by VR Sreeraman on  June 10, 2010 at 4:48 PM Lifestyle News
 US Relaxes Passport Rules for Transgender People
The United States has new, more flexible passport regulations for transgender people, and ended an earlier requirement that reassignment surgery precede a passport gender change, the State Department said.

"Sexual reassignment surgery is no longer a prerequisite for passport issuance," it said in a statement.

From June 10, "when a passport applicant presents a certification from an attending medical physician that the applicant has undergone appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition, the passport will reflect the new gender," the statement said.

The new policy and procedures are based on standards and recommendations of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), recognized by the American Medical Association as the authority in this field, the department said.

"As with all passport applicants, passport issuing officers at embassies and consulates abroad and domestic passport agencies and centers will only ask appropriate questions to obtain information necessary to determine citizenship and identity."

The State Department said the new rules mean "it is also possible to obtain a limited-validity passport if the physician's statement shows the applicant is in the process of gender transition. No additional medical records are required."

The change coincides with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month, the department added.

Source: AFP

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