Passport

A passport is a travel document, usually issued by a country's government, that certifies the identity and nationality of its holder primarily for the purpose of international travel.[1] Standard passports may contain information such as the holder's name, place and date of birth, photograph, signature, and other relevant identifying information. All countries' governments have either begun issuing or plan to issue biometric information in a microchip embedded in the passport, making them machine-readable and difficult to counterfeit.[1] As of January 2019, there are over 150 jurisdictions issuing these e-passports.[2] Previously issued non-biometric machine-readable passports usually remain valid until their respective expiration dates.

A passport holder is normally entitled to enter the country that issued the passport, though some people entitled to a passport may not be full citizens with right of abode (e.g. American nationals or British nationals). A passport does not of itself create any rights in the country being visited or obligate the issuing country in any way, such as providing consular assistance. Some passports attest to the bearer having a status as a diplomat or other official, entitled to rights and privileges such as immunity from arrest or prosecution.[1]

Many countries normally allow entry to holders of passports of other countries, sometimes requiring a visa also to be obtained, but this is not an automatic right. Many other additional conditions, such as not being likely to become a public charge for financial or other reasons, and the holder not having been convicted of a crime, may apply.[3] Where a country does not recognise another, or is in dispute with it, it may prohibit the use of their passport for travel to that other country, or may prohibit entry to holders of that other country's passports, and sometimes to others who have, for example, visited the other country.

Some countries and international organisations issue travel documents which are not standard passports, but enable the holder to travel internationally to countries that recognise the documents. For example, stateless persons are not normally issued a national passport, but may be able to obtain a refugee travel document or the earlier "Nansen passport" which enables them to travel to countries which recognise the document, and sometimes to return to the issuing country.

Passports are often requested in other circumstances to confirm identification such as checking in to a hotel or when changing money to a local currency.

Passports-assorted
Dutch ordinary, Nepalese diplomatic, Polish ordinary, and People's Republic of China service passports

History

First Japanese passport 1866
First Japanese passport, issued in 1866.
QingPassport
Chinese passport from the Qing Dynasty, 24th Year of the Guangxu Reign - 1898.
Ottoman-russian-empire-passport
An Ottoman passport (passavant) issued to Russian subject dated July 24, 1900.

One of the earliest known references to paperwork that served in a role similar to that of a passport is found in the Hebrew Bible. Nehemiah 2:7–9, dating from approximately 450 BC, states that Nehemiah, an official serving King Artaxerxes I of Persia, asked permission to travel to Judea; the king granted leave and gave him a letter "to the governors beyond the river" requesting safe passage for him as he traveled through their lands.

Passports were an important part of the Chinese bureaucracy as early as the Western Han, if not in the Qin Dynasty. They required such details as age, height, and bodily features.[4] These passports (zhuan) determined a person's ability to move throughout imperial counties and through points of control. Even children needed passports, but those of one year or less who were in their mother's care might not have needed them.[4]

In the medieval Islamic Caliphate, a form of passport was the bara'a, a receipt for taxes paid. Only people who paid their zakah (for Muslims) or jizya (for dhimmis) taxes were permitted to travel to different regions of the Caliphate; thus, the bara'a receipt was a "basic passport."[5]

Etymological sources show that the term "passport" is from a medieval document that was required in order to pass through the gate (or "porte") of a city wall or to pass through a territory.[6][7] In medieval Europe, such documents were issued to foreign travellers by local authorities (as opposed to local citizens, as is the modern practice) and generally contained a list of towns and cities the document holder was permitted to enter or pass through. On the whole, documents were not required for travel to sea ports, which were considered open trading points, but documents were required to travel inland from sea ports.[8]

King Henry V of England is credited with having invented what some consider the first passport in the modern sense, as a means of helping his subjects prove who they were in foreign lands. The earliest reference to these documents is found in a 1414 Act of Parliament.[9][10] In 1540, granting travel documents in England became a role of the Privy Council of England, and it was around this time that the term "passport" was used. In 1794, issuing British passports became the job of the Office of the Secretary of State.[9] The 1548 Imperial Diet of Augsburg required the public to hold imperial documents for travel, at the risk of permanent exile.[11]

A rapid expansion of railway infrastructure and wealth in Europe beginning in the mid-nineteenth century led to large increases in the volume of international travel and a consequent unique dilution of the passport system for approximately thirty years prior to World War I. The speed of trains, as well as the number of passengers that crossed multiple borders, made enforcement of passport laws difficult. The general reaction was the relaxation of passport requirements.[12] In the later part of the nineteenth century and up to World War I, passports were not required, on the whole, for travel within Europe, and crossing a border was a relatively straightforward procedure. Consequently, comparatively few people held passports.

During World War I, European governments introduced border passport requirements for security reasons, and to control the emigration of people with useful skills. These controls remained in place after the war, becoming a standard, though controversial, procedure. British tourists of the 1920s complained, especially about attached photographs and physical descriptions, which they considered led to a "nasty dehumanization".[13]

In 1920, the League of Nations held a conference on passports, the Paris Conference on Passports & Customs Formalities and Through Tickets.[14] Passport guidelines and a general booklet design resulted from the conference,[15] which was followed up by conferences in 1926 and 1927.[16]

While the United Nations held a travel conference in 1963, no passport guidelines resulted from it. Passport standardization came about in 1980, under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO standards include those for machine-readable passports.[17] Such passports have an area where some of the information otherwise written in textual form is written as strings of alphanumeric characters, printed in a manner suitable for optical character recognition. This enables border controllers and other law enforcement agents to process these passports more quickly, without having to input the information manually into a computer. ICAO publishes Doc 9303 Machine Readable Travel Documents, the technical standard for machine-readable passports.[18] A more recent standard is for biometric passports. These contain biometrics to authenticate the identity of travellers. The passport's critical information is stored on a tiny RFID computer chip, much like information stored on smartcards. Like some smartcards, the passport booklet design calls for an embedded contactless chip that is able to hold digital signature data to ensure the integrity of the passport and the biometric data.

WW2 Spanish official passport
WW2 Spanish official passport issued in late 1944 and used during the last 6 months of the war by an official being sent to Berlin.

Issuances

Historically, legal authority to issue passports is founded on the exercise of each country's executive discretion (or Crown prerogative). Certain legal tenets follow, namely: first, passports are issued in the name of the state; second, no person has a legal right to be issued a passport; third, each country's government, in exercising its executive discretion, has complete and unfettered discretion to refuse to issue or to revoke a passport; and fourth, that the latter discretion is not subject to judicial review. However, legal scholars including A.J. Arkelian have argued that evolutions in both the constitutional law of democratic countries and the international law applicable to all countries now render those historical tenets both obsolete and unlawful.[19][20]

Under some circumstances some countries allow people to hold more than one passport document. This may apply, for example, to people who travel a lot on business, and may need to have, say, a passport to travel on while another is awaiting a visa for another country. The UK for example may issue a second passport if the applicant can show a need and supporting documentation, such as a letter from an employer.

