If you do not have any valid form of ID you will not be allowed through Security and that will result in you not getting on the plane and you will not receive a refund on the plane ticket!
United States passports are passports issued to citizens and non-citizen nationals of the United States of America. They are issued exclusively by the U.S. Department of State. Besides issuing passports (in booklet form), also limited use passport cards are issued by the same organization subject to the same requirements. It is unlawful to enter or exit the United States without a valid passport or Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant passport-replacement document.
U.S. passport booklets are valid for travel by Americans anywhere in the world, although travel to certain countries and/or for certain purposes may require a visa and the U.S. itself restricts its nationals from traveling to or engaging in commercial transactions in certain countries. They 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 are valid until their expiry dates. United States passports are property of the Department of State.
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.
American consular officials issued passports to some citizens of some of the thirteen states during the War for Independence (1775–1783). Passports were sheets of paper printed on one side, included a description of the bearer, and were valid for three to six months. The minister to France, Benjamin Franklin, based the design of passports issued by his mission on that of the French passport.
The Department of Foreign Affairs of the war period also issued passports, and the department, carried over by the Articles of Confederation government (1783–1789), continued to issue passports. In July 1789, the Department of Foreign Affairs was carried over by the government established under the Constitution. In September of that year, the name of the department was changed to Department of State. The department handled foreign relations and issued passports, and, until the mid-19th century had various domestic duties.
For decades thereafter, passports were issued not only by the Department of State but also by states and cities, and by notaries public. Passports issued by American authorities other than the Department of State breached propriety and caused confusion abroad. Some European countries refused to recognize passports not issued by the Department of State, unless United States consular officials endorsed them. The problems led the Congress in 1856 to give to the Department of State sole authority to issue passports.
From 1776 to 1783, no state government had a passport requirement. The Articles of Confederation government (1783–1789) did not have a passport requirement. From 1789 through late 1941, the government established under the Constitution required passports of citizens only during the American Civil War (1861–1865) and during and shortly after World War I (1914–1918). In Europe, general peace between the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1815) and the beginning of World War I (1914), and development of railroads, gave rise to international travel by large numbers of people. Countries such as Czarist Russia and the Ottoman Empire maintained passport requirements. Foreign passport requirements undercut the absence of a passport requirement for Americans, under United States law, between 1921 and 1941.
The passport requirement of the Civil War era lacked statutory authority. After the outbreak of World War I, passports were required by executive order, though there was no statutory authority for the requirement. During World War I (1914–1918), European countries had passport requirements. The Travel Control Act of May 22, 1918 permitted the president, when the United States was at war, to proclaim a passport requirement, and a proclamation was issued on August 18, 1918. Though World War I ended on November 11, 1918, the passport requirement lingered until March 3, 1921. On March 4, Warren G. Harding was inaugurated. After World War I, many European countries retained their passport requirements.
The contemporary period of required passports for Americans under United States law began on November 29, 1941. There was an absence of a passport requirement under United States law between 1921 and 1941. World War II (1939–1945) again led to passport requirements under the Travel Control Act of 1918. A 1978 amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 made it illegal to enter or depart the United States without an issued passport even in peacetime.
Even when passports were not usually required, U.S. passports were requested by Americans. Records of the Department of State show that 130,360 passports were issued between 1810 and 1873, and that 369,844 passports were issued between 1877 and 1909. Some of those passports were family passports or group passports. A passport application could cover, variously, a wife, a child or children, one or more servants, or a female traveling under the protection of a man. The passport would be issued to the man. Similarly, a passport application could cover a child traveling with its mother. The passport would be issued to the mother. The number of Americans who traveled without passports is unknown.
The League of Nations held a conference in 1920 concerning passports and through-train travel, and conferences in 1926 and 1927 concerning passports. The 1920 conference put forward guidelines on the layout and features of passports, which the 1926 and 1927 conferences followed up. Those guidelines were steps in the shaping of contemporary passports. One of the guidelines was about 32-page passport booklets, such as the U.S. type III mentioned in this section, below. Another guideline was about languages in passports. See Languages, below. A conference on travel and tourism held by the United Nations in 1963 did not result in standardised passports. Passport standardization was accomplished in 1980 under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The design and contents of U.S. passports changed over the years. Prior to World War I the passport was typically a large (11 x 17 inch) diploma, with a large engraved seal of the Department of State at the top, repeated in red wax at the bottom, the bearer's description and signature on the left, and his name on the right above space for data such as "accompanied by his wife," all in ornate script. In 1926, the Department of State introduced the type III passport. This had a stiff red cover, with a window cutout through which the passport number was visible. That style of passport contained 32 pages. American passports had green covers from 1941 until 1976, when the cover was changed to blue, as part of the U.S. bicentennial celebration. Green covers were again issued from April 1993, until March 1994, and included a special one-page tribute to Benjamin Franklin in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the United States Consular Service. Currently blue passports, with the pages showing historical and natural scenes of the U.S., are issued. Initially a U.S. passport was issued for two years, although by the 1950s on application by the holder a passport could be stamped so that this time was extended without reissue. In the succeeding decades the initial lengths were extended to three, five and eventually to ten years, the current standard. At this time stamping for a further extension is not allowed.
In 1981, the United States became the first country to introduce machine-readable passports. In 2000, the Department of State started to issue passports with digital photos, and as of 2010, all previous series have expired. In 2006, the Department of State began to issue biometric passports to diplomats and other officials. Later in 2006, biometric passports were issued to the public. Since August 2007, the department has issued only biometric passports, which include RFID chips. An issued non-biometric will remain valid until its stated date of expiration, with the final non-biometric passports expiring on August 1, 2017.
Within the Department of State, responsibility for passport issuance lies with Passport Services, a unit of the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Passport Services operates twenty-two regional passport agencies in the United States to serve the general public. The most recent additions include the opening of public counters at the National Passport Center in New Hampshire and at the Arkansas Agency, as well as opening New York's second regional agency in Buffalo in October 2010. Additionally, Passport Services opened regional agencies in Atlanta, El Paso, Texas, and San Diego in 2011. Passport applications at most of these locations require that citizens provide proof of travel within 14 days of the application date, or who need to obtain foreign visas before traveling.
There are about 9,000 passport acceptance facilities in the United States, designated by Passport Services, at which routine passport applications may be filed. These facilities include United States courts, state courts, post offices, public libraries, county offices, and city offices. In fiscal year 2007, the Department of State issued 18,382,798 passports.
As per Haig v. Agee and the Passport Act of 1926 (currently codified at 22 U.S.C. § 211a et seq.), the administration may deny or revoke passports for foreign policy or national security reasons at any time, as well as numerous other reasons (regulations are currently codified at ). It is unlawful to enter or exit the United States without a valid passport or Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant passport-replacement document. Perhaps the most notable example of enforcement of this ability was the 1948 denial of a passport to U.S. Representative Leo Isacson, who sought to go to Paris to attend a conference as an observer for the American Council for a Democratic Greece, a Communist front organization, because of the group's role in opposing the Greek government in the Greek Civil War. Denial or revocation of a passport does not prevent the use of outstanding valid passports. The physical revocation of a passport is often difficult, and an apparently valid passport can be used for travel until officially taken by an arresting officer or by a court. The policy and rules of the Department of State concerning issuance of passports, passport waivers, and travel letters are contained in the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) chapter 7.
United States passports are issuable only to persons who owe permanent allegiance to the United States – i.e., citizens and non-citizen nationals of the United States.
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States ..." Under this provision, "United States" means the 50 states and the District of Columbia only.
By acts of Congress, every person born in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands is a United States citizen by birth. Also, every person born in the former Panama Canal Zone whose father or mother (or both) are or were a citizen is a United States citizen by birth.
Other acts of Congress provide for acquisition of citizenship by persons born abroad.
Every citizen is a national of the United States. Not every national is a citizen. There is a small class of American Samoans, born in American Samoa, including Swains Island, who are nationals but not citizens of the United States, See Passport message, below.
United States law permits dual nationality. Consequently, having and using a foreign passport are permissible. However, when a U.S. citizen uses a passport to leave or enter the United States, they're required to use a U.S. passport. This requirement extends to a U.S. citizen who is a dual national.
Separate passports are issued to U.S. citizens on official business, and to diplomats, the latter a process followed by virtually all countries. The United Nations laissez-passer is a similar document issued by that international organization.
The Department of State does not get many requests for certificates of non-citizenship nationality, which are issuable by the department. Production of a limited number of certificates would be costly, and, if produced, certificates would have to meet security standards. Accordingly, the Department of State chose not to issue certificates of non-citizen nationality. Instead, the department issues passports to non-citizen nationals. An issued passport certifies the status of a non-citizen national. The certification is in the form of an endorsement in the passport: "The bearer of this passport is a United States national and not a United States citizen."
An application for a United States passport made abroad is forwarded by a U.S. embassy or consulate to Passport Services for processing in the United States. The resulting passport is sent to the embassy or consulate for issuance to the applicant. An emergency passport is issuable by the embassy or consulate. Regular takes approximately 4–6 weeks. As per Haig v. Agee, the Presidential administration may deny or revoke passports for foreign policy or national security reasons at any time.
Some places where a U.S. passport may be applied are post offices and libraries.
A traveller needs to go in person, and pay an extra $25.
Your Most Recent U.S. Passport:
The advantage of the renewal form is a traveller can mail in the form, and not pay an extra $25.
Lost or stolen passport requires DS64 in addition to DS11 only if the lost passport is valid due to the second passport rule:
More than one valid United States passport of the same type may not be held, except if authorized by the Department of State.
It is routine for the Department of State to authorize a holder of a regular passport to hold, in addition, a diplomatic passport or an official passport or a no-fee passport.
One circumstance which may call for issuance of a second passport of a particular type is a prolonged visa-processing delay. Another is safety or security, such as travel between Israel and a country which refuses to grant entry to a person with a passport which indicates travel to Israel. The period of validity of a second passport issued under either circumstance is generally two years from the date of issue.
Those who need a second identification document in addition to the US passport may hold a U.S. passport card. This passport card is used by US citizens living abroad when they need to renew their regular passport book, renew their residency permit or apply for a visa - in other words, when they cannot show their regular passport yet are required by local law to carry valid identification.
Passport photo requirements are very specific. Official U.S. state department photographic guidelines are available online.
Fees for applying vary based on whether or not an applicant is applying for a new passport or they are renewing an expiring passport. Fees also vary depending on whether an applicant is under the age of 16.
First time adult applicants are charged $110 per passport book and $30 per passport card. Additionally, a $25 execution fee is charged per transaction, but only for first applications and not for renewals. This means that if a person were to apply for the passport book and card simultaneously on the same application, they would pay only one execution fee.
All minor applicants are considered first time applicants until they reach age 16. Minor applicants pay an $80 application fee for the passport book and a $15 application fee for the passport card. The same $25 execution fee is charged per application.
Adults wishing to renew their passports may do so up to five years after expiration at a cost of $110 for the passport book and $30 for the passport card. Passports for minors under age 16 cannot be renewed.
If a person is already in possession of a passport book and would like a passport card additionally (or vice versa), they may submit their currently valid passport book or card as evidence of citizenship and apply for a renewal to avoid paying the $25 execution fee. However, if the passport book or card holder is unable or unwilling to relinquish their currently valid passport for the duration of the processing, they may submit other primary evidence of citizenship, such as a US birth certificate or naturalization certificate, and apply as a first time applicant, paying the execution fee and submitting a written explanation as to why they are applying in this manner.
