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Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Old Mar 31st 2014, 6:16 pm
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Default Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Hi forumites, I am seeking your valuable advice once more.

My sister, British born moved to the States in the 90s. She is now a USC. She has a young daughter who is just 5 and born in the States. Shortly after her birth my sister obtain a British was obtained for her in the US. No US passport was ever obtained.

Approximately 2 weeks ago my dad passed away and my sister and daughter made a quick dash to the UK. She on her US passport and my niece on her UK passport. They were meant to return yesterday but the airline refused to take my niece as my sister was told that she needed proper documentation for my niece.

She went to the Embassy obtain an emergency travel document, and I was advised by my sister that she paid the required amount. According to her everything appeared to be going fine. The lady she met was in the process of issuing the document but was stopped by another male officer who requested photos of my niece from birth.

She told the male officer that they can request DNA if necessary, but was informed that that process would take time. They said she cannot apply for ESTA for her because she was born in the US. Child has multiple seizures a day and will soon be running out of medication. Officer said she is British so can access Brit health services.

All these to me does not make sense. She is due back to the Embassy again.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 7:32 pm
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Originally Posted by Heading_Baltimore View Post
No US passport was ever obtained
This was a huge mistake on your sister's part.


... the airline refused to take my niece as my sister was told that she needed proper documentation for my niece.
All US citizens are required, by law, to enter the US with a US passport.


She went to the Embassy obtain an emergency travel document...
I understand why she'd do this, but going back home to the US isn't actually an emergency!


... stopped by another male officer who requested photos of my niece from birth. She told the male officer that they can request DNA if necessary, but was informed that that process would take time.
They must establish that the girl is, in fact, your sister's daughter. Both the US and UK are signatories to the Hague Convention.


They said she cannot apply for ESTA for her because she was born in the US.
This is true.


Officer said she is British so can access Brit health services.
Also true... but only if she is resident in the UK.


She is due back to the Embassy again.
Why doesn't she just apply for a US passport for her daughter? At any rate, once she establishes that the girl is her daughter, she'll likely get the travel document.

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Old Mar 31st 2014, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

I think the huge mistake was leaving the US without a passport. Just never getting one is general not a big deal.
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Old Apr 1st 2014, 12:20 am
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

In answering the question posed by the caption -- the answer is pretty much "no." Now, on an emergency issuance, different question.

We are getting the story third hand -- giving ACS people the benefit of the doubt, they seem to be quite helpful.
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Old Apr 1st 2014, 12:50 am
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

I think it's very unlikely that a doctor will refuse to see the child, or that they will charge for it. I would be making an appointment with a doctor ASAP.

Sorry about your dad :-( It sounds like it's been a very difficult time all round.
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Old Apr 1st 2014, 1:34 am
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Agree with the others that leaving the United States without a U.S. passport wasn't a good idea. Also, is this "emergency travel document" a U.S. passport or something else?

They certainly can refuse it, but (normally) only if there is some serious doubt about either the child's identity or United States citizenship. Or if there are some parental custody/consent issues. Have all the relevant facts been shared?
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Old Apr 1st 2014, 2:47 am
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Here's an outrageously ridiculous thought.

US and Canadian citizens under age 16 entering the US via a land border may present only proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or Naturalization Certificate.

1. Obtain a copy of the child's birth certificate
2. Fly to Canada using Brit passport. Buy a return ticket if necessary.
3. Drive across the US border with child and present birth certificate
4. Result...??

I would __not__ recommend that the OP tries this out, it's unlikely to end well... but would it be theoretically possible?
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Old Apr 1st 2014, 10:41 am
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Originally Posted by kins View Post
I think it's very unlikely that a doctor will refuse to see the child, or that they will charge for it. I would be making an appointment with a doctor ASAP.

Sorry about your dad :-( It sounds like it's been a very difficult time all round.
UK doctors don't charge for their services?
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Old Apr 1st 2014, 10:52 am
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
UK doctors don't charge for their services?
Not for UK residents - the national health service (NHS) is free at the point of use.
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Old Apr 1st 2014, 10:58 am
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Originally Posted by rebs View Post
Not for UK residents - the national health service (NHS) is free at the point of use.
Visitors who require emergency treatment...at a hospital or doctor's surgery are entitled to free treatment. Some other non UK residents are also entitled to free NHS treatment...

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1086.aspx?categoryid=68
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Old Apr 1st 2014, 11:03 am
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Visitors who require emergency treatment...at a hospital or doctor's surgery are entitled to free treatment. Some other non UK residents are also entitled to free NHS treatment...

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1086.aspx?categoryid=68
yep, that's true.. it wouldn't surprise me if some doctors worked their entire career and never issued a bill directly to a patient
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Old Apr 1st 2014, 11:13 am
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Originally Posted by rebs View Post
yep, that's true.. it wouldn't surprise me if some doctors worked their entire career and never issued a bill directly to a patient
With the current financial problems affecting the NHS, then that may very well be changing.
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Old Apr 1st 2014, 11:15 am
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
With the current financial problems affecting the NHS, then that may very well be changing.
It may...but that is not relevant to this thread.
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Old Apr 1st 2014, 12:15 pm
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Originally Posted by rebs View Post
yep, that's true.. it wouldn't surprise me if some doctors worked their entire career and never issued a bill directly to a patient
They sound a lot more generous over there when it comes to medical care.
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Old Apr 1st 2014, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: Can the US Embassy refuse travel document?

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
They sound a lot more generous over there when it comes to medical care.
Equitable, not "generous". "The cake" in the UK is smaller, and the government determines the size, but everyone gets equal access based on their assessed need (though you can buy supplemental private insurance to move you up the queue). The result of this can be that waiting times for non-life threatening conditions can be many months - joint damage that might be curable with surgery could be "managed" with drugs for years!

Whereas the US has a huge cake, with some people taking a giant slice, and others left with crumbs, depending entirely on what they can afford.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 1st 2014 at 1:03 pm.
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