National conditions

Today, most countries issue individual passports to applying citizens, including children, with only a few still issuing family passports (see below under "Types") or including children on a parent's passport (most countries having switched to individual passports in the early to mid-20th century). When passport holders apply for a new passport (commonly, due to expiration of the previous passport, insufficient validity for entry to some countries or lack of blank pages), they may be required to surrender the old passport for invalidation. In some circumstances an expired passport is not required to be surrendered or invalidated (for example, if it contains an unexpired visa).

Under the law of most countries, passports are government property, and may be limited or revoked at any time, usually on specified grounds, and possibly subject to judicial review.[21] In many countries, surrender of the passport is a condition of granting bail in lieu of imprisonment for a pending criminal trial.[22]

Each country sets its own conditions for the issue of passports.[23] For example, Pakistan requires applicants to be interviewed before a Pakistani passport will be granted.[24] When applying for a passport or a national ID card, all Pakistanis are required to sign an oath declaring Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be an impostor prophet and all Ahmadis to be non-Muslims.[25]

Some countries limit the issuance of passports, where incoming and outgoing international travels are highly regulated, such as North Korea, where ordinary passports are the privilege of a very small number of people trusted by the government. Other countries put requirements on some citizens in order to be granted passports, such as Finland, where male citizens aged 18–30 years must prove that they have completed, or are exempt from, their obligatory military service to be granted an unrestricted passport; otherwise a passport is issued valid only until the end of their 28th year, to ensure that they return to carry out military service.[26] Other countries with obligatory military service, such as South Korea and Syria, have similar requirements, e.g. South Korean passport and Syrian passport.[27]

National status

Passports contain a statement of the nationality of the holder. In most countries, only one class of nationality exists, and only one type of ordinary passport is issued. However, several types of exceptions exist:

Multiple classes of nationality in a single country

The United Kingdom has a number of classes of United Kingdom nationality due to its colonial history. As a result, the UK issues various passports which are similar in appearance but representative of different nationality statuses which, in turn, has caused foreign governments to subject holders of different UK passports to different entry requirements.

Multiple types of passports, one nationality

The People's Republic of China (PRC) authorizes its Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau to issue passports to their permanent residents with Chinese nationality under the "one country, two systems" arrangement. Visa policies imposed by foreign authorities on Hong Kong and Macau permanent residents holding such passports are different from those holding ordinary passports of the People's Republic of China. A Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport (HKSAR passport) permits visa-free access to many more countries than ordinary PRC passports.

The three constituent countries of the Danish Realm have a common nationality. Denmark proper is a member of the European Union, but Greenland and Faroe Islands are not. Danish citizens residing in Greenland or Faroe Islands can choose between holding a Danish EU passport and a Greenlandic or Faroese non-EU Danish passport.

Special nationality class through investment

In rare instances a nationality is available through investment. Some investors have been described in Tongan passports as 'a Tongan protected person', a status which does not necessarily carry with it the right of abode in Tonga.[28]

Passports without sovereign territory

Several entities without a sovereign territory issue documents described as passports, most notably Iroquois League,[29][30] the Aboriginal Provisional Government in Australia and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.[31] Such documents are not necessarily accepted for entry into a country.

Validity

Passports have a limited validity, usually between 5 and 10 years.

Adult Passport Validity Map
Maximum adult passport validity across the world

Many countries require a passport validity of a minimum of six months beyond the planned date of departure, as well as having at least two to four blank pages.[32]

Value

One method to measure the 'value' of a passport is to calculate its 'visa-free score' (VFS), which is the number of countries that allow the holder of that passport entry for general tourism without requiring a visa.[33] As of 1 July 2019, the strongest and weakest passports are as follows:

Strongest passports   Weakest passports
Rank VFS Country / countries Rank VFS Country / countries
01 189 Japan, Singapore 100 41 Kosovo
02 187 Finland, Germany, South Korea 101 39 Bangladesh, Eritrea, Iran, Lebanon, North Korea
03 186 Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg 102 38 Nepal
04 185 France, Spain, Sweden 103 37 Libya, Palestinian Territory, Sudan
05 184 Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland 104 33 Yemen
06 183 Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States 105 31 Somalia
07 182 Malta 106 30 Pakistan
08 181 Czech Republic 107 29 Syria
09 180 Australia, Iceland, Lithuania, New Zealand 108 27 Iraq
10 179 Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia 109 25 Afghanistan

Types

A rough standardization exists in types of passports throughout the world, although passport types, number of pages, and definitions can vary by country.

Full passports

Passports Front
Indian Passport

Left to right: diplomatic, official, and regular passport from India.
Each passport type has a different cover colour.
  • Passport (also called ordinary, regular, or tourist passport) – The most common form of passport, issued to citizens and other nationals. Occasionally, children are registered within the parents' passport, making it equivalent to a family passport.
  • Official passport (also called service passport) – Issued to government employees for work-related travel, and their accompanying dependants.
  • Diplomatic passport – Issued to diplomats of a country and their accompanying dependents for official international travel and residence. Accredited diplomats of certain grades may be granted diplomatic immunity by a host country, but this is not automatically conferred by holding a diplomatic passport. Any diplomatic privileges apply in the country to which the diplomat is accredited; elsewhere diplomatic passport holders must adhere to the same regulations and travel procedures as are required of other nationals of their country. Holding a diplomatic passport in itself does not accord any specific privileges. At some airports, there are separate passport checkpoints for diplomatic passport holders.
  • Emergency passport (also called temporary passport) – Issued to persons whose passports were lost or stolen without time to obtain a replacement, e.g. someone abroad and needing to fly home within a few days. These passports are intended for very short time durations, e.g. one way travel back to home country, and will naturally have much shorter validity periods than regular passports. Laissez-passer are also used for this purpose.[34]
    British Emergency Passport
    British Emergency Passport
  • Collective passport – Issued to defined groups for travel together to particular destinations, such as a group of school children on a school trip.[35]
  • Family passport – Issued to an entire family. There is one passport holder, who may travel alone or with other family members included in the passport. A family member who is not the passport holder cannot use the passport for travel without the passport holder. Few countries now issue family passports; for example, all the EU countries and Canada require each child to have their own passport.[36]
British Emergency Passport
British Emergency Passport

Non-citizen passports

Latvia and Estonia

Non-citizens in Latvia and Estonia are individuals, primarily of Russian or Ukrainian ethnicity, who are not citizens of Latvia or Estonia but whose families have resided in the area since the Soviet era, and thus have the right to a non-citizen passport issued by the Latvian government as well as other specific rights. Approximately two thirds of them are ethnic Russians, followed by ethnic Belarusians, ethnic Ukrainians, ethnic Poles and ethnic Lithuanians.[37][38]

Non-citizens in the two countries are issued special non-citizen passports[39][40] as opposed to regular passports issued by the Estonian and Latvian authorities to citizens.