On the front cover, a representation of the Coat of arms of the United States is at the center. "PASSPORT" (in all capital letters) appears above the representation of the Great Seal, and "United States of America" (in Garamond italic) appears below.
An Official passport has "OFFICIAL" (in all capital letters) above "PASSPORT". The capital letters of "OFFICIAL" are somewhat smaller than the capital letters of "PASSPORT".
A Diplomatic passport has "DIPLOMATIC" (in all capital letters) above "PASSPORT". The capital letters of "DIPLOMATIC" are somewhat smaller than the capital letters of "PASSPORT".
A Travel Document, in both forms (Refugee Travel Document and Permit to Re-Enter), features the seal of the Department of Homeland Security instead of the Great Seal of the United States. Above the seal the words "TRAVEL DOCUMENT" appears in all capital letters. Below the seal is the legend "Issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services" in upper and lower case.
A biometric passport has the e-passport symbol at the bottom.
There are 32 pages in a biometric passport. Frequent travelers may request 52-page passports for no additional cost. Extra visa pages may be added to a passport. Extra visa pages can be added by mail (if the passport holder resides in the U.S.) and at most U.S. embassies and consulates (if the passport holder resides or visits a country overseas). The addition of visa pages used to be free, but as of July 13, 2010, the service costs $82.
Each passport has a data page and a signature page.
A data page has a visual zone and a machine-readable zone. The visual zone has a digitized photograph of the passport holder, data about the passport, and data about the passport holder:
The machine-readable zone is present at the bottom of the page and contains "P<USA[SURNAME]<<[GIVEN NAME(S)]<<<<<<<<<<" in the first line and "[PASSPORT NO. + 1 DIGIT]USA[DATE OF BIRTH + 1 DIGIT + SEX + DATE OF EXPIRATION + 10 DIGITS]<[6 DIGITS]" in the second line. Both lines contain 44 characters in a fixed-width all-caps font, with the top line ending with enough left angle brackets to fill the 44 character limit
A signature page has a line for the signature of a passport holder. A passport is not valid until it is signed by the passport holder. If a holder is unable to sign his passport, it is to be signed by a person who has legal authority to sign on the holder's behalf.
The standards for the names of places of birth that appear in passports are listed in volume 7 of the Foreign Affairs Manual, published by the Department of State. For birthplaces within the United States and its territories, it contains the name of the state or territory followed by "U.S.A.". For persons born in the District of Columbia, passports indicate "Washington, D.C., U.S.A." as the place of birth. For places of birth located outside the United States, only the country is mentioned. The name of the country is the current name of the country that is presently in control of the territory the place of birth and thus changes upon a change of a country name. Special provisions are in place for people born in Israel.][ Place of birth was first added to U.S. passports in 1917. A request to list no place of birth in a passport is never accepted. A citizen born outside the United States may be able to have his city or town of birth entered in his passport, if he or she objects to the standard country name. However, if a foreign country denies a visa or entry due to the place-of-birth designation, the Department of State will issue a replacement passport at normal fees, and will not facilitate entry into the foreign country.
Passports of many countries contain a message, nominally from the official who is in charge of passport issuance (e.g., secretary of state, minister of foreign affairs), addressed to authorities of other countries. The message identifies the bearer as a citizen of the issuing country, requests that he or she be allowed to enter and pass through the other country, and requests further that, when necessary, he or she be given help consistent with international norms. In American passports, the message is in English, French, and Spanish. The message is:
and in Spanish:
The term "citizen/national" and its equivalent terms ("citoyen ou ressortissant"; "ciudadano o nacional") are in the message, as some people born in American Samoa, including Swains Island, are nationals but not citizens of the United States.
The masculine inflections of "Le Secrétaire d'Etat" and "El Secretario de Estado" are used in all passports, regardless of the sex of the Secretary of State at the time of issue.
At a League of Nations conference in 1920 about passports and through-train travel, a recommendation was that passports be written in French (historically, the language of diplomacy) and one other language.
English, the de facto national language of the United States, has always been used in U.S. passports. At some point subsequent to 1920, English and French were used in passports. Spanish was added during the second Clinton administration, in recognition of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico.
The field names on the data page, the passport message, the warning on the second page that the bearer is responsible for obtaining visas, and the designations of the amendments-and-endorsements pages, are printed in English, French, and Spanish.
The legal driving force of biometric passports is the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, which states that smart-card Identity cards may be used in lieu of visas. That law also provides that foreigners who travel to the U.S., and want to enter the U.S. visa-free under the Visa Waiver Program, must bear machine-readable passports which comply with international standards. If a foreign passport was issued on or after October 26, 2006, that passport must be a biometric passport.
The chip of a U.S. passport stores an image of the photograph of the passport holder, passport data, and personal data of the passport holder; and has capacity to store additional data. The capacity of the Radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip is 64 kilobytes, which is large enough to store biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints and iris scans, in addition to an image of a photograph, passport data and personal data.
Data in a passport chip is scannable by readers, a capability which is intended to speed up immigration processing. A passport does not have to be plugged into a reader in order for data therein to be read. Like toll-road chips, data in passport chips can be read when passport chips are proximate to readers. The passport cover contains a radio-frequency shield, so the cover must be opened for the data to be read.
According to the Department of State, the Basic Access Control (BAC) security protocol prevents access to that data unless the printed information within the passport is also known or can be guessed.
According to privacy advocates, the BAC and the shielded cover are ineffective when a passport is open, and that a passport may have to be opened for inspection in a public place such as a hotel, a bank, or an Internet cafe. An open passport is subject to illicit reading of chip data, such as by a government agent who is tracking a passport holder's movements or by a criminal who is intending identity theft.
Cover of a non-biometric passport issued until July 31, 2007. They continue to be valid until their expiration, latest on August 1, 2017.
Cover of a passport (1976).
Cover of a passport (1930).
A passport is a document, issued by a national government, which certifies the identity and nationality of its holder for the purpose of international travel. The elements of identity contained in all standardized passports include information about the holder, including name, date of birth, gender and place of birth.
A passport does not of itself entitle the passport holder entry into another country, nor to consular protection while abroad nor any other privileges. It does, however, normally entitle the passport holder to return to the country that issued the passport. Rights to consular protection arise from international treaties, whilst the bearer's right to return to the passport's country of issue depends on the laws of the issuing country. A passport does not represent the right or the place of residence of the passport holder in the country that issued the passport.
One of the earliest known references to paperwork that served the role of a passport is found in the Hebrew Bible. In the biblical verse, Nehemiah 2:7-9, attributed to 450 BC, it is believed that Nehemiah, an official serving King Artaxerxes I of Persia, asked leave 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 travelled through their lands.
In the medieval Islamic Caliphate, a form of passport was used in the form of a bara'a, a receipt for taxes paid. Only citizens 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 "traveller's basic passport."
It is considered unlikely that the term "passport" is derived from sea ports, but rather from a medieval document that was required to pass through the gate ( or "porte") of a city wall or to pass through a territory. In medieval Europe, such documents were issued to travellers by local authorities, and generally contained a list of towns and cities into which a document holder was permitted to pass. 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.
King Henry V of England is credited with having invented what some consider the first true passport, notwithstanding the earlier examples cited, as a means of helping his subjects prove who they were in foreign lands.
The rapid expansion of rail travel and wealth in Europe from the mid-nineteenth century led to a unique dissolution of the passport system for thirty odd years before WWI. The speed of trains, as well as the numbers of passengers that crossed many borders, made enforcement of passport laws difficult. The general reaction was the relaxation of passport requirements. 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. The Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire maintained passport requirements for international travel, in addition to an internal passport system to control travel within their borders. Most countries issued passports but countries that demanded travelers have a passport were considered backwards.][
Early passports included a description of the passport holder. Photographs began to be attached to passports in the early decades of the twentieth century, when photography became widespread.
During World War I, European governments introduced border passport requirements for security reasons (to keep out spies) and to control the emigration of citizens with useful skills, retaining potential manpower. These controls remained in place after the war, and became standard procedure, though not without controversy. British tourists of the 1920s complained, especially about attached photographs and physical descriptions, which they considered led to a "nasty dehumanisation".
In 1920, the League of Nations held a conference on passports and through tickets, the Paris Conference on Passports & Customs Formalities and Through Tickets. Passport guidelines and a general booklet design resulted from the conference, which was followed up by conferences in 1926 and 1927.][
The United Nations held a travel conference in 1963, but passport guidelines did not result from it. Passport standardisation came about in 1980, under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
A rough standardization exists in types of passports throughout the world, although passport types, number of pages and definitions can vary by country.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issues passport standards which are treated as recommendations to national governments. The size of passports normally comply with 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.
Passports often, though not always, 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, notionally by the foreign minister or another representative of the government, often on behalf of the head of state. The message may be written in more than one language, depending on the language policies of the issuing authority.
For example, in a United Kingdom passport, the rubric reads:
the message in a current N-series Australian passport (stated only in English) reads:
the English message in a Canadian passport reads:
the English message in a Philippine passport meanwhile reads:
and the English message in a South Korean passport is:
the English message in an Israeli passport is:
The English message in a Dutch passport is:
Other passports, for example those of the United States bear similar messages. However such messages are absent, for instance, in passports issued by governments of Switzerland, Finland, and Austria.][
An international conference on passports and through tickets, held by the League of Nations in 1920, recommended that passports be issued in French, historically the language of diplomacy, and one other language. Nowadays, 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 used their national language and additionally the three most spoken languages in Europe, i.e. French, German, and English.
Some unusual language combinations are:
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. Passports are issued by member states, not by the EU. The data page can be at the front or at the back of a passport, and there are small design differences to indicate which member state is the issuer. The covers of ordinary passports are burgundy-red, with "European Union" written in the national language or languages. Below that are the name of the country, a national symbol, the word or words in the national language or languages for "passport", and, at the bottom, the symbol for a biometric passport.
In Central America, the members of the CA-4 Treaty (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua) adopted a common-design passport, called the Central American passport. Although the design had been in use by Nicaragua and El Salvador since the mid-1990s, it became the norm for the CA-4 in January 2006. The main features are the 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. This substitutes one map for four national symbols. At the bottom of the cover are the name of the issuing country and the passport type. As of 2006, the Nicaraguan passport, which is the model for the passports of the three other countries, is issued in Spanish, French, and English.
The member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) recently began issuing passports to a common design, featuring the CARICOM symbol along with the national symbol and name of the member state, rendered in an CARICOM official language (English, French, Dutch). The member states which use the common design are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The member states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) had originally planned for a common OECS passport by January 1, 2003, but it was delayed. Plans to introduce a CARICOM common passport would have made the OECS passport redundant, since all full members of the OECS were also full members of CARICOM. Thus, by November, 2004, the OECS governments agreed to give CARICOM a deadline of May 2005, to introduce a CARICOM passport, failure of which would have resulted in moving ahead with the introduction of the OECS Passport. The CARICOM passport was introduced in January 2005, by Suriname, so the idea of an OECS passport was abandoned. Had the OECS passport been introduced, however, it would not have been issued to economic citizens within the OECS states.
The declaration adopted in Cusco, Peru, establishing the Union of South American Nations, signalled an intention to establish a common passport design, but this appears to be a long way away. Already, some member states of regional sub-groupings such as Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations issue passports that bear their official names and seals, along with the name of their regional grouping. Examples include Paraguay and Ecuador.
