Passports: Service Passports
This rule amends a regulation that establishes the different types of passports issued by the Department of State. A definition for special issuance passports is added. Amendments establish a new service passport, which may be approved for certain non-personal services contractors who travel abroad in support of and pursuant to a contract with the U.S. government, and make corresponding changes regarding official and diplomatic passports. The service passport will demonstrate a contractual relationship between the bearer's employer and the U.S. government as the reason for travel, thereby continuing to demonstrate the individual's support function on behalf of the U.S. government, but nevertheless signaling a more attenuated relationship with the U.S. government than that enjoyed by direct hire employees. The U.S. government incurs significant additional cost annually in delays and fees because foreign governments do not recognize contractors as doing work for the U.S. government. By more clearly demonstrating the attenuated relationship, the Department will eliminate such waste. The regulation is amended to establish the validity of the new service passport and clarify the grounds for invalidity of a special issuance passport.