American Samoa

Although all U.S. citizens are also U.S. nationals, the reverse is not true. As specified in 8 U.S.C. § 1408, a person whose only connection to the U.S. is through birth in an outlying possession (which is defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101 as American Samoa and Swains Island, the latter of which is administered as part of American Samoa), or through descent from a person so born, acquires U.S. nationality but not U.S. citizenship. This was formerly the case in a few other current or former U.S. overseas possessions, i.e. the Panama Canal Zone and Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.[41]

The U.S. passport issued to non-citizen nationals contains the endorsement code 9 which states: "THE BEARER IS A UNITED STATES NATIONAL AND NOT A UNITED STATES CITIZEN." on the annotations page.[42]

Non-citizen U.S. nationals may reside and work in the United States without restrictions, and may apply for citizenship under the same rules as resident aliens. Like resident aliens, they are not presently allowed by any U.S. state to vote in federal or state elections, although, as with resident aliens, there is no constitutional prohibition against their doing so.

United Kingdom

Due to the complexity of British nationality law, the United Kingdom has six variants of British nationality. Out of these variants, however, only the status known as British citizen grants the right of abode in a particular country or territory (the United Kingdom) while others do not. Hence, the UK issues British passports to those who are British nationals but not British citizens, which include British Overseas Territories citizens, British Overseas citizens, British subjects, British Nationals (Overseas) and British Protected Persons.[43]

Andorra

Children born in Andorra to foreign residents who have not yet resided in the country for a minimum of 10 years are provided a provisional passport. Once the child reaches 18 years old he or she must confirm their nationality to the Government.

Other types of travel documents

Nansenpassport
Nansen passport for refugees (now defunct)

Intra-sovereign territory travel that requires passports

For some countries, passports are required for some types of travel between their sovereign territories. Three examples of this are:

  • Hong Kong and Macau, both Chinese special administrative regions (SARs), have their own immigration control systems different from each other and mainland China. Travelling between the three is technically not international, so residents of the three locations do not use passports to travel between the three places, instead using other documents, such as the Mainland Travel Permit (for the people of Hong Kong and Macau). Foreign visitors are required to present their passports with applicable visas at the immigration control points.
  • Malaysia, where an arrangement was agreed upon during the formation of the country, the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak were allowed to retain their respective immigration control systems. Therefore, a passport is required for foreign visitors when travelling from Peninsular Malaysia to East Malaysia, as well as moving between Sabah and Sarawak. For social/business visits not more than 3 months, Peninsular Malaysians are required to produce a Malaysian identity card or, for children below 12 years a birth certificate, and obtain a special immigration printout form to be kept until departure.[45] However, one may present a Malaysian passport or a Restricted Travel Document and get an entry stamp on the travel document to avoid the hassle of keeping an extra sheet of paper. For other purposes, Peninsular Malaysians are required to have a long-term residence permit along with a passport or a Restricted Travel Document.
  • Norfolk Island, one of Australia's external, self-governing territories, has its own immigration controls. Until 2018, Australian and New Zealand citizens travelling to the territory were required to carry a passport, or an Australian Document of Identity, while people of other nationalities must also have a valid Australian visa and/or Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island visa.[46]

Internal passports

Internal passports are issued by some countries as an identity document. An example is the internal passport of Russia or certain other post-Soviet countries dating back to imperial times. Some countries use internal passports for controlling migration within a country. In some countries, the international passport or passport for travel abroad is a second passport, in addition to the internal passport, required for a citizen to travel abroad within the country of residence. Separate passports for travel abroad existed or exist in the following countries:

Designs and format

International Civil Aviation Organization standards

Passport design world map
Colours across the world for modern passport booklet covers
Indian Passport Information page Censored New
Information page of a newer machine readable Indian passport

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issues passport standards which are treated as recommendations to national governments. The size of passport booklets normally complies with the ISO/IEC 7810 ID-3 standard, which specifies a size of 125 × 88 mm (4.921 × 3.465 in). This size is the B7 format. Passport cards are issued to the ID-1 (credit card sized) standard.[47][48][49][50][51]

Manufacturing passports of the United Kingdom
More than 5 million passports of the United Kingdom (also called the "red book") are printed each year—one every 2.5 seconds—at this secret location in the North of England[52]
  • A standard passport booklet format includes the cover, which contains the name of the issuing country, a national symbol, a description of the document (e.g., passport, diplomatic passport), and a biometric passport symbol, if applicable. Inside, there is a title page, also naming the country. A data page follows, containing information about the bearer and the issuing authority. There are blank pages for visas, and to stamp for entries and exit. Passports have numerical or alphanumerical designators ("serial number") assigned by the issuing authority.
  • Machine-readable passport standards have been issued by the ICAO,[53] with an area set aside where most of the information written as text is also printed in a manner suitable for optical character recognition.
  • Biometric passports (or e-passports) have an embedded contactless chip in order to conform to ICAO standards. These chips contain data about the passport bearer, a photographic portrait in digital format, and data about the passport itself. Many countries now issue biometric passports, in order to speed up clearance through immigration and the prevention of identity fraud. These reasons are disputed by privacy advocates.[54][55]

Common designs

Pasaporte Republica Argentina
An Argentine passport with the name of Mercosur at the top

Passport booklets from almost all countries around the world display the national coat of arms of the issuing country on the front cover. The United Nations keeps a record of national coats of arms, but displaying a coat of arms is not an internationally recognized requirement for a passport.