The members of the Andean Community of Nations began, in 2001, the process of adopting a common passport format. Specifications for the common passport format were outlined in an Andean Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in 2002. The member states also agreed to phase in new Andean passports, bearing the official name of the regional body in Spanish (Comunidad Andina), by January, 2005. Previously-issued national passports will be valid until their expiry dates. The Andean passport is currently in use in Ecuador and Peru. Bolivia and Colombia were to start issuing Andean passports in early 2006. Andean passports are bordeaux (burgundy-red), with words in gold. Above the national seal of the issuing country is the name of the organization in Spanish, which is centred and is printed in a large font. Below the seal is the official name of the member country. At the bottom of the cover is the Spanish word "pasaporte" meaning "passport" and the English word as well. Venezuela left the Andean Community, so it is likely that the country will no longer issue Andean passports.
Passports contain a statement of the nationality of the holder. In most countries, one class of nationality exists for all its citizens, and only one type of ordinary passport exists for them. Several types of exceptions however exist:
A country with complex nationality laws could issue various passports which are similar in appearance but are representative of differing national statuses. Due to the British colonial history and contemporary laws, the United Kingdom has a number of classes of United Kingdom nationality, and more than one relationship of persons to the United Kingdom. The several classes and relationships cause foreign governments to subject holders of different UK passports to different entry requirements.
As an alternative to having more classes of nationality within one country, a single class can also exist across more than one country. For example, only a single class of nationality is available for the three constituent countries of Kingdom of Denmark (although Faroe nationals enjoy a special status), all four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and all the constituent states and territories of the Realm of New Zealand.
In certain instances a nationality is available through investment. Some investors have been described in a Tongan passport as 'a Tongan protected person', a status which does not necessarily carry with it the right of abode in Tonga. Many countries accept Tongan passports which reflect actual Tongan citizenship, but do not accept Tongan passports which reflect 'Tongan protected person' status.][
The Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) authorizes by law its Special Administrative Regions (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. It should be noted that all holders of these passports are considered Chinese citizens (i.e. possessing the same Chinese nationality status, and bearing the same code of issuing state: CHN) under the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China, and it is possible to be a permanent resident of Hong Kong or Macau without being a Chinese national.
Several entities without a sovereign territory issue passports as well, most notably Iroquois League, the Aboriginal Provisional Government in Australia and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Countries set their own conditions for the issue of passports. For example, Pakistan requires applicants to be interviewed before a Pakistani passport will be granted.
In countries where incoming and outgoing international travels are highly regulated (such as in North Korea), general use passports are the privilege of a very small number of people that are trusted by the government, and are not easily available to general public under ordinary conditions.
In Finland, male citizens aged 18–30 years must prove that they have completed, or are exempt from, the obligatory military service when applying for a Finnish passport. If they have not yet completed the service, the passport is issued only until the end of their 28th year to ensure that they will not flee the country and desert. Many countries with obligatory military service have similar requirements. Syria, for instance, requires male citizens aged 17–42 years to present a number of documents, among which an approval form of the respective military service office. If they have not yet completed their service, the issued passport is valid for only two years (as opposed to six years for everyone else).
Most countries declare by law that passports are government property, and may be limited or revoked at any time, usually on specified grounds. A limitation or a revocation is generally subject to judicial review.
In many countries, surrender of a passport is made a condition of granting bail. While on bail a person may be barred from applying for a passport or collecting a passport already applied for.][
Many countries issue only one passport to each national. When passport holders apply for a new passport (commonly, due to expiration of an old passport 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).
Some countries allow, under specified circumstances, the holding of more than one passport by a citizen. One circumstance is a disqualifying stamp in a passport, such as a stamp which shows travel to Israel, and the citizen intends travel to a country which does not recognize Israel. Another circumstance is frequent international travel including to countries with protracted visa application process. Awaiting a visa for a particular country, a person with two passports may travel to other countries with the second passport. Some countries issue restricted passports valid only for travel to one or more neighbouring countries. A person may hold at the same time a restricted passport for frequent travels to neighbouring countries and an ordinary international passport for travels to other countries.][
At one time it was common for a husband's passport to include the names and photos (marks of stature and visage) of his wife and children. These "family passports" allowed the bearer's wife and children to travel together with their "head of the family" without the need to issue individual passports to everyone. Family passports were not valid for dependants to travel by themselves or with someone other than the principal bearer. Nearly every country once issued family passports, but most no longer do so.
Some countries still allow inserting names of underage children into their parents' passports instead of issuing them separate passports. For example, a Uruguayan passport still has two photo pages, on which there can be a listing of up to six children, each with their thumbprint and details. Introduction of biometric passports with chips (which can only contain biometrics of one person) has made the practice largely obsolete, therefore the move is to issuing each child its own passport.
In recent years concerns over international child abduction, including abduction by a parent, have led some countries to require both parents to sign a passport application. In the United States, a person aged 16 years or older can apply for a passport themselves. Applications by those aged 15 and under require the signatures of both parents or a statement, signed under penalty of perjury, as to why only one parent is physically capable of signing the application.
Most countries accept passports of other countries as valid for international travel and valid for entry. There are exceptions, such as when a country does not recognise the passport-issuing country as a sovereign state. Likewise, the passport-issuing country may also stamp restrictions on the passports of its citizens not to go to certain countries due to poor or non-existent foreign relations, or security or health risks.
A Bangladeshi passport is valid for travel to all nations, except Israel. In the past, the passport was not valid for travel to Rhodesia, Taiwan and South Africa as well.
Citizens of Taiwan (ROC) use a special travel permit issued by China's (PRC) public-security authorities to enter China. Citizens of China entering Taiwan must also use a special travel permit issued by the ROC government and have their mainland documents surrendered. The identity documents are only valid for travel between Taiwan and China, and an endorsement must be obtained separately to enable travel.
Hong Kong and Macau each maintains border controls at all points of entry, including at the border with mainland China. Permanent residents of the SARs can use their identity cards to travel between the SARs.
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 can not be used for travel to mainland China. British National (Overseas) passports can also not be used by Chinese citizens who have the right of abode in Hong Kong as the PRC considers such citizens solely PRC citizens as it 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), also issued by mainland authorities, on the Exit-entry Permit which needs to be applied each time (similar to a visa) when visiting the SARs.
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). The grey-cover Visit Permit to Hong Kong is, technically speaking, a restricted passport and is valid for 7 years. It allows holders to travel only to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on multiple occasions during its validity.
In Israel's first years, Israeli passports bore the stamp "not valid for Germany" (Hebrew: לא תקף בגרמניה), as in the aftermath of the Holocaust it was considered improper for Israelis to visit Germany on any but official state business (for which the government issued special passports to "authorized personnel"). Some Muslim and African countries do not permit entry to anyone using an Israeli passport. In addition, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen do not allow entry to people with evidence of travel to Israel, or whose passports have a used or an unused Israeli visa.
Initially on Pakistani passports there was a printed list of countries which could be visited. Currently the statement printed on Pakistani passports provides, "This passport is valid for all countries of the world except Israel" "یہ پاسپورٹ سواۓ اسرائل کے دنیا کے تمام ممالک کے لۓ کار آمد ہے" .
Between 2004 and mid-2011, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs deemed that bearers of its passports could not travel to Iraq due to the security threats in that country. As such, Philippine passports issued in that time period were stamped "Not valid for travel to Iraq" in English and Arabic. Passports printed after July 1, 2011 no longer bear this stamp.
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 claims the entire Korean peninsula as its territory. South Koreans traveling 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). Until 2008, South Koreans traveling to tourist areas in the North such as Mount Kumgang needed to carry a South Korean ID card for security reasons.
As a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh War between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Azerbaijan refuses entry to holders of Armenian passports, as well as passport-holders of any other country if they are of Armenian descent. It also strictly refuses entry to foreigners in general whose passport shows evidence of entry into the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, immediately declaring them permanent personae non gratae.
Conversely, Armenia does allow visa-free entry for holders of Azerbaijani passports.
After the fall of the Habsburg monarchy in 1918 and the establishment of the Austrian Republic, members of the former Imperial Family were exiled and forbidden to enter Austrian territory. Nevertheless, they remained Austrian citizens entitled to bear an Austrian passport. Such passports were unique in bearing the stamp stating that "this passport is valid for all countries except for Austria". The Habsburgs' exile was eventually overturned by the European Court of Human Rights and these special types of passports along with it.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) issues passports, but only Turkey recognises its statehood. TRNC passports are not accepted for entry into the Republic of Cyprus via airports or sea ports, but are accepted at the designated green line crossing points. However, all Turkish Cypriots are entitled by law to the issue of a Republic of Cyprus EU passport, and since the opening of the border between the two sides, Cypriot and EU citizens can travel freely between them.
The United Kingdom, United States of America, France, Australia, Pakistan and Syria currently officially accept TRNC passports with the relevant visas.
Passports are not needed by citizens of San Marino and Italy to travel to each other's country. EU citizens do not need a passport to enter in San Marino. However, San Marino citizens must possess a regular passport to enter EU states other than Italy.
Spain does not accept United Kingdom passports issued in Gibraltar, alleging that the Government of Gibraltar is not a competent authority for issuing UK passports. Consequently, some Gibraltarians were refused entry to Spain. The word "Gibraltar" now appears beneath the words "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" on the covers of British passports issued in Gibraltar.
Some passports are issued for military dependents to travel to and from a foreign destination with a restriction stamp stating that the passport is only valid for official travel purposes. Further, said passports are valid only for five years from date of issue as opposed to ten years for adults.
Some countries decline to accept Tongan Protected Person passports, though they accept Tongan citizen passports. Tongan Protected Person passports are sold by the Government of Tonga to anyone who is not a Tongan national. A holder of a Tongan Protected Person passport is forbidden to enter or settle in Tonga. Generally, those holders are refugees, stateless persons, and individuals who for political reasons do not have access to any other passport-issuing authority.
For countries that do not maintain diplomatic relations with Brazil, such as Kosovo and Taiwan, diplomatic, official and work passports are not accepted, and visas are only granted to tourist or business visitors, under Brazilian “laissez-passer”.
International travel is possible without passports in some circumstances. Nonetheless, a document stating the citizenship, such as a national identity card or an Enhanced Drivers License, is usually required.
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi comprise the East African Community. Each country may issue, to an eligible citizen, an East African passport. East African passports are recognised by only the five countries, and are used for travel between or among those countries. The requirements for eligibility are less rigorous than are the requirements for national passports used for other international travel.
The member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) do not require passports for their citizens traveling within the community. National ID cards are sufficient. The member states are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
Passports are not needed by citizens of India and Nepal to travel to each other's country, but some identification is required for border crossing. Only Indians do not require passports for travelling in Bhutan, while Bhutanese have to travel with their citizenship identity cards.
Lebanese citizens entering Syria do not need passports to enter Syria, if carrying Lebanese ID cards. Similarly, Syrian citizens do not need passports to enter Lebanon, if carrying Syrian ID cards.
Between Russia and some former Soviet republics, rather than requiring a standard passport, participating countries may accept a national identity document (e.g. an internal passport) as well.
According to a statement made by President Putin in December 2012, Russia has plans to restrict the privilege of 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.
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.
The 20 countries of the APEC issue the APEC Business Travel Card, which allows visa-free entry into all participating countries.
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 within 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, Latvia, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Sweden issues National Identity Cards, but its Passport Law does not allow a Swedish citizen to travel outside the Schengen Area without a passport, which is in violation of EU freedom of movement.
