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Securing Passports and Visas Before Your Overseas PCS

An Air Force child gets her passport photo taken at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Johnson)
An Air Force child gets her passport photo taken at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Johnson)

Civilian personnel, including dependents, require a passport. For official travel, DoD Directive requires you and your dependents to have a no-fee passport and a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) stamp in these passports.

The SOFA stamp may be obtained through a U.S. military passport agent/office and should be obtained prior to arrival overseas. Non-U.S. citizen dependents must have a valid passport from the country of citizenship and a SOFA stamp.

A "no fee" passport carries an endorsement identifying the bearer as an agent of the U.S. Government proceeding abroad on official travel. If a no-fee passport is required, your Human Resources Office will provide a DD Form 1056, Authorization to Apply for a "no fee" Passport and/or Request for Visa Preparation.

The DD Form 1056 is proof that you and your dependents are authorized to apply for a no-fee passport. It is used in lieu of, or in addition to, official travel orders as authority for the Department of State to issue a no-fee passport.

Applications for passport/visas should be submitted at the local military passport and visa section. Information on "no fee" passports and visa requests is available at the Air Force Passport Matters (HQ USAF/DPLP) and United States Army Service Center for the Armed Forces (USASCAF) web site. You can only access this website from a .mil or .gov domain.

You should also acquire tourist passports for leisure travel. Visit the Department of State website for passport application procedures and forms.

To get more PCS tips or information, visit Military.com's PCS/Home Buying Guide.

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