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Passports, Travel & Immigration

Passports & Travel Assistance

President Donald Trump‘s recent travel ban has caused uncertainty surrounding overseas travel. Congresswoman Fudge provides resources to help ease concern and inform constituents on what to do, take, or bring when leaving the U.S.

Traveler’s Checklist (from the U.S. Department of State)

Get Informed

  • Read up on your destination at
  • Learn about visa requirements, local laws, customs, and medical care in the countries you are visiting. 
  • Some travelers, such as those with disabilities, women, and LGBTI persons, may face additional challenges when abroad. 
  • Be aware of any Travel Warnings or Travel Alerts for your destination country, which describe risks to you and may affect your travel plans. Also check the website of the U.S. embassy ( or consulate where you will be traveling for the latest security messages.
  • Find out about health precautions. 
  • Prepare to handle money overseas. Before you go, notify your bank and credit card company of your travel, and check exchange rates.  For information about using cash, debit/credit cards, and ATMs, read about your destination. 
  • Carry contact details for the nearest U.S. embassy or U.S. consulate with you, in English and the local language. In an emergency, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate or call at 1-888-407-4747 (from U.S. & Canada) or +1 202-501-4444 (from overseas).

Get Required Documents

  • Apply early for a passport, or renew your old one. It should be valid for at least six months after you return home, and needs to have two or more blank pages. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter. Check all family members’ passports because those for adults are valid for 10 years, but children’s passports only for five. U.S. citizens must use a U.S. passport to leave and come back to the United States. 
  • If you are traveling by land or sea, you must show proof of both your U.S. citizenship and your identity when you return to the United States. For many land or sea trips, this means you can travel using the new U.S. passport card instead of a normal passport book. Read more about U.S. passport requirements.
  • You may need to get a visa before you travel to a destination. Contact the embassy of the foreign countries you will be visiting for more information. 
  • Get a letter from your doctor for medications you are bringing. Some countries have strict laws, even against over-the-counter medications, so read about your destination before you go.
  • If you are traveling alone with children, foreign border officials may require custody documents or written consent from the other parent. Check with the embassy of your foreign destination before traveling.
  • Make two photocopies of all your travel documents in case of emergency.  Leave one copy with a trusted friend or relative at home and carry the other  separately from your documents in case of loss or theft.

Get Enrolled

  • Sign up for our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at You can receive travel and security updates about your destination, and it will help us contact you in an emergency.

Get Insured

  • Make sure you have health insurance whenever you are traveling abroad. If your U.S. health care plan does not cover you overseas, consider buying supplemental insurance to cover medical costs and emergency evacuation. Foreign hospitals and doctors often require payment in cash, and Emergency medical evacuation can cost up to $100,000. Social Security and Medicare does not provide coverage outside of the United States.  Learn more at Your Health Abroad.
  • Also check if you have coverage for trip interruption/cancellation and loss or theft, to help pay for unexpected expenses.
For 24/7 automated passport information, application status questions, or to make an appointment at a passport agency, please call The National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778.
If you are detained when trying to return to the 11th Congressional District, or experience other issues, the following agencies and organizations may be able to help:
National Immigrant Justice Center
  • Call the NIJC Detention Project on Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Detained immigrants call collect at (312) 263-0901 or use the pro bono platform and NIJC's 3-digit code, 565.
  • All others call (312) 660-1370 or (773) 672-6599.
  • Apply for Legal Aid here:  
Cleveland Legal Aid
  • If you need legal assistance, you can contact Legal Aid any weekday for help.
  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Thursday: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • New intakes are processed via phone: 888-817-3777 (toll-free) or 216-687-1900 (Cleveland local) 
  • For more information, visit:
  • If you are seeking the ACLU’s help in a legal matter involving your constitutional rights, please send them a one-page letter summarizing your situation along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the address below (do not send legal documents with your letter) or fill out their online complaint form here: 
  • For more information, please call (216) 472-2200 or visit