The up-to-now 26 countries that apply the Schengen Agreement (a subset of the EEA) do not implement passport controls between each other, unless exceptional circumstances apply. It is however mandatory to carry a passport, compliant national identity card or alien's resident permit.
The Nordic Passport Union meant that Nordic citizens (Denmark, including the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) need (on the paper) no identity document to visit these countries (not Greenland or Svalbard). This is an extension of the principle that Nordic citizens need no identity document in their own country. A means to prove their identity when requested is recommended (e.g. using a drivers license, which does not state the citizenship), also in the own country. Joining the Schengen Area in 1997 has not changed these rules.
There are several cards available to certain North American citizens/residents which allow passport free travel; generally only for land and sea border crossings:
In the U.S. the acceptable passport-substituting documents are placed within the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
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. 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.
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) to every South American country except Guyana and Suriname.
For some countries, there are immigration checks and passport control for travel between their sovereign territories, yet some travels between such territories do not require passports.
Hong Kong and Macau, both Chinese special administrative regions, have their own immigration control systems different from each other and mainland China. Travelling between mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, technically, is not considered international. Although people of Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China do not use passports to travel between the three places, other documents, such as the Mainland Travel Permit (for the people of Hong Kong and Macau), are used instead; foreigners are required to present their passports at the immigration control points. Holders of Hong Kong or Macau permanent resident ID cards (regardless of nationality), however, may use the ID card to enter and exit the SARs without the presentation of any passport.
Under a special arrangement agreed during the formation of Malaysia, the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak can retain their respective immigration control systems. As a result, a passport is required for foreigners when traveling from Peninsular Malaysia to East Malaysia, as well as traveling between Sabah and Sarawak. Previously, Malaysian citizens from Peninsular Malaysia were required to present a Malaysian passport when travelling to East Malaysia from Peninsular Malaysia, but this is no longer required for social/business visits up to 3 months as long as they do not land in a third country. However, West Malaysians are required to produce a Malaysian identity card or, for children below 12 years, birth certificate, obtain a special immigration printout form (Document In Lieu of Internal Travel Document, IMM.114), and keep the form until they leave East Malaysia. However, one may still present a Malaysian passport or a Restricted Travel Document and get an entry stamp on the passport to avoid the hassle of keeping an extra sheet of paper.
For immigration control, immigration officials of many countries stamp passports with entry and exit stamps. A stamp can serve different purposes. In the United Kingdom, an immigration stamp in a passport includes the formal leave to enter granted to a person subject to entry control. Otherwise, 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 stamp is taken to mean that the person is deemed to have permission to remain either for three months or for the period shown on his visa (whichever is shorter).
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, such as a national of that country, a national of another EU member state or a non-EU national family member of an EU national who is seeking entry in conformity with EU Directive 2004/38/EC. Stamping is prohibited because a passport stamp is imposition of a control that the person is not subject to. This concept is not applicable in countries outside the EU, where a stamp in a passport may simply acknowledge the entry or exit of a person.
Countries usually have different styles of stamps for entries and exits, to make it easier to identify the movements of people. The shape of the stamp and the colour of the ink may also provide information about movements (whether departure or arrival). In Hong Kong, prior to and immediately after the 1997 transfer of sovereignty, entry and exit stamps were identical at all ports of entry, but colours differed. Airport stamps used black ink, land stamps used red ink, and sea stamps used purple ink. In Macau, under Portuguese administration, the same colour of ink was used for all stamps, but the stamps had slightly different borders to indicate entry/exit by air, land, or sea. In several countries the stamps or its colour are different if the person arrived in a car as opposed to bus/boat/train/aeroplane. Countries can vary the shape of their stamps to indicate the length of stay, like Singapore where a perfectly rectangular stamp indicates a 14-day stay, rounded rectangular a 30-day stay, or hexagonal a 90-day stay.
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.
Visas often take the form of an inked stamp, although some countries use adhesive stickers that incorporate security features to discourage forgery.
1 Non-member of European Union. 2 Open border with Schengen Area. 3 Transcontinental country. 4 Entirely in Southwest Asia but having socio-political connections with Europe. 5 Partially recognized.
The passport card (previously known as the People Access Security Service Card, or PASS Card) is an alternative to a passport produced in the United States to meet the documentary requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The U.S. Passport Card is a wallet-size travel document, issued to U.S. citizens only, that can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry and is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. The passport card cannot be used for international air travel.
Applications have been accepted since February 1, 2008; the cards were made available to the public beginning in July 2008. As of March 2010, more than 2,700,000 Passport Cards had been issued to U.S. citizens. The card is manufactured by L-1 Identity Solutions. Identity cards with the same objectives are common inside the European Union for both national and international use.
The 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 nationals][. However, the passport card cannot currently be used for international air travel. The Department of State indicates that this is because "designing a card format passport for wide use, including by air travelers, would inadvertently undercut the broad based international effort to strengthen civil aviation security and travel document specifications to address the post 9/11 threat environment."
The passport card is being issued by the United States Department of State in response to border community residents' needs for a less expensive and more portable alternative to the conventional booklet since the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative's requirements for travelers to carry a single document verifying both identification and citizenship have come into effect. In an effort to improve efficiency at land crossings, the passport card also includes a vicinity-read radio frequency identification chip with a unique identifying number tied to government databases; unlike the passport book, the RFID chip in the passport card is designed to be readable at a greater distance and will not contain any information from the MRZ of the passport card beyond the identifying number. To prevent the RFID chip from being read when the card is not being used, the passport card comes with a sleeve designed to block RFID while inside.
Under the REAL ID Act, the passport card will also be accepted for federal purposes (such as domestic air travel or entering federal buildings), which may make it an attractive option for people living in states whose driver's licenses and ID cards are not REAL ID-compliant when those requirements go into effect. TSA regulations list the passport card as an acceptable identity document at airport security checkpoints.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has indicated that the U.S. Passport Card may be used in the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 process. The passport card is considered a “List A” document that may be presented by newly hired employees during the employment eligibility verification process to show work authorized status. “List A” documents are those used by employees to prove both identity and work authorization when completing the Form I-9.
According to the US consulate in Germany, the passport card can be used as a valid proof of citizenship and proof of identity both inside and outside the United States. However, the acceptance of the passport card as the identity document by private and governmental entities within the USA varies greatly.
The passport card will share the same validity period as the passport book: 10 years for persons 16 and over, 5 years for children under 16. As of July 13, 2010, the passport card renewal fee for eligible applicants (adults only, by mail) is $30; first-time applicants and those applying in person must also pay a $25 processing fee, for a total fee of $55. Passport cards for children must be applied for in person; the total fee is $40, including the $25 processing fee.
Adults who already have a fully valid passport book may pay a fee of $30 to apply for the card as a passport renewal.
A citizen or national is allowed to hold both a card passport and a booklet passport. A passport in either form entitles its holder to apply for the other form (or both forms) as a "renewal" by mail at the end of its validity period.
The passport card is formatted according to specifications for credit-card (ID-1) sized travel documents, as described in ICAO Document 9303, Part 3, Volume 1. The card contains both human-readable and machine-readable information; the latter is printed in the machine-readable zone on the rear of the card as OCR-readable text in a similar format as on the identity page of the passport book. The zone starts with the letters IP (designated by ICAO for passport card), followed by the issuing country code USA and the holder's name: IPUSA. The general layout of the Passport Card is virtually identical to the layout of the Border Crossing Card issued to Mexican citizens with primarily the background imagery and entitlements varying between the two cards.
In addition to the embedded RFID chip, the front of the card features a complex multi-layer hologram consisting of an American bald eagle surrounded by the words "United States of America Department of State" in a small clearly readable font, further surrounded by the same words repeatedly in microprint. The card's background consists of interweaving smooth curves rich in variable color and microprint. Most of the information on the card is printed as intaglio (raised) print, with the date of birth, vertical letters "USA", and an alphanumeric sequence underneath the laser etched main photograph being particularly prominent. A second, smaller "photograph" is included on the right side of the card; when closely inspected this "photo" is actually an approximation of the shading in the original photo composed of various letters from the card holders name. There is also an embossed seal in the upper left hand corner of the card (partially overlapping the photograph) reminiscent of the eagle grasping 13 arrows and an olive branch that appears on the back of a US one dollar bill. On the rear of the card, the "PASSsystem" mark appears in color-shifting ink. When viewed under UV lighting, a reddish-orange bald eagle in flight appears. On newer passport cards, the eagle is ringed in blue with the phrase "From Sea To Shining Sea" with a [EURion] constellation surrounding it.
Passport cards can be used in the following countries (when travelling via land border or boat):
Antigua and Barbuda
British Virgin Islands
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Turks and Caicos Islands
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the security of the traveling public in the United States.
The TSA was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, sponsored by Don Young in the United States House of Representatives and Ernest Hollings in the Senate, passed by the 107th U.S. Congress, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on . Originally part of the United States Department of Transportation, the TSA was moved to the Department of Homeland Security on .
John S. Pistole is the fifth TSA Administrator, having replaced former head Kip Hawley.
The TSA was created as a response to the September 11, 2001, attacks. Its first administrator, John Magaw, was nominated by President Bush on December 10, 2001, and confirmed by the Senate the following January. The agency's proponents, including Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, argued that only a single federal agency would better protect air travel than the private companies who operated under contract to single airlines or groups of airlines that used a given terminal facility.
The organization was charged with developing policies to protect U.S. transportation, especially in airport security and the prevention of aircraft hijacking.
With state, local, and regional partners, the TSA oversees security for highways, railroads, buses, mass transit systems, pipelines, ports. However, the bulk of the TSA's efforts are in aviation security. The TSA is solely responsible for screening passengers and checked and carry-on baggage at 450 U.S. airports.][
Private screening did not disappear under the TSA, which allows airports to opt out of federal screening and hire firms to do the job instead. Such firms must still get TSA approval under its Screening Partnership Program (SPP) and follow TSA procedures. Among the U.S. airports with privately operated checkpoints are San Francisco International Airport; Kansas City International Airport; Greater Rochester International Airport; Tupelo Regional Airport; Key West International Airport; Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport; and Jackson Hole Airport.
TSA has had five administrators. They are John Magaw (2002), Admiral James Loy (2002–2003), Rear Admiral David M. Stone (2003–2005), Kip Hawley (2005–2009) and most recently John Pistole (2010–). Former TSA Deputy Administrator Gale Rossides served as TSA's Acting Administrator from early 2009 until Pistole's confirmation in the summer of 2010.
Among the types of TSA employees are:
The TSA also oversees the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, which gives some pilots permission to carry firearms in the cockpit as a defense against hijackers.
In 2008, TSA employees began wearing new uniforms that have a blue-gray 65/35 polyester/cotton blend duty shirt, black pants, a wider black belt, and optional short-sleeved shirts and black vests (for seasonal reasons). The first airport to introduce the new uniforms was Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Starting on September 11, 2008, all TSOs began wearing the new uniform. One stripe on each shoulder board denotes a TSO, two stripes a Lead TSO, and three a Supervisory TSO.
TSOs are issued badges similar to those carried by police officers, which has led to complaints from the latter group.
For fiscal year 2012, the TSA had a budget of roughly $7.6 billion.
Adult passengers (18 and over) are required to show a U.S. federal or state-issued photo identification.