There are several groups of countries that have, by mutual agreement, adopted common designs for their passports:

  • The European Union. The design and layout of passports of the member states of the European Union are a result of consensus and recommendation, rather than of directive.[56] Passports are issued by member states and may consist of either the usual passport booklet or the newer passport card format. The covers of ordinary passport booklets are burgundy-red (except for Croatia which has a blue cover), with "European Union" written in the national language or languages. Below that are the name of the country, the national coat of arms, the word or words for "passport", and, at the bottom, the symbol for a biometric passport. The data page can be at the front or at the back of a passport booklet and there are significant design differences throughout to indicate which member state is the issuer.[note 1] Member states that participate in the Schengen Agreement have agreed that their e-passports should contain fingerprint information in the chip.[57]
  • In 2006, the members of the CA-4 Treaty (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua) adopted a common-design passport, called the Central American passport, following a design already in use by Nicaragua and El Salvador since the mid-1990s. It features a navy-blue cover with the words "América Central" and a map of Central America, and with the territory of the issuing country highlighted in gold (in place of the individual nations' coats of arms). At the bottom of the cover are the name of the issuing country and the passport type.
  • The members of the Andean Community of Nations (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) began to issue commonly designed passports in 2005. Specifications for the common passport format were outlined in an Andean Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in 2002.[58] Previously-issued national passports will be valid until their expiry dates. Andean passports are bordeaux (burgundy-red), with words in gold. Centered above the national seal of the issuing country is the name of the regional body in Spanish (Comunidad Andina). Below the seal is the official name of the member country. At the bottom of the cover is the Spanish word "pasaporte" along with the English "passport". Venezuela had issued Andean passports, but has subsequently left the Andean Community, so they will no longer issue Andean passports.
  • The Union of South American Nations signaled an intention to establish a common passport design, but it appears that implementation will take many years.
Trinidad&TobagoPassportCover
A Trinidad and Tobago passport with the CARICOM logo at the top

Request page

PassportmessageUSA
Passport message found inside the United States passport

Passports sometimes contain a message, usually near the front, requesting that the passport's bearer be allowed to pass freely, and further requesting that, in the event of need, the bearer be granted assistance. The message is sometimes made in the name of the government or the head of state, and may be written in more than one language, depending on the language policies of the issuing authority.

Languages

In 1920, an international conference on passports and through tickets held by the League of Nations recommended that passports be issued in the French language, historically the language of diplomacy, and one other language.[59] Currently, the ICAO recommends that passports be issued in English and French, or in the national language of the issuing country and in either English or French. Many European countries use their national language, along with English and French.

Some unusual language combinations are:

  • National passports of the European Union bear all of the official languages of the EU. Two or three languages are printed at the relevant points, followed by reference numbers which point to the passport page where translations into the remaining languages appear. In addition to the official EU languages, British passports bear Welsh and Scottish Gaelic.
  • The Barbadian passport and the United States passport are tri-lingual: English, French and Spanish. United States passports were traditionally English and French, but began being printed with a Spanish message and labels during the late 1990s, in recognition of Puerto Rico's Spanish-speaking status. Only the message and labels are in multiple languages, the cover and instructions pages are printed solely in English.
  • In Belgium, all three official languages (Dutch, French, German) appear on the cover, in addition to English on the main page. The order of the official languages depends on the official residence of the holder.
  • Passports of Bosnia and Herzegovina are in the three official languages of Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian in addition to English.
  • Brazilian passports contain four languages: Portuguese, the official country language, Spanish, because of bordering nations, English and French.
  • Cypriot passports are in Greek, Turkish and English.
  • The first page of a Libyan passport is in Arabic only. The last page (first page from a western viewpoint) has an English equivalent of the information on the Arabic first page (western last page). Similar arrangements are found in the passports of some other Arab countries.
  • Iraqi passports are in Arabic, Kurdish and English.
  • Macau SAR passports are in three languages: Chinese, Portuguese and English.
  • New Zealand passports are in English and Māori.
  • Norwegian passports are in the two forms of the Norwegian language, Bokmål and Nynorsk, and in English.
  • Sri Lankan passports are in Sinhala, Tamil and English.
  • Swiss passports are in five languages: German, French, Italian, Romansh and English.
  • Lebanese Passports are in three languages: Arabic, English, and French.
  • Syrian passports are in Arabic, English, and French.

Immigration stamps

For immigration control, officials of many countries use entry and exit stamps. Depending on the country, a stamp can serve different purposes. For example, in the United Kingdom, an immigration stamp in a passport includes the formal leave to enter granted to a person subject to entry control. In other countries, a stamp activates or acknowledges the continuing leave conferred in the passport bearer's entry clearance.

Under the Schengen system, a foreign passport is stamped with a date stamp which does not indicate any duration of stay. This means that the person is deemed to have permission to remain either for three months or for the period shown on his visa if specified otherwise.

Visas often take the form of an inked stamp, although some countries use adhesive stickers that incorporate security features to discourage forgery.

Member states of the European Union are not permitted to place a stamp in the passport of a person who is not subject to immigration control. Stamping is prohibited because it is an imposition of a control that the person is not subject to.

Countries usually have different styles of stamps for entries and exits, to make it easier to identify the movements of people. Ink colour might be used to designate mode of transportation (air, land or sea), such as in Hong Kong prior to 1997; while border styles did the same thing in Macau. Other variations include changing the size of the stamp to indicate length of stay, as in Singapore.

Immigration stamps are a useful reminder of travels. Some travellers "collect" immigration stamps in passports, and will choose to enter or exit countries via different means (for example, land, sea or air) in order to have different stamps in their passports. Some countries, such as Liechtenstein,[60] that do not stamp passports may provide a passport stamp on request for such "memory" purposes. Monaco (at its tourist office) and Andorra (at its border) do this as well. These are official stamps issued by government offices. However, some private enterprises may for a price stamp passports at historic sites and these have no legal standing. It is possible that such memorial stamps can preclude the passport bearer from travelling to certain countries. For example, Finland consistently rejects what they call 'falsified passports', where passport bearers have been refused visas or entry due to memorial stamps and are required to renew their passports.

Limitations on use

A passport is merely an identity document that is widely recognised for international travel purposes, and the possession of a passport does not in itself entitle a traveller to enter any country other than the country that issued it, and sometimes not even then. Many countries normally require visitors to obtain a visa. Each country has different requirements or conditions for the grant of visas, such as for the visitor not being likely to become a public charge for financial, health, family, or other reasons, and the holder not having been convicted of a crime or considered likely to commit one.[3][61]

Where a country does not recognise another, or is in dispute with it, entry may be prohibited to holders of passports of the other party to the dispute, and sometimes to others who have, for example, visited the other country; examples are listed below. A country that issues a passport may also restrict its validity or use in specified circumstances, such as use for travel to certain countries for political, security, or health reasons.

