "have issued" you one rather than given it to you.

America's are a long way from perfect, we make mistakes too.  And the rest of the world loves their stereotypes and misconceptions as well.  I remember talking to a Ukrainian about how silly it was that all legal documents (invoices, contracts, etc.) had to be in Ukrainian and he got very solemn and "reminded" me that in America the documents HAD to be in English so it was only natural that here they MUST be in Ukrainian.  Equally solemnly I replied that American contracts can be executed in Vietnamese, French, Swahili, Russian, Spanish or any language on the planet.  He was shocked to learn that our courts enforce the contract without regard to what language it was prepared and executed in.  So, it doesn't surprise me if some people in America think you Danes are still carrying swords and having long, rhetorical conversations with skulls as props (  ;D  ).

Also, it probably is a bit more stressful with terrorism and drug-running mixed on top of plain boredom.  But, there is no reason to "explode" at a incoming tourist/business person.  I would have gotten my passport back and asked for his supervisor - the incident was probably on tape.

Ed

Offline Packman

  • Subscriber
  • I live here
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 348
  • -Receive: 112
  • Posts: 1077
  • www.fabbers.com.ua
    • Fabbers Desktop Factories
Re: A question of passport ownership
« Reply #2 on: 08:55 08-Sep-2007 »
In US passport is clearly states:

U.S. Gov't property. This passport is property of the US Gov't.  Upon demand made by an authorize representative of the US gov't, it must be surrendered.

My first passport had lots of great stamps and visa's in it.  When I went for quick renewal in the Washington passport agency they confiscated it because the outer blue cover had separated somewhat from the first page.  Man was I irate!


Offline Old Admin (Retired)

  • Subscriber
  • I live here
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 115
  • -Receive: 321
  • Posts: 926
  • Gender: Male
    • http://www.expatua.com
Re: A question of passport ownership
« Reply #3 on: 13:43 08-Sep-2007 »
Ukrainian passport is a State property too. Both actually - internal and "external".

ecocks

  • Guest
Re: A question of passport ownership
« Reply #4 on: 14:15 08-Sep-2007 »

Like a driver's license then - it's a privilege, not a right.  Lotta' people in America don't quite get that, especially the teenagers.

Ed

Offline Packman

  • Subscriber
  • I live here
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 348
  • -Receive: 112
  • Posts: 1077
  • www.fabbers.com.ua
    • Fabbers Desktop Factories
Re: A question of passport ownership
« Reply #5 on: 21:33 08-Sep-2007 »

Like a driver's license then - it's a privilege, not a right.  Lotta' people in America don't quite get that, especially the teenagers.

Ed

Well, I don't think I'd go that far because I think travel is a right.  I guess the difference would be the gov't isn't required to give you a passport, but you have the right to travel.  I think that is why there isn't a travel ban on Cuba, only restrictions that you can't spend US Currency there (for US citizens).

ecocks

  • Guest
Re: Cuba
« Reply #6 on: 22:33 08-Sep-2007 »

Not quite.....

"All U.S. travel to Cuba must be licensed by the Department of Treasury?s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), and must fall into one of ten categories."

- taken from the United States Department of State website

So, you must (officially) get a "license" to travel to Cuba.  Unless of course, we are talking a trip to Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay Naval Station).  But that requires meeting special circumstances, but certainly no license involved.  I lived there for almost 2 years back in the 60's.  These reasons are things like humanitarian missions, family visits, adademic pursuits, reporters, special trade situations, etc.  The confusion may be due to the office that issues the license.

Ed

Offline Packman

  • Subscriber
  • I live here
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 348
  • -Receive: 112
  • Posts: 1077
  • www.fabbers.com.ua
    • Fabbers Desktop Factories
Re: A question of passport ownership
« Reply #7 on: 22:50 08-Sep-2007 »
Yes, but the licenses are from the Treasury Dept. which allow you to spend US dollars there.  The USG uses this clever ploy because they can't stop travel, they can prohibited spending US currency there. 

Offline Claus

  • Subscriber
  • I live here
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 2616
  • -Receive: 801
  • Posts: 2069
Re: A question of passport ownership
« Reply #8 on: 20:55 09-Sep-2007 »
Well - back to issue, if I may  :).
So far, based on above statements - in USA and Ukraine the state owns the passport; in Denmark the passport holder does.
Difference not big: the Danish police can - based on a resolution by court - confiscate and detain my passport. But it is still MINE, and they'll have to give it back to me if they can not within 24 hours prove in court that I'm a criminal.
j'y suis, j'y reste!