Passenger names are compared against the No-fly list, a list of about 21,000 names of suspected terrorists who are not allowed to board. Passenger names are also compared against a longer list of "selectees", passengers whose names match names from this list receive a more thorough screening before being potentially allowed to board. The effectiveness of the lists has been widely criticized on the basis of errors in how those lists are maintained, for concerns that the lists are unconstitutional, for contributing to racial profiling, and for its ineffectiveness at stopping Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to detonate plastic explosives in his underwear, from boarding an aircraft. At the airport security checkpoint, passengers are screened to insure they are not carrying prohibited items. These include most sorts of sharp objects, many sporting goods such as baseball bats and hockey sticks, guns or other weapons, many sorts of tools, flammable liquids (except for conventional lighters), many forms of chemicals and paint. In addition, passengers are limited to 3.4 ounces of almost any liquid or gel, which must be presented at the checkpoint in a clear, one-quart zip-top bag. These restrictions on liquids were a reaction to the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot.
In some cases, government leaders, members of the US military and law-enforcement officials are allowed to bypass security screening.
In a program begun in October 2011, the TSA's Precheck Program allows selected members of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America frequent flyer programs as well as members of Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI to receive expedited screening for domestic and select international itineraries. As of April 2013, this program was available at 40 airports.
After the October 2010 cargo planes bomb plot, in which cargo containing laser printers with toner cartridges filled with explosives were discovered on separate cargo planes, the U.S. prohibited passengers from carrying certain printer cartridges on flights. The TSA said it would ban toner and ink cartridges weighing over 16 ounces (453 grams) from all passenger flights. The ban applies to both carry-on bags and checked bags, and does not affect average travelers, whose toner cartridges are generally lighter.
Beginning in November 2010, TSA added new enhanced screening procedures. Passengers are required to choose between an enhanced patdown, allowing TSOs to more thoroughly check areas on the body such as waistbands, groin, and inner thigh. or instead to be imaged by the use of a full body scanners (that is, either backscatter X-ray or millimeter wave detection machines) in order to fly. There changes were said to be made in reaction to the Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab bombing attempt.
The new pat-down procedures, which were originally not made public, "routinely involve the touching of buttocks and genitals" as well as breasts. These procedures were controversial, and in a November poll, 50% of those polled felt that the new pat-down procedures were too extreme, with 48% feeling them justified. A number of publicized incidents created a public outcry against the invasiveness of the pat-down techniques, in which women’s breasts and the genital areas of all passengers are patted. Pat downs are carried out by agents of the same gender the passenger presents at the screening.
Concerns were raised as to the constitutionality of the new screening methods by organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union. As of April 2011, at least six lawsuits were filed for violation of the Fourth Amendment. George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen has supported this view, saying "there's a strong argument that the TSA's measures violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.". Concerns were also raised about the effects of these pat downs on survivors of sexual assault.
In November 2010, the TSA began putting backscatter X-ray scanners and millimeter wave scanners machines into airports. The TSA refers to these two technologies as Advanced Imaging Technologies, or AIT.
Passengers are directed to hold their hands above their heads for a few seconds while front and back images are created. If the operator sees an anomaly on the scanner, or if other problems occur, the passenger will also have to receive the pat down.
Full body scanners have also proven controversial due to privacy and health concerns.
The American Civil Liberties Union has called the scanners a "virtual strip search." Female passengers have complained that they are often singled out for scanning, and a review of TSA records by a local CBS affiliate in Dallas found "a pattern of women who believe that there was nothing random about the way they were selected for extra screening."
The TSA, on their website, states that they have "implemented strict measures to protect passenger privacy which is ensured through the anonymity of the image," and additionally states that these technologies "cannot store, print, transmit or save the image, and the image is automatically deleted from the system after it is cleared by the remotely located security officer".
As early as 2010, the TSA began to test scanners that would produce less intrusive "stick figures". In February 2011, the TSA began testing new software on the millimeter wave machines already used at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport that automatically detects potential threats on a passenger without the need for having an officer review actual images. Instead, one generic figure is used for all passengers and small yellow boxes are placed on areas of the body requiring additional screening. The TSA announced in 2013 that the Rapiscan's backscatter scanners would no longer be used, due to the fact that the manufacturer of the machines could not produce "privacy software" to abstract the near-nude images that agents view and turn them into stick like figures. The TSA will continue to use other full body scanners.
Health concerns have been raised about both scanning technologies.
With regards to exposure to radiation emitted by backscatter X-rays, and there are fears that people will be exposed to a "dangerous level of radiation if they get backscattered too often". Ionizing radiation is considered a non-threshold carcinogen, but it is difficult to quantify the risk of low radiation exposures. Active millimeter wave scanners emit radiation which is non-ionizing, does not have enough energy to directly damage DNA, and is not known to be genotoxic.
After the November 2010 initiation of enhanced screening procedures of all airline passengers and flight crews, the US Airline Pilots Association issued a press release stating that pilots should not submit to full body scanners because of unknown radiation risks and calling for strict guidelines for pat downs of pilots, including evaluation of their fitness for duty after the pat down, given stressful nature of pat downs. Two airline pilots filed suit against the procedures.
In March 2011, two New Hampshire state representatives introduced proposed legislation that would criminalize as sexual assault invasive TSA patdowns made without probable cause. In May 2011, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it illegal for Transportation Security Administration officials to touch a person's genitals when carrying out a patdown. The bill failed in the Senate after the Department of Justice threatened to make Texas a no-fly zone if the legislation passed. In Congress, United States House of Representatives by Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced the American Traveler Dignity Act (H.R.6416).
On July 2, 2010, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a lawsuit in federal court asking to halt the use of full body scanners by the TSA on Fourth amendment grounds, and arguing that the TSA had failed to allow a public notice and rule making period. In July 2011, the D.C. Circuit court of appeals ruled that the TSA did violate the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to allowing a public notice and comment rule making period. The Court ordered the agency to "promptly" undertake a public notice and comment rule making. In July 2012, EPIC returned to court and asked the court to force enforcement; in August, the court granted the request to compel the TSA to explain its actions by the end of the month. The agency responded on August 30, saying that there was "“no basis whatsoever for (The DC Circuit Court's) assertion that TSA has delayed implementing this court’s mandate,” and said it was awaiting approval from the Department of Homeland Security before the hearings take place. The TSA also said that it was having "staffing issues" regarding the issue, but expects to begin hearings in February 2013. The comment period began on March 25, 2013.
Two separate Internet campaigns promoted a “National Opt-Out Day,” the day before Thanksgiving, urging travelers to “opt out” of the scanner and insist on a pat down. The enhanced patdown procedures were also the genesis of the "Don't touch my junk meme".
In order to be able to search passenger baggage for security screening, the TSA will cut or otherwise disable locks they can't open themselves. The agency authorized two companies to create padlocks, lockable straps, and luggage with built-in locks that can be opened and relocked by tools and information supplied by the lock manufacturers to the TSA. These are Travel Sentry and Safe Skies Locks.
The TSA has been criticized for an increase in baggage theft after its inception. Reported thefts include both valuable and dangerous goods, such as laptops, jewelry guns, and knives. Such thefts have raised concerns that the same access might allow bombs to be placed aboard aircraft.
In 2004, over 17,000 claims of baggage theft were reported. As of 2004, 60 screeners had been arrested for baggage theft, a number which had grown to 200 screeners by 2008. 11,700 theft and damage claims were reported to the TSA in 2009, a drop from 26,500 in 2004, which was attributed to the installation of cameras and conveyor belts in airports.
As of 2011, the TSA employs about 60,000 screeners in total (counting both baggage and passenger screening) and approximately 500 TSA agents have been fired or suspended for stealing from passenger luggage since the agency's creation in November 2001. The most affected airports in the United States include three in the New York area: JFK, LaGuardia and Newark.
In 2008 an investigative report by WTAE in Pittsburgh discovered that despite over 400 reports of baggage theft, about half of which the TSA reimbursed passengers for, not a single arrest had been made. The TSA does not, as a matter of policy, share baggage theft reports with local police departments.
In September 2012, ABC News interviewed former TSA agent Pythias Brown, who has admitted to stealing more than $800,000 worth of items during his employment with the agency. Brown stated that it was "very convenient to steal" and poor morale within the agency is what causes agents to steal from passengers.
The TSA has also been criticized for not responding properly to theft and failing to reimburse passengers for stolen goods. For example, between 2011 and 2012, passengers at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport reported $300,000 in property lost or damaged by the TSA. The agency only reimbursed $35,000 of those claims. Similar statistics were found at Jacksonville International Airport - passengers reported $22,000 worth of goods missing or damaged over the course of 15 months. The TSA only reimbursed $800.
Undercover operations to test the effectiveness of airport screening processes are routinely carried out by the TSA's Office of Investigations and the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General's office.
A report by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General found that TSA officials had collaborated with Covenant Aviation Security (CAS) at San Francisco International Airport to alert screeners to undercover tests. From August 2003 until May 2004, precise descriptions of the undercover personnel were provided to the screeners. The handing out of descriptions was then stopped, but until January 2005 screeners were still alerted whenever undercover operations were being undertaken. When no wrongdoing on the part of CAS was found, the contract was extended for four years. While employees of the firm and TSA were disciplined, none lost their jobs.
A report on undercover operations conducted in October 2006 at Newark Liberty International Airport was leaked to the press. The screeners had failed 20 of 22 undercover security tests, missing numerous guns and bombs. The Government Accountability Office had previously pointed to repeated covert test failures by TSA personnel. Revealing the results of covert tests is against TSA policy, and the agency responded by initiating an internal probe to discover the source of the leak.
In July 2007, the Times Union of Albany, New York reported that TSA screeners at Albany International Airport failed multiple covert security tests conducted by the TSA. Among them was a failure to detect a fake bomb.
In December 2010, ABC News Houston reported in an article about a man who accidentally took a forgotten gun through airport security, that "the failure rate approaches 70 percent at some major airports".
In May 2012, a report from the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General stated that the TSA "does not have a complete understanding" of breaches at the nation's airports, with some hubs doing very little to fix or report security breaches. These findings will be presented to Congress.
Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has had several joint hearings concerning the cost and benefits of the various safety programs including full body scanners, the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), and the behavior detection program, among others.
Some measures employed by the TSA have been accused of being ineffective and fostering a false sense of safety. This led security expert Bruce Schneier to coin the term security theater to describe those measures.
Two studies by a group of Cornell University researchers have found that strict airport security has the unintended consequence of increasing road fatalities, as would-be air travelers decide to drive and are exposed to the far greater risk of dying in a car accident. In 2005, the researchers looked at the immediate aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and found that the change in passenger travel modes led to 242 added driving deaths per month. In all, they estimated that about 1,200 driving deaths could be attributed to the short-term effects of the attacks. The study attributes the change in traveler behavior to two factors: fear of terrorist attacks and the wish to avoid the inconvenience of strict security measures; no attempt is made to estimate separately the influence of each of these two factors.
In 2007, the researchers studied the specific effects of a change to security practices instituted by the TSA in late 2002. They concluded that this change reduced the number of air travelers by 6%, and estimated that consequently, 129 more people died in car accidents in the fourth quarter of 2002. Extrapolating this rate of fatalities, New York Times contributor Nate Silver remarked that this is equivalent to "four fully loaded Boeing 737s crashing each year." The 2007 study also noted that strict airport security hurts the airline industry; it was estimated that the 6% reduction in the number of passengers in the fourth quarter of 2002 cost the industry $1.1 billion in lost business.