Asia

  • Bangladesh – a Bangladeshi passport is valid for travel to all countries except Israel.
  • Mainland China and Taiwan – Nationals of Taiwan (ROC) use a special travel permit (Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents) issued by China's (PRC) Ministry of Public Security to enter mainland China. Nationals of Mainland China entering Taiwan must also use a special travel permit (Exit & Entry Permit) issued by the ROC's immigration department. Depending on where they're coming from, they also need either a Chinese passport when departing from outside Mainland China, or a passport-like travel document, known as Taiwan Travel Permit for Mainland Residents, when departing from Mainland China (along with a special visa-like exit endorsement issued by PRC immigration authorities affixed to the permit). Chinese nationals who are Hong Kong and Macau permanent residents can apply for the ROC Exit and Entry Permit online or on arrival and must travel with their HKSAR passport, MSAR passport, or BN(O) passport.
  • Hong Kong and Macau – A 'Home Return Permit' is required for Chinese citizens domiciled in Hong Kong and Macau to enter and exit mainland China. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport and the Macau Special Administrative Region passport cannot be used for travel to mainland China. Also, British National (Overseas) passports cannot be used by Chinese citizens who reside in Hong Kong as the PRC does not recognize dual nationality. Mainland China residents visiting Hong Kong or Macau are required to hold an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau (往来港澳通行证 or 双程证) issued by Mainland authorities, along with an endorsement (签注), on the Exit-entry Permit which needs to be applied each time (similar to a visa) when visiting the SARs (except residents with hukou in Shenzhen can apply for a multi-entry endorsement).[62] Non-permanent residents of Macau who are not eligible for a passport may travel to Hong Kong on the Visit Permit to Hong Kong (澳門居民往來香港特別行政區旅行證) valid for 7 years, which allows holders to travel only to Hong Kong SAR during its validity.
  • Israel –
    Countries that reject Israeli passports
    Legend:
      Israel
      Countries that reject passports from Israel
      Countries that reject passports from Israel and any other passports which contain Israeli stamps or visas
    Until 1952, Israeli passports were normally not valid for travel to the then-West Germany, as in the aftermath of the Holocaust it was considered improper for Israelis to visit West Germany on any business but official state affairs. Some Muslim and African countries do not permit entry to anyone using an Israeli passport. In addition, Iran,[63] Kuwait,[64] Lebanon,[65] Libya,[66] Saudi Arabia,[67] Sudan,[68] Syria[69] and Yemen[70] do not allow entry to people with evidence of travel to Israel, or whose passports have either a used or an unused Israeli visa. For this reason, Israel no longer stamps visa stamps directly on passports, but on a slip of paper that serves as a substitute for a stamp on a travel document. Some countries do not permit their passports to be used for travel to Israel.
  • Lebanon - a Lebanese Passport is valid to travel to all countries except Israel.
  • Malaysia – a Malaysian passport is valid to travel to all countries except Israel.
  • Brunei - a Bruneian passport is valid to travel to all countries except Israel.
  • Pakistan – a Pakistani passport is valid for travel to all countries except Israel.
  • Philippines – between 2004 and mid-2011, Philippine passports could not be used for travel to Iraq due to the security threats in that country.[71]
  • South Korea – the South Korean government has banned travel to Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen for safety reasons.[72] South Korea does not consider travel within the Korean peninsula (between South Korean and North Korean administrations) to be international travel, as South Korea's constitution regards the entire Korean peninsula as its territory. South Koreans going to the Kaesong Industrial Region in North Korea pass through the Gyeongui Highway Transit Office at Dorasan, Munsan, where they present a plastic Visit Certificate (방문증명서) card issued by the South Korean Ministry of Unification, and an immigration-stamped Passage Certificate (개성공업지구 출입증) issued by the Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee (개성공업지구 관리위원회).[73] Until 2008, South Koreans moving to tourist areas in the North such as Mount Kumgang needed to carry a South Korean ID card for security reasons.
Countries that reject Israeli passports
Legend:
  Israel
  Countries that reject passports from Israel
  Countries that reject passports from Israel and any other passports which contain Israeli stamps or visas

Europe

Oceania

  • Some countries do not accept Tongan Protected Person passports, though they accept Tongan citizen passports.[74] Tongan Protected Person passports are sold by the Government of Tonga to anyone who is not a Tongan national.[75] A holder of a Tongan Protected Person passport is forbidden to enter or settle in Tonga. Generally, those holders are refugees or stateless persons for some other reason.

South America

  • For countries that do not maintain diplomatic relations with Brazil, such as Kosovo, Taiwan, and Western Sahara, diplomatic, official, and work passports are not accepted, and visas are only granted to tourist or business visitors. In addition, except for Kosovo and Taiwan, these visas must be issued on a Brazilian "laissez-passer", not on the country's passport.[76]

International travel without passports

International travel is possible without passports in some circumstances.[77] Nonetheless, a document stating citizenship, such as a national identity card or an Enhanced Drivers License, is usually required.[77]

Africa

Asia

  • Passports are not needed by citizens of India and Nepal to travel to each other's country, but some identification is required for border crossings.
  • Citizens of Lebanon and Jordan do not require passports when travelling in either country if they are carrying ID cards.
  • Travel between Russia and some former Soviet republics, designated by membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States, may be accomplished with a national identity document (e.g. an internal passport) or passport. However, according to a statement made by President Putin in December 2012, Russia has plans to restrict travel without a passport only to citizens of the member states of the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia by 2015. After that date, citizens of other CIS states will need passports (although not visas) to visit Russia.[78]
  • Citizens of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf countries need only national ID cards (also referred to as civil ID cards) to cross the borders of council countries. This also applies to anyone that has a residence permit in any of the GCC countries. As of 2017 though, Qatar has been removed from the list.
  • The 20 countries of the APEC issue the APEC Business Travel Card, which allows visa-free entry into all participating countries.

Europe

  • Travel with minimal travel documents is possible between the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and the Republic of Ireland, which together form the Common Travel Area.
  • The countries that apply the Schengen Agreement (Schengen Area, a subset of the EEA) do not implement passport controls between each other, unless exceptional circumstances occur. It is, however, mandatory to carry a passport, compliant national identity card, alien's resident permit or some other photo ID.
  • A citizen of one of the 28 member states of the European Union or of Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Iceland and Switzerland may travel in and between these countries using a standard compliant National Identity Card rather than a passport. Not all EU/EEA member states issue standard compliant national identity cards, notably Denmark, Norway, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland (though the Irish passport card is accepted), and the United Kingdom.
  • The Nordic Passport Union allows Nordic citizens—citizens from Denmark (including the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden to visit any of these countries without being in possession of identity documents (Greenland and Svalbard are excluded). This is an extension of the principle that Nordic citizens need no identity document in their own country. A means to prove identity when requested is recommended (e.g. using a driver's license, which does not state citizenship), even in one's own country. Joining the Schengen Area in 1997 has not changed these rules.
  • Albania accepts national ID cards or passports for entry from nationals of the EU, EFTA, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, San Marino and Singapore.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina accepts national ID cards or passports for entry from citizens of the EU, EFTA, Montenegro, Monaco, San Marino and Serbia.
  • North Macedonia accepts national ID cards or passports for entry from nationals of the EU, EFTA, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia.
  • Montenegro accepts national ID cards or passports for entry from nationals of the EU, EFTA, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Monaco, North Macedonia, San Marino and Serbia.
  • Serbia accepts national ID cards or passports for entry from nationals of the EU, EFTA (except Liechtenstein), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and North Macedonia.
  • Citizens of Belgium, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and Ukraine are allowed to enter Turkey with a valid national ID card.
  • EU and Turkish citizens are allowed to enter the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with a valid ID card.
  • EU and Turkish citizens are allowed to enter Georgia with a valid ID card.