In 2007, a unencrypted computer hard drive containing Social Security numbers, bank data, and payroll information for about 100,000 employees was lost or stolen from TSA headquarters. Kip Hawley alerted TSA employees to the loss, and apologized for it. The agency asked the FBI to investigate. There were no reports that the data was later misused.
In 2007, Christopher Soghoian, a blogger and security researcher, said that a TSA website was collecting private passenger information in an unsecured manner, exposing passengers to identity theft. The website allowed passengers to dispute their inclusion on the No Fly List. The TSA fixed the website several days after the press picked up the story. The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigated the matter, and said the website had operated insecurely for more than four months, during which more than 247 people had submitted personal information. The report said the TSA manager who awarded the contract for creating the website was a high-school friend and former employee of the owner of the firm that received the contract. It noted:
neither Desyne nor the technical lead on the traveler redress Web site have been sanctioned by TSA for their roles in the deployment of an insecure Web site. TSA continues to pay Desyne to host and maintain two major Web-based information systems. TSA has taken no steps to discipline the technical lead, who still holds a senior program management position at TSA.
In December 2009, someone within the TSA posted a sensitive manual entitled “Screening Management SOP” on secret airport screening guidelines to an obscure URL on the FedBizOpps website. The manual was taken down quickly, but the breach raised questions about whether security practices had been compromised. Five TSA employees were placed on administrative leave over the manual’s publication, which, while redacted, had its redaction easily removed by computer-knowledgeable people.
Criticisms have also included assertions that TSA employees slept on the job, bypassed security checks, and failed to use good judgment and common sense.
TSA agents are also accused of having mistreated passengers, and having sexually harassed passengers, having used invasive screening procedures, including touching the genitals, including those of children, removing nipple rings with pliers, having searched passengers or their belongings for items other than weapons or explosives, and having stolen from passengers. The TSA fired 28 agents and suspended 15 others after an investigation determined they failed to scan checked baggage for explosives.
The TSA was also accused of having spent lavishly on events unrelated to airport security, having wasted money in hiring, and having had conflicts of interest.
The TSA was accused of having performed poorly at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration viewing areas, which left thousands of ticket holders excluded from the event in overcrowded conditions, while those who had arrived before the checkpoints were in place avoided screening altogether.
A CBS telephone poll of 1137 people published on November 15, 2010 found that 81% percent of those polled approved TSA's use of full-body scans. An ABC/Washington Post poll conducted by Langer Associates and released November 22, 2010 found that 64% of Americans favored the full-body X-ray scanners, but that 50% think the "enhanced" pat-downs go too far; 37% felt so strongly. In addition the poll states opposition is lowest amongst those who fly less than once a year. A later poll by Zogby International found 61% of likely voters oppose the new measures by TSA. In 2012, a poll conducted by the Frequent Business Traveler organization found that 56% of frequent fliers were "not satisfied" with the job the TSA was doing. 57% rated the TSA as doing a "poor job," and 34% rated it "fair." Only 1% of those surveyed rated the agency's work as excellent.
National Protection and Programs Directorate
Science and Technology Directorate
Airport security refers to the techniques and methods used in protecting passengers, staff and aircraft which use the airports from accidental/malicious harm, crime and other threats.
Large numbers of people pass through airports everyday, this presents potential targets for terrorism and other forms of crime because of the number of people located in a particular location. Similarly, the high concentration of people on large airliners, the potential high death rate with attacks on aircraft, and the ability to use a hijacked airplane as a lethal weapon may provide an alluring target for terrorism, whether or not they succeed due their high profile nature following the various attacks and attempts around the globe in recent years.
Airport security attempts to prevent any threats or potentially dangerous situations from arising or entering the country. If airport security does succeed in this, then the chances of any dangerous situations, illegal items or threats entering into both aircraft, country or airport are greatly reduced. As such, airport security serves several purposes: To protect the airport and country from any threatening events, to reassure the traveling public that they are safe and to protect the country and their people.
Monte R. Belger of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration notes "The goal of aviation security is to prevent harm to aircraft, passengers, and crew, as well as support national security and counter-terrorism policy."
While some countries may have an agency that protects all of their airports (such as Australia, where the Australian Federal Police responsible for security at their major airports), in other countries like the United States, the protection is controlled at the state or local level. The primary personnel will vary and can include:
Other resources may include:
Some incidents have been the result of travelers being permitted to carry either weapons or items that could be used as weapons on board aircraft so that they could hijack the plane. Travelers are screened by metal detectors. Explosive detection machines used include X-ray machines and explosives trace-detection portal machines (a.k.a. "puffer machines"). In the United States the TSA is working on new scanning machines that are still effective searching for objects that aren't allowed in the airplanes but that don't depict the passengers in a state of undress that some find embarrassing. Explosive detection machines can also be used for both carry on and checked baggage. These detect volatile compounds given off from explosives using gas chromatography.
A recent development is the controversial use of backscatter X-rays to detect hidden weapons and explosives on passengers. These devices, which use Compton scattering, require that the passenger stand close to a flat panel and produce a high resolution image. A technology released in Israel in early 2008 allows passengers to pass through metal detectors without removing their shoes, a process required as walk-though gate detectors are not reliable in detecting metal in shoes or on the lower body extremities. Alternately, the passengers step fully shoed onto a device which scans in under 1.2 seconds for objects as small as a razor blade. In some countries, specially trained individuals may engage passengers in a conversation to detect threats rather than solely relying on equipment to find threats.
Generally people are screened through airport security into areas where the exit gates to the aircraft are located. These areas are often called "secure", "sterile" and airside. Passengers are discharged from airliners into the sterile area so that they usually will not have to be re-screened if disembarking from a domestic flight; however they are still subject to search at any time. Airport food outlets have started using plastic glasses and utensils as opposed to glasses made out of glass and utensils made out of metal to reduce the usefulness of such items as weapons.
In the United States non-passengers were once allowed on the concourses to meet arriving friends or relatives at their gates, but this is now greatly restricted. Non-passengers must obtain a gate pass to enter the secure area of the airport. The most common reasons that a non-passenger may obtain a gate pass is to assist children and the elderly as well as for attending business meetings that take place in the secure area of the airport. In the United States, at least 24 hours notice is generally required for those planning to attend a business meeting inside the secure area of the airport.][ Other countries, such as Australia do not restrict non-travellers from accessing the airside area, however non-travellers are typically subject to the same security scans as travellers.
Sensitive areas in airports, including airport ramps and operational spaces, are restricted from the general public. Called a SIDA (Security Identification Display Area), these spaces require special qualifications to enter.
Throughout the world, there have been a few dozen airports that have instituted a version of a "trusted traveler program". Proponents argue that security screening can be made more efficient by detecting the people that are threats, and then searching them. They argue that searching trusted, verified individuals should not take the amount of time it does. Critics argue that such programs decrease security by providing an easier path to carry contraband through.
Another critical security measure utilised by several regional and international airports is the use of fiber optic perimeter intrusion detection systems. These security systems allow airport security to locate and detect any intrusion on the airport perimeter, ensuring real-time, immediate intrusion notification that allows security personnel to assess the threat and track movement and engage necessary security procedures. This has notably been utilised at Dulles International Airport and U.S. Military JFPASS.
The world's first terrorist attack intending to indiscriminately kill civilians while in flight was Cubana Flight 455. It was a Cubana flight from Barbados to Jamaica that was brought down by a terrorist attack on October 6, 1976, killing 73 people. Evidence implicated several Central Intelligence Agency-linked anti-Castro Cuban exiles and members of the Venezuelan secret police DISIP, including Luis Posada Carriles.][
The single deadliest airline catastrophe resulting from the failure of airport security to detect an on board bomb was Air India Flight 182 in 1985, which killed 329 people.
Another on board bomb that slipped through airport security was the one on Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, which killed 270 people; 259 on the plane, and 11 residents of Lockerbie, Scotland.
Another notable failure was the 1994 bombing of Philippine Airlines Flight 434, which turned out to be a test run for a planned terrorist attack called Operation Bojinka. The explosion was small, killing one person, and the plane made an emergency landing. Operation Bojinka was discovered and foiled by Manila police in 1995.
On May 30, 1972 three members of the Japanese Red Army undertook a terrorist attack, popularly called the Lod Airport massacre, at the Lod Airport, now known as the Ben Gurion International Airport, in Tel Aviv. Firing indiscriminately with automatic firearms and throwing grenades, they managed to kill 24 people and injure 78 others before being neutralized (one of them through suicide). One of the three terrorists, Kozo Okamoto, survived the incident.
The Rome and Vienna airport attacks in December 1985 were two more instances of airport security failures. The attacks left 20 people dead when gunmen threw grenades and opened fire on travelers at El Al airline ticket counters.
The September 11 Attacks on September 11, 2001 are the most widely recognized terrorist attacks in recent times involving air travel. 19 members of the Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda took control of 4 airplanes on the east coast of the United States and deliberately crashed them into both World Trade Center towers in New York City, New York and into The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. A fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania, not reaching its intended target. The attacks resulted in the deaths of almost 3,000 people, including the civilians in the airplanes and the hijackers who assumed control of the aircraft.
On July 5, 2002, a gunman opened fire at Los Angeles International Airport (Israel's El Al Ticket Counter). The shooter killed two people and injured four.
On August 10, 2006, security at airports in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States was raised significantly due to the uncovering by British authorities of a terror plot aimed at detonating liquid explosives on flights originating from these countries. This is also notable as it was the first time the U.S. Terror Alert Level ever reached "red". The incident also led to tighter restrictions on carrying liquids and gels in hand luggage in the EU, Canada, and the United States.
All restrictions involving airport security are determined by Transport Canada and are enforced by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, as well as the Air India bombing in 1985 and other incidents, airport security has tightened in Canada in order to prevent any attacks in Canadian Airspace.
CATSA uses x-ray machines to verify the contents of all carry-ons as well as metal detectors, explosive trace detection (ETD) equipment and random physical searches of passengers at the pre-board screening points. X-ray machines, CTX machines, high-resolution x-rays and ETDs are also used to scan checked bags. All checked baggage is always x-rayed at all major commercial airports.
CATSA also completed the first phase of its Restricted Area Identity Card (RAIC) program in January 2007. This program replaces the old Airport Restricted Area Passes issued to airport employees after security checks by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Transport Canada with new cards (issued after the same checks are conducted) that contain biometric information (fingerprints and iris scans) belonging to the person issued the RAIC.
The RAIC has yet to be extended to the security perimeter of Canadian airports for vehicles and persons entering from checkpoints not within airport terminals. As of September 2010 it is being tested at the Vancouver International Airport. Vehicles and personnel entering near the domestic terminals from the YVR cargo and south side must drive through the new CATSA security screening booth.
While CATSA is responsible for pre-board passenger and random non-passenger screening, they contract out to third-party "service providers" such as G4S, Aeroguard and Garda to train, manage and employ the screening officers. In addition, individual airport authorities which were privatized in the 1990s by the Canadian Government are responsible for general airport security rather than CATSA and normally contract out to private companies and in the case of large airports, pay for a small contingent of local police officers to remain on site as well.
Safety and security at Canada's airports are provided by local police forces. The RCMP once used to provide this service at most airports, but remains so for a few today:
Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishes common rules in the European Union to protect civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference. The regulation's provisions apply to all airports or parts of airports located in an EU country that are not used exclusively for military purposes. The provisions also apply to all operators, including air carriers, providing services at the aforementioned airports. It also applies to all entities located inside or outside airport premises providing services to airports.
The standards of regulation 300/2008 are implemented by Commission Regulation (EU) No 185/2010.
Passenger, luggage and freight security checking and security guard duties are outsourced to contractors: at Helsinki Airport, the contractor is SOL Security Service Oy, a subsidiary of the property services company SOL Group. General public security is the responsibility of the Finnish Police, which has an airport unit at Helsinki Airport. The airport unit has a criminal investigation, a canine and a TEPO (terrorist and bomb) squad, and a PTR (police, customs and border guard) intelligence component. Furthermore, units of the Finnish Border Guard units at airports often arrest wanted individuals or fugitives at the border, and the Finnish Customs seizes e.g. weapons, false documents or explosives in addition to wanted individuals.
French security has been stepped up since terrorist attacks in France in 1986. In response France established the Vigipirate program. The program uses troops to reinforce local security and increases requirements in screenings and ID checks. Since 1996 security check-points have transferred from the Police Nationale/Gendarmerie de l'Air to private companies hired by the airport authorities.
Airport security in Spain is provided by police forces, as well as private security guards. The Policía Nacional provides general security as well as passport (in international airports) and documentation checking. In Catalonia and Basque Country, the Mossos d'Esquadra and the Ertzaintza, respectively, have replaced the Policía Nacional except for documentation functions. The Guardia Civil handles the security and customs checking, often aided by private security guards. Local police provide security and traffic control outside the airport building.
Security measures are controlled by the state owned company Aena, and are bound to European Commission Regulations, as in other European Union countries.
The Department for Transport (DFT) is the heart of airport security in the United Kingdom. In September 2004, with the Home Office, DFT started an initiative called the "Multi Agency Threat and Risk Assessment" (MATRA), which was piloted at five of the United Kingdom's major airports — Heathrow, Birmingham, East Midlands Airport, Newcastle and Glasgow. Following successful trials, the scheme has now been rolled out across 44 airports.
Since the September 11 attacks in New York, the United Kingdom has been assessed as a high risk country due to its support of the United States both in its invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.
From January 7, 2000, travelers are no longer limited to a single piece of carry-on luggage at most of the UK's major airports Currently, hand luggage is not limited by size or weight by the DFT, although most airlines do impose their own rules.
The UK is considering controversial new methods of screening passengers to further improve airport security, such as backscatter X-ray machines that provide a 360-degree view of a person, as well as "see" under clothes, right down to the skin and bones.
Current UK Airport Security measures):
The Hong Kong International Airport is secured by the Hong Kong Police Force and Aviation Security Company (AVSECO). Within the police force, the Airport District is responsible for the safety and security of the airport region. Airport Security Unit are deployed around the airport and are armed with H&K MP5 A3 sub-machine guns and Glock 17 pistols. The security of the restricted area is the responsibility of the police and AVSECO.
While the airport is under the control of the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), the security power has been delegated to the AVSECO staffs. All persons and baggages carried by them must be X-Rayed and checked at the security screening points of the AVSECO (with a few exceptions at the Tenant Restricted Area).
The Immigration Department will check incomers passport and other identities, while the Customs and Excise Department will check passengers and crews' luggages to discourage smuggling of drugs and contraband from entering Hong Kong.
India stepped up its airport security after the 1999 Kandahar hijacking. The Central Industrial Security Force, a paramilitary organisation is in charge of airport security under the regulatory frame work of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security( Ministry of Civil Aviation Security). CISF formed an Airport Security Group to protect Indian airports. Every airport has now been given an APSU (Airport Security Unit), a trained unit to counter unlawful interference with civil aviation. Apart from the CISF, every domestic airline has an security group who looks after the aircraft security.
Terrorist threats and narcotics are the main threats in Indian airports. Another problem that some airports face is the proliferation of slums around the airport boundaries in places like Mumbai. Before boarding, additional searching of hand luggage is likely. Moreover other than this they the CISF, has to face many other duties in context of Aviation Security, they have taken the security of the Cargo in many of the Airports all across India.
El Al Airlines is headquartered in Israel. The last hijacking occurred on July 23, 1969, and no plane departing Ben Gurion Airport, just outside Tel Aviv, has ever been hijacked.
It was in 1972 that terrorists from the Japanese Red Army launched an attack that led to the deaths of at least 24 people at Ben Gurion. Since then, security at the airport relies on a number of fundamentals, including a heavy focus on what Raphael Ron, former director of security at Ben Gurion, terms the "human factor", which may be generalized as "the inescapable fact that terrorist attacks are carried out by people who can be found and stopped by an effective security methodology."
On December 27, 1985, terrorists simultaneously attacked El Al ticket counters at the Rome, Italy and Vienna, Austria airports using machine guns and hand grenades. Nineteen civilians were killed and many wounded. In response, Israel developed further methods to stop such massacres and drastically improved security measures around Israeli airports and even promised to provide plainclothes armed guards at each foreign airport. The last successful airline-related terrorist attack was in 1986, when a security agent found a suitcase full of explosives during the initial screening process. While the bag did not make it on board, it did injure 13 after detonating in the terminal.
As part of its focus on this so-called "human factor," Israeli security officers interrogate travelers using racial profiling, singling out those who appear to be Arab based on name or physical appearance. Additionally, all passengers, even those who do not appear to be of Arab descent, are questioned as to why they are traveling to Israel, followed by several general questions about the trip in order to search for inconsistencies. Although numerous civil rights groups have demanded an end to the profiling, Israel maintains that it is both effective and unavoidable. According to Ariel Merari, an Israeli terrorism expert][, "it would be foolish not to use profiling when everyone knows that most terrorists come from certain ethnic groups. They are likely to be Muslim and young, and the potential threat justifies inconveniencing a certain ethnic group."
Passengers leaving Israel are checked against a computerized list. The computers, maintained by the Israeli Ministry of Interior, are connected to the Israeli police and Interpol in order to catch suspects or others leaving the country illegally.
Despite such tight security, an incident occurred on November 17, 2002 in which a man apparently slipped through airport security at Ben Gurion Airport with a pocketknife and attempted to storm the cockpit of El Al Flight 581 en route from Tel Aviv to Istanbul, Turkey. While no injuries were reported and the attacker was subdued by guards hidden among the passengers 15 minutes before the plane landed safely in Turkey, authorities did shut down Ben Gurion for some time after the attack to reassess the security situation and an investigation was opened to determine how the man, an Israeli Arab, managed to smuggle the knife past the airport security.
At a conference in May 2008, the United States Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told Reuters interviewers that the United States will seek to adopt some of the Israeli security measures at domestic airports. He left his post in January 2009, a mere 6 months after this statement, which may or may not have been enough time to implement them.
On a more limited focus, American airports have been turning to the Israeli government and Israeli-run firms to help upgrade security in the post-9/11 world. Israeli officials toured Los Angeles Airport in November 2008 to re-evaluate the airport after making security upgrade recommendations in 2006, and Ron's company, New Age Security Solutions, based in Washington, D.C., consults on aviation security at Boston's Logan International Airport. Calling Ben Gurion "the world’s safest airport," Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles, has implemented the Israeli review in order to bring state-of-the-art technology and other tactical measures to help secure LAX, considered to be the state’s primary terrorist target and singled out by the Al Qaeda network.
Other U.S. airports to incorporate Israeli tactics and systems include Port of Oakland and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. "The Israelis are legendary for their security, and this is an opportunity to see firsthand what they do, how they do it and, as importantly, the theory behind it," said Steven Grossman, director of aviation at the Port of Oakland. He was so impressed with a briefing presented by the Israelis that he suggested a trip to Israel to the U.S. branch of Airports Council International in order to gain a deeper understanding of the methods employed by Israeli airport security and law enforcement.
Security for the country's two international passenger airports comes under the purview of the Airport Police Division of the Singapore Police Force, although resources are concentrated at Singapore Changi Airport where scheduled passenger traffic dominate. Seletar Airport, which specializes in handling non-scheduled and training flights, is seen as posing less of a security issue. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, and the naming of Changi Airport as a terrorism target by the Jemaah Islamiyah, the airport's security has been stepped up.
Roving patrol teams of two soldiers and a police officer armed with automatic weapons patrol the terminals at random. Departing passengers are checked at the entrance of the gate rather than after immigration clearance like Hong Kong International Airport. This security measure is easily noticed by the presence of X-ray machines and metal detectors at every gate, which is not normally seen at other airports.
Assisting the state organizations, are the security services provided by the ground handlers, namely that of the Certis CISCO, Singapore Airport Terminal Services's SATS Security Services, and the Aetos Security Management Private Limited, formed from a merger of the Changi International Airport Services's airport security unit and that of other companies to become a single island-wide auxiliary police company. These officers' duties include screening luggage and controlling movement into restricted areas.
Since 2005, an upgrade in screening technology and rising security concerns led to all luggage-screening processes being conducted behind closed doors. Plans are also in place to install over 400 cameras to monitor the airport, to discourage bomb attacks similar to the 2005 Songkhla bombings in Southern Thailand where Hat Yai International Airport was targeted. Tenders to incorporate such a system were called in late September 2005.
Since 8 May 2007, the liquid restrictions of 100 ml cap is enforced, following the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot. Passengers are advised to check in liquids, gels and aerosols above 100 ml, failing which they will be confiscated by airport security and have to post it back to oneself. Anything that is in the security areas is allowed. In general practice, unacceptable materials are also confiscated and have to post it back to yourself (excluding nail clippers, nail files, umbrellas and racquets).
Prior to the 1970s American airports had minimal security arrangements to prevent aircraft hijackings. Measures were introduced starting in the late 1960s after several high-profile hijackings.
Sky marshals were introduced in 1970, but there were insufficient numbers to protect every flight and hijackings continued to take place. On November 10, 1972 a trio of hijackers threatened to fly Southern Airways Flight 49 into a nuclear reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. As a direct response to this incident, the Federal Aviation Administration required that all airlines begin screening passengers and their carry-on baggage by January 5, 1973. This screening was generally contracted to private security companies. Private companies would bid on these contracts. The airline that had operational control of the departure concourse controlled by a given checkpoint would hold that contract. Although an airline would control the operation of a checkpoint, oversight authority was held by the FAA. C.F.R. Title 14 restrictions did not permit a relevant airport authority to exercise any oversight over checkpoint operations.
The September 11 attacks prompted even tougher regulations, such as limiting the number of and types of items passengers could carry on board aircraft and requiring increased screening for passengers who fail to present a government issued photo ID.
The Aviation and Transportation Security Act generally required that by November 19, 2002 all passenger screening must be conducted by Federal employees. As a result, passenger and baggage screening is now provided by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), part of the Department of Homeland Security. Provisions to improve the technology for detecting explosives were included in the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Often, security at category X airports, the U.S. largest and busiest as measured by volume of passenger traffic, are provided by private contractors. Because of the high volume of passenger traffic, category X airports are considered vulnerable targets for terrorism.
Noticing the demand for new technology in airport security, General Electric (GE) started to develop the Secure Registered Traveler System. The new system would use newly developed technology such as automated carry-on scanning, automatic biological pathogen detection, millimeter-wave full body scanning and a quadrupole resonance carpet that would detect threats in shoes without having to take them off. The SRT program also works with smartcard technology along with fingerprint technology to help verify passengers. The fingerprint scanner also detects for explosive material traces on the person's fingers.