North America

Passport card
The United States Passport Card
NEXUSCard
A NEXUS Card
  • CARICOM countries issue a CARICOM passport to their citizens, and as of June 2009, eligible nationals in participating countries will be permitted to use the CARICOM travel card which provides for intra-community travel without a passport.
  • There are several cards available to certain North American residents which allow passport free travel; generally only for land and sea border crossings:
  1. The U.S. Passport card is an alternative to an ordinary U.S. passport booklet for land and sea travel within North America (Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda). Like the passport book, the passport card is issued only to U.S. citizens and non-citizen nationals.[79]
  2. The NEXUS card allows border crossing between the U.S. and Canada for U.S. nationals and Canadian citizens. It can also be used for air travel as the only means of identification for U.S. nationals and Canadian citizens. The card can also be used for entering the U.S. from Mexico but not vice versa.[79]
  3. The SENTRI card allows passport-free entry into the U.S. from Mexico and Canada (but not vice versa) for U.S. citizens and nationals as well as Canadian citizens.[79]
  4. The FAST card can be used for crossing between U.S. and Canada, as well as entering U.S. from Mexico for U.S. and Canadian citizens.[79]
  5. U.S. nationals may further enter the U.S. and Canada using an enhanced driver license issued by the States of Vermont, Washington, Michigan and New York (which qualify as WHTI compliant). Other documents that can be used to enter the U.S. include: enhanced tribal cards; U.S. military ID cards plus military travel orders; U.S. merchant mariner ID cards, when travelling on maritime business; Native American tribal ID cards; Form I-872 American Indian card.[79]
  6. Canadian citizens may enter the U.S. and Canada via land or sea using an enhanced WHTI-compliant driver's license. These are currently issued by British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario. If Canadians wish to enter the U.S. via air, they must use a passport book or a NEXUS card.[79]
  7. Canadian citizens may return to Canada using any proof of citizenship and identity, however those without an acceptable document will be questioned by a Border Services officer until their identity is established.[80]
  8. For travel to the French islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon directly from Canada, Canadians and foreign nationals holding Canadian identification documents are exempted from passport and visa requirements for stays of maximum duration of 3 months within a period of 6 months. Accepted documents include a driver's licence, citizenship card, permanent resident card and others. Those without Canadian identifications are not exempt and must carry a passport.

Oceania

  • Residents of nine coastal villages in Papua New Guinea are permitted to enter the 'Protected Zone' of the Torres Strait (part of Queensland, Australia) for traditional purposes. This exemption from passport control is part of a treaty between Australia and Papua New Guinea negotiated when PNG became independent from Australia in 1975.[81] Vessels from other parts of Papua New Guinea and other countries attempting to cross into Australia or Australian waters are stopped by Australian Customs or the Royal Australian Navy.

South America

  • Many Central American and South American nationals can travel within their respective regional economic zones, such as Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations, or on a bilateral basis (e.g., between Chile and Peru, between Brazil and Chile), without passports, presenting instead their national ID cards, or, for short stays, their voter-registration cards. In some cases this travel must be done overland rather than by air. There are plans to extend these rights to all of South America under a Union of South American Nations, and it already extends them (since 2006[82]) to every South American country except Guyana and Suriname.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ All nations issuing EU passports make an effort to ensure that their passports feature nationally distinctive designs. Finnish passports make a flip-book of a moose walking. The UK passport launched on 3 November 2015 features Shakespeare's Globe Theater on pages 26–27, with architectural plans as well as performers on stage. Each UK passport page is completely different from all the other pages and from all the other pages of other EU passports.

References

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Further reading

External links

Australian passport

Australian passports are travel documents issued to Australian citizens under Australian Passports Act 2005 by the Australian Passport Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), both in Australia and overseas, which enable the passport bearer to travel internationally. Australian citizens are allowed to hold passports from other countries. Since 1988 over a million Australian passports have been issued annually, and it reached 1.4 million in 2007, and increasing towards a projected 3 million annually by 2021.Since 24 October 2005 Australia has issued only biometric passports, called ePassports, which have an embedded microchip that contains the same personal information that is on the colour photo page of the passport, including a digitised photograph. As all previous passports have now expired, all Australian passports are now biometric. SmartGates have been installed in Australian airports to allow Australian ePassport holders and ePassport holders of several other countries to clear immigration controls more rapidly, and facial recognition technology has been installed at immigration gates.

Biometric passport

A biometric passport (also known as an e-passport, ePassport, or a digital passport) is a traditional passport that has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contains biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of the passport holder. It uses contactless smart card technology, including a microprocessor chip (computer chip) and antenna (for both power to the chip and communication) embedded in the front or back cover, or centre page, of the passport. The passport's critical information is both printed on the data page of the passport and stored in the chip. Public key infrastructure (PKI) is used to authenticate the data stored electronically in the passport chip making it expensive and difficult to forge when all security mechanisms are fully and correctly implemented. Many countries are moving towards the issue of biometric passports. As of December 2008, 60 countries were issuing such passports, increasing to 120 as of June 2017. Malaysia was the first country in the world to issue biometric passports in 1998, after a local company, IRIS Corporation, developed the technology.

The currently standardised biometrics used for this type of identification system are facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, and iris recognition. These were adopted after assessment of several different kinds of biometrics including retinal scan. Document and chip characteristics are documented in the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Doc 9303. The ICAO defines the biometric file formats and communication protocols to be used in passports. Only the digital image (usually in JPEG or JPEG2000 format) of each biometric feature is actually stored in the chip. The comparison of biometric features is performed outside the passport chip by electronic border control systems (e-borders). To store biometric data on the contactless chip, it includes a minimum of 32 kilobytes of EEPROM storage memory, and runs on an interface in accordance with the ISO/IEC 14443 international standard, amongst others. These standards intend interoperability between different countries and different manufacturers of passport books.

Some national identity cards, such as those from the Netherlands, Albania and Brazil), are fully ICAO9303 compliant biometric travel documents. However others, such as the United States Passport Card, are not.

British passport

British passports are passports issued by the United Kingdom to those holding any form of British nationality. There are different types of British nationality, and different types of British passports as a result. A British passport enables the bearer to travel worldwide and serves as proof of citizenship. Every British citizen is also a citizen of the European Union. The passport allows for freedom of movement in any of the states of the European Economic Area and Switzerland. It also facilitates access to consular assistance from British embassies around the world, or any embassy of another European Union member state until the United Kingdom departs the European Union in October 2019. Passports are issued using royal prerogative, which is exercised by Her Majesty's Government.

British citizen passports have been issued in the UK by Her Majesty's Passport Office since 2006, a division of the Home Office. British citizens can use their passport as evidence of right of abode in the United Kingdom and EU citizenship. All passports issued in the UK since 2006 have been biometric.

In 1988, the UK government changed the colour of the passport to burgundy red, in line with most EU passports. In response to Brexit, the UK government announced in December 2017 its plan to change the passport colour to dark blue from October 2019. New passports were issued from 30 March 2019 that removed all references to the European Union as part of the Brexit planning by the Home Office.

Canadian passport

The Canadian passport (French: Passeport canadien) is the passport issued to citizens of Canada. It enables the bearer to exit and re-enter Canada freely; travel to and from other countries in accordance with visa requirements; facilitates the process of securing assistance from Canadian consular officials abroad, if necessary; and requests protection for the bearer while abroad.All Canadian passports are issued by the Passport Program of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Prior to 1 July 2013, Canadian passports were issued by Passport Canada, an independent operating agency of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. They are normally valid for five or ten years for persons 16 years of age and older, and five years for children under 16. In 2017, 60 per cent of Canadians had passports, with there being about 22 million passports in circulation. Although held by individuals, all Canadian passports remain property of the Government of Canada and must be returned to the Passport Program upon request.Canada is a member of the Five Nations Passport Group, an international forum for cooperation between the passport issuing authorities in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States to "share best practices and discuss innovations related to the development of passport policies, products and practices".Canada began issuing biometric passports, also known as electronic passports or e-passports, to Canadian citizens on 1 July 2013.

Chinese passport

The People's Republic of China passport (Chinese: 中华人民共和国护照; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó hùzhào), commonly referred to as the Chinese passport, is the passport issued to nationals of the People's Republic of China (PRC) who have registered as a resident of Mainland China hence hold a hukou, for the purpose of the international travel and entitles the bearer to the protection of China's consular officials overseas.

In 2014, China issued 16 million passports, ranking first in the world, surpassing the United States (14 million) and India (10 million). As of 2012, over 38 million Chinese nationals hold ordinary passports, comprising only 2.86% of the total population at the time. The number of ordinary passports in circulation raised to 120 million as of October 2016, which was approximately 8.7% of the population.On 30 January 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China launched a trial issuance of e-passports for public affairs. The face, fingerprint and other biometric features of the passport holder will be digitalized and stored in pre-installed contactless smart chip in the passport. On 1 July 2011, the Ministry began issuing biometric passports to all individuals conducting public affairs work overseas on behalf of the Chinese government. Ordinary biometric passports have been introduced by the Ministry of Public Security starting from 15 May 2012. As of April 2017, China had issued over 100 million biometric ordinary passports.

Henley Passport Index

The Henley Passport Index (HPI) is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom for their citizens. It started in 2005 as Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI) and was modified and renamed in January 2018. The site provides a ranking of the 199 passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The number of countries that a specific passport can access becomes its visa-free 'score'. In collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and based on official data from their global database Henley & Partners has analysed the visa regulations of all the countries and territories in the world since 2006.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passport (Chinese: 香港特別行政區護照) is a passport issued only to the permanent residents of Hong Kong who also hold Chinese citizenship. In accordance with the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, since the transfer of sovereignty on 1 July 1997, the passport has been issued by the Immigration Department of the Government of Hong Kong under the authorisation of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China. As the official languages of Hong Kong are Chinese and English, the passport is printed bilingually in both Chinese (traditional characters) and English.

Indian nationality law

The conferment of a person, as a citizen of India, is governed by Articles 5 to 11 (Part II) of the Constitution of India. The legislation related to this matter is the Citizenship Act 1955, which has been amended by the Citizenship (Amendment) Acts of 1986, 1992, 2003, 2005, and 2015.

Article 9 of Indian Constitution says that a person who voluntarily acquires citizenship of any other country is no longer an Indian citizen. Also, according to The Passports Act, a person has to surrender his/her Indian passport and voter card and other Indian ID cards must not be used after another country's citizenship is obtained. It is a punishable offence if the person fails to surrender the passport.

Indian nationality law largely follows the jus sanguinis (citizenship by right of blood) as opposed to the jus soli (citizenship by right of birth within the territory). The President of India is termed the First Citizen of India.

Indian passport

An Indian passport is issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs to Indian citizens for the purpose of international travel. It enables the bearer to travel internationally and serves as proof of Indian citizenship as per the Passports Act (1967). The Passport Seva (Passport Service) unit of the Consular, Passport & Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs functions as the central passport organisation, and is responsible for issuing Indian passports on demand to all eligible Indian citizens. Indian passports are issued at 93 passport offices located across India and at 162 Indian diplomatic missions abroad.In 2015, India issued about 12 million passports, a number exceeded only by China and United States. Approximately 65 million Indians held valid passports as of the end of 2015.

Macao Special Administrative Region passport

The Macao Special Administrative Region passport (Portuguese: Passaporte da Região Administrativa Especial de Macau; Chinese: 澳門特別行政區護照) is a passport issued to Chinese citizens who are permanent residents of Macau.

In accordance with Macau Basic Law, since the transfer of sovereignty over Macau on 20 December 1999, this passport has been issued by the Identification Services Bureau (under the Secretariat for Administration and Justice) of the government of Macau under the prerogative of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China.

The official languages of Macau are Portuguese and Chinese; consequently, all the passport's text is in traditional Chinese characters, Portuguese, and English.

Malaysian passport

The Malaysian passport (Malay: Pasport Malaysia) is the passport issued to citizens of Malaysia by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

The main legislation governing the production of passports and travel documents, their possession by persons entering and leaving Malaysia, and related matters is the Passport Act 1966.

Processing of Malaysian passport applications and renewals is very rapid, with new passports usually issued one hour after payment for normal cases. The introduction of passport renewal kiosks (KiPPas) at Immigration Department branches across the country allow passport applicants to apply and pay for their passports without queuing at the passport application counters.

Microsoft account

A Microsoft account or MSA (previously known as Microsoft Passport, .NET Passport, Microsoft Passport Network, and Windows Live ID) is a single sign-on Microsoft user account for Microsoft customers to log into Microsoft websites (like Outlook.com), devices running on one of Microsoft's current operating systems (e.g. Windows 10 computers and tablets, Windows Phones, and Xbox consoles), and Microsoft application software (including Visual Studio).