With the increase in security screening, some airports saw long queues for security checks. To alleviate this, airports created Premium lines for passengers traveling in First or Business Class, or those who were elite members of a particular airline's Frequent Flyer program.
The "screening passengers by observation techniques" (SPOT) program is operating at some U.S. airports.
On February 27, 2006, at the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, in an airliner cargo area (accessible only to authorized personnel), threatening graffiti was found.
On March 6, 2006 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, an elderly man drove his car onto the runway through two security gates. He made it to an active runway where an Air France aircraft was preparing to land. The man drove around for approximately 23 minutes before being stopped. On the same day a man made it on to the runway by running through a secure gate while it was being opened at Midway International Airport in Chicago. The man made it through one of the three perimeter entrances that did not have a camera, resulting in four different runways being closed down. This incident led to 222 aviation security officers being retrained and a redesign of all perimeter gates.
On March 11, 2006, after four years of continuous security breaches and staffing problems news reports indicated that federal officials removed the head of security at Newark Liberty International Airport.
A biometric passport
, also known as an e-passport
or a digital passport
, is a combined paper and electronic passport that contains biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of travellers. 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 center page, of the passport. Document and chip characteristics are documented in the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Doc 9303. 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.
The currently standardized 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. 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 (e.g. in the Netherlands, Albania and Brazil) are fully ICAO9303 compliant biometric travel documents. However others, such as the USA passport card, are not.
Biometric passports are equipped with protection mechanisms to avoid and/or detect attacks:
Since the introduction of biometric passports several attacks are presented and demonstrated:
Privacy proponents in many countries question and protest the lack of information about exactly what the passports' chip will contain, and whether they impact civil liberties. The main problem they point out is that data on the passports can be transferred with wireless RFID technology, which can become a major vulnerability. Although this could allow ID-check computers to obtain a person's information without a physical connection, it may also allow anyone with the necessary equipment to perform the same task. If the personal information and passport numbers on the chip are not encrypted, the information might wind up in the wrong hands.
On 15 December 2006, the BBC published an article on the British ePassport, citing the above stories and adding that:
and adding that the Future of Identity in the Information Society (FIDIS) network's research team (a body of IT security experts funded by the European Union) has "also come out against the ePassport scheme... [stating that] European governments have forced a document on its citizens that dramatically decreases security and increases the risk of identity theft."
Most security measures are designed against untrusted citizens (the "provers"), but the scientific security community recently also addressed the threats from untrustworthy verifiers, such as corrupt governmental organizations, or nations using poorly implemented, unsecure electronic systems. New cryptographic solutions such as private biometrics are being proposed to mitigate threats of mass theft of identity. These are under scientific study, but not yet implemented in biometric passports.
European passports planned to have digital imaging and fingerprint scan biometrics placed on the RFID chip. This combination of the biometrics aims to create an unrivaled level of security and protection against fraudulent identification papers. Technical specifications for the new passports has been established by the European Commission. The specifications are binding for the Schengen agreement parties, i.e. the EU countries, except Ireland and UK, and three of the four European Free Trade Association countries – Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. These countries are obliged to implement machine readable facial images in the passports by 28 August 2006, and fingerprints by 29 June 2009.]
[ The European Data Protection Supervisor has stated that the current legal framework fails to "address all the possible and relevant issues triggered by the inherent imperfections of biometric systems". Currently, the British biometric passport only uses a digital image and not fingerprinting, however this is being considered by HM Passport Office. The German passports printed after 1 November 2007 contain two fingerprints, one from each hand, in addition to a digital photograph. The Romanian passports will also contain two fingerprints, one from each hand. The Netherlands also takes fingerprints and is the only EU member that plans to store these fingerprints centrally. According to EU requirements, only nations that are signatories to the Schengen Acquis are required to add fingerprint biometrics. In these EU nations, the price of the passport will be:
The Albanian biometric passport is available since May 2009, costs 6000 Lekë, (€50) and is valid for 10 years. The microchip contains ten fingerprints, the photo and all the data written on the passport.
On 15 June 2012, the government announced the availability of a new biometric passport at a cost of 400 Pesos, valid for 10 years
In July 2012 Armenia introduced two new identity documents to replace ordinary passports of Armenian citizens. One of the documents – ID card with electronic signature, is used locally within the country, and the biometric passport with an electronic chip is used for traveling abroad. Electronic chip of biometric passport contains digital images of fingerprints and photo of passport holder. The passport will be valid for 10 years.
The Australian biometric passport was introduced in October 2005. The microchip contains the same personal information that is on the color photo page of the ePassport, including a digitized photograph. A standard (35-Visa Pages) adult passport (>18 years) is A$226 valid for 10 years; for children, the fee is A$113 valid for 5 years. A Frequent traveler (67-Visa Pages) adult passport (>18 years) is A$340 valid for 10 years; for children, the fee is A$170 valid for 5 years. Airport security has been upgraded to allow Australian ePassport bearers to clear immigration controls more rapidly, and facial recognition technology has been installed at immigration gates.
Azerbaijan will introduce Biometric passports after 2012. The passports will include information about the passport holder's facial features, as well as his finger and palm prints. Each passport will also include a personal identification number. The program covers the development of the appropriate legislative framework and information systems to ensure information security.
Available since 15 October 2009 and costing 40 KM (€ 20.51). Valid for 5 years. Produced by Bundesdruckerei. On 1 June 2010 Bosnia and Herzegovina issued its first EAC passport.
Brazil started issuing ICAO compliant passports in December 2006. However just in December 2010 it began to issue passports with microchips, first in the capital Brasília and Goiás state. Since the end of January 2011 this last is available to be issued all over Brazil. It is valid for 5 years for adults and costs R$ 156.07 (approximately €65)
The Bruneian biometric passport was introduced on 17 February 2007. It was produced by German printer Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) following the Visa Waiver Program's requirements. The Bruneian ePassport has the same functions as the other biometric passports.
Only the ePassport (Canadian Biometric Passport) is available to Canadians since 1 July 2013.
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.
In the Dominican Republic, biometric passports began to be issued in May 2004. However the Dominican biometric passports do not carry the "chip inside" symbol
. In January 2010, the cost of the passport was 1,250 DOP, about 35–40 USD at that date.
The Egyptian Government has, from 5 February 2007, introduced the electronic Passport (e-Passport) and electronic Document of Identity for Visa Purposes (e-Doc/I) which are compliant with the standard of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Digital data including holder's personal data and facial image will be contained in the contactless chip embedded in the back cover of e-Passport and e-Doc/I.
Available since 1 March 2010 and costing GH¢ 50.00–100.00 for adults and children. The passports contain several other technological characteristics other than biometric technology. However the Ghanaian biometric passports do not carry the "chip inside" symbol (
), similar to the Pakistani passport, which is mandatory for ICAO-standard electronic passports.
In 2006, the Immigration Department announced that Unihub Limited (a PCCW subsidiary company heading a consortium of suppliers, including Keycorp) had won the tender to provide the technology to produce biometric passports
. In February 2007, the first ePassport was introduced. The cover of the new biometric passport
remains essentially the same as that of previous versions, with the addition of the "electronic passport" logo at the bottom. However, the design of the inner pages has changed substantially. The design conforms with the document design recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The new ePassport featured in the 2008 Stockholm Challenge Event and was a finalist for the Stockholm Challenge Award in the Public Administration categeory. The Hong Kong SAR ePassport design was praised on account of the "multiple state-of-the-art technologies [which] are seamlessly integrated in the sophisticated Electronic Passport System (e-Passport System)".
Available since 23 May 2006 and costing ISK 5100 (ISK 1900 for under 18 and over 67).
India has recently initiated first phase deployment of Biometric e-Passport for Diplomatic Passport holders in India and abroad. The new passports have been designed indigenously by the Central Passport Organization, the India Security Press, Nashik and IIT Kanpur. The passport contains a security chip with personal data and digital images. Initially, the new passports will have a 64KB chip with a photograph of passport holder and subsequently include the holder's fingerprint(s). The biometric passport has been tested with passport readers abroad and is noted to have a 4 second response time – less than that of a US Passport (10 seconds). The passport need not be carried in a metal jacket for security reasons as it first needs to be passed through a reader, after which generates access keys to unlock the chip data for reader access.
India has also given out a contract to TCS for issuing e-passports through passport seva kendra. India plans to open 77 such centers across the country to issue these passports.
On 25 June 2008 Indian Passport Authority issued first e-passport to the President of India, Pratibha Patil. The e-passport is under the first phase of deployment and will be initially restricted to diplomatic passport holders. It is expected to be made available to ordinary citizens from 2013 onwards.
Indonesia started issuing e-Passports on 26 January 2011, though the e-passport is not a mandatory until 2015. The passport costs Rp655,000(US$77) for the 48-page valid for 5 years, and Rp405,000 (US$48) for the 24-page passport valid for 5 years.
Iran started issuing diplomatic and service biometric passports in July 2007. Ordinary biometric passports began to be issued on 20 February 2011. The cost of a new passport is $50 USD (600,000IRR) for adults and $25 for minors.
In April 2009, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior – the general passports directorate revealed new electronic system to issue the new A-series passports in contract with the German SAFE ID Solutions, the new series is a biometric passport available to the public which would cost 25,000 Iraqi dinars or about $20 USD.
The Japanese government started issuing biometric passports in March 2006. With this, Japan has met requirements under the US Visa Waiver Program which calls for countries to roll out their biometric passports before 26 October 2006.
In May 2011, the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Kosovo announced that biometric passports will be issued in the summer of 2011 after the winning firm is chosen and awarded the production of the passports. Kosovo full biometric passport
Applications for electronic passports and electronic travel permits have been started and processed since 1 September 2009.
Available since 2 April 2007 and costing 1500 MKD or c. €22.
Malaysia was the first country in the world to issue biometric passports in 1998, after a local company, IRIS Corporation, developed the technology. Malaysia is however not a member of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and its biometric passport does not conform to the same standards as the VWP biometric document because the Malaysian biometric passport was issued ahead of the VWP requirement. The difference lies in the storage of fingerprint template instead of fingerprint image in the chip, the rest of the technologies are the same. Also the biometric passport was designed to be read only if the receiving country has the authorization from the Malaysian Immigration Department.]
[ Malaysia started issuing ICAO compliant passports from February 2010.
Since 2005 the SMOM diplomatic and service passports include biometric features and are compliant with ICAO standards.
The Moldovan biometric passport is available from 1 January 2008. The new Moldovan biometric passport costs approximately 760 MDL (€45) and is obligatory from 1 January 2011. The passport of the Republic of Moldova with biometric data contains a chip which holds digital information, including the holder's signature, as well as the traditional information. It is valid for 7 years (for persons over 7) and 4 years (for persons less than 7) respectively. It was introduced as a request of European Union to safeguard the borders between the E.U. and Republic of Moldova.
The Montenegrin biometric passport was introduced in 2008. It costs approximately €40.
The Moroccan biometric passport was introduced in 2008. In December 2009, early limited trials have been extended, and the biometric passport is available from 25 September 2009 to all Moroccan citizens holders of an electronic identity card. It costs 300DH (approximately €27).
Introduced in November 2005, like Australia and the USA, New Zealand is using the facial biometric identifier. There are two identifying factors – the small symbol on the front cover indicating that an electronic chip has been embedded in the passport, and the polycarbonate leaf in the front (version 2009) of the book inside which the chip is located.
Nigeria is currently one of the few