Pakistani passport

Pakistani passports (Urdu: پاکستانی پاسپورٹ‎) are issued to Pakistani citizens for the purpose of international travel. They are issued by the Directorate General of Immigration & Passports (DGIP) of the Ministry of Interior from regional passport offices and Pakistani embassies. Since January 2014, Pakistani passports have been valid for 5 or 10 years. Under Pakistani law, Pakistani passports are not valid for travel to Israel. Pakistani passport holders are eligible to visit 39 countries without a visa, or with visa on arrival.

Pakistani passports are machine-readable and biometric. Until 2004, Pakistani passports had the bearers particulars written by hand, with the passport picture glued to the cover page. These passports looked very unsophisticated. Since 2004, passports have identity information printed on both front and back cover ends. Both of these pages are laminated to prevent modification. In 2004, Pakistan began issuing biometric passports which, however, were not compliant with ICAO standards because they did not carry the "chip inside" symbol (). In 2012, Pakistan adopted ICAO-compliant multi-biometric e-passport. According to the Interior Minister, biometric passports were to be introduced in 2017. Pakistani passports are printed in DGIP headquarters in Islamabad.

Passports of the European Union

The European Union itself does not issue ordinary passports, but ordinary passport booklets issued by its 28 member states share a common format.

This common format features a coloured cover (for which burgundy is recommended but not compulsory: all countries except Croatia follow this recommendation) emblazoned—in the official language(s) of the issuing country (and sometimes its translation into English and French)—with the title "European Union", followed by the name(s) of the member state, its coat of arms, the word "PASSPORT", together with the biometric passport symbol at the bottom centre of the front cover.Some EU member states also issue non-EU passports to certain people who have a nationality which does not render them citizens of the European Union (e.g., British Overseas Territories Citizens except those with a connection to Gibraltar, British Protected Persons and British Subjects).In addition, the European Commission issues European Union Laissez-Passers to the members and certain civil servants of its institutions.

Saudi Arabian passport

The Saudi Arabian passport (Arabic: جواز السفر السعودي‎) is a passport document issued to citizens of Saudi Arabia for international travel. It is valid for 5 or 10 lunar years.

Taiwan passport

The Taiwan passport (Chinese: 中華民國護照; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Mínguó hùzhào) is the passport issued to nationals of the Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan. The passport is also commonly referred to as a Taiwanese passport.

The status and international recognition of the ROC passport is complicated due to the political status of Taiwan. The Nationality Law of the Republic of China considers not only residents of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu, but eligible overseas Chinese and Chinese residents of Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau to be nationals of the Republic of China. It is worth noting that the vast majority of Chinese-descent residents in Hong Kong, Macau or Mainland China are also nationals of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and do not hold any identification documents issued by the ROC. Individuals in the latter two categories may be eligible for a ROC passport under certain conditions, but do not have household registration in Taiwan (i.e. they are "nationals without household registration", or "NWOHR"), and thus do not enjoy the right of abode in Taiwan. Countries granting visa-free privileges to Taiwan passport holders often require a Taiwanese National ID number imprinted on the passport's biodata page, which signifies the holder's right of abode in Taiwan.

The Taiwanese passport is one of five passports with the most improved rating globally since 2006 in terms of the number of countries that its holders may visit without a visa.

Travel document

A travel document is an identity document issued by a government or international treaty organization to facilitate the movement of individuals or small groups of people across international boundaries, following international agreements. Travel documents usually assure other governments that the bearer may return to the issuing country, and are often issued in booklet form to allow other governments to place visas as well as entry and exit stamps into them. The most common travel document is a passport, which usually gives the bearer more privileges like visa-free access to certain countries. However, the term is sometimes used only for those documents which do not bear proof of nationality, such as a refugee travel document.

Travel visa

A visa (from the Latin charta visa, meaning "paper that has been seen") is a conditional authorisation granted by a territory to a foreigner, allowing them to enter, remain within, or to leave that territory. Visas typically may include limits on the duration of the foreigner's stay, areas within the country they may enter, the dates they may enter, the number of permitted visits or an individual's right to work in the country in question. Visas are associated with the request for permission to enter a territory and thus are, in most countries, distinct from actual formal permission for an alien to enter and remain in the country. In each instance, a visa is subject to entry permission by an immigration official at the time of actual entry, and can be revoked at any time. A visa most commonly takes the form of a sticker endorsed in the applicant's passport or other travel document.

Historically, immigration officials were empowered to permit or reject entry of visitors on arrival at the frontiers. If permitted entry, the official would issue a visa, when required, which would be a stamp in a passport. Today, travellers wishing to enter another country must often apply in advance for what is also called a visa, sometimes in person at a consular office, by post or over the internet. The modern visa may be a sticker or a stamp in the passport, or may take the form of a separate document or an electronic record of the authorisation, which the applicant can print before leaving home and produce on entry to the visited territory. Some countries do not require visitors to apply for a visa in advance for short visits.

Visa applications in advance of arrival give countries a chance to consider the applicant's circumstances, such as financial security, reason for travel, and details of previous visits to the country. Visitors may also be required to undergo and pass security or health checks upon arrival at the port of entry.

Some countries require that their citizens, as well as foreign travellers, obtain an "exit visa" to be allowed to leave the country.Uniquely, the Norwegian special territory of Svalbard is an entirely visa-free zone under the terms of the Svalbard Treaty.

Some countries—such as those in the Schengen Area—have agreements with other countries allowing each other's citizens to travel between them without visas. The World Tourism Organization announced that the number of tourists requiring a visa before travelling was at its lowest level ever in 2015.

United States passport

United States passports are passports issued to citizens and nationals of the United States of America. They are issued exclusively by the U.S. Department of State. Besides passports (in booklet form), limited use passport cards are issued by the same government agency subject to the same requirements. It is unlawful for U.S. citizens and nationals to enter or exit the United States without a valid U.S. passport or Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant passport-replacement document, though there are many exceptions, waivers are generally granted for U.S. citizens returning without a passport, and the exit requirement is not enforced.

U.S. passport booklets conform with recommended standards (i.e., size, composition, layout, technology) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). There are five types of passport booklets; as well, the Department of State has issued only biometric passports as standard since August 2007, though non-biometric passports remained valid until their expiration dates. United States passports are property of the United States and must be returned to the U.S. government upon demand.By law, a valid unexpired U.S. passport (or passport card) is conclusive (and not just prima facie) proof of U.S. citizenship, and has the same force and effect as proof of United States citizenship as certificates of naturalization or of citizenship, if issued to a U.S. citizen for the full period allowed by law. U.S. law does not prohibit U.S. citizens from holding passports of other countries, though they are required to use their U.S. passport to enter and leave the U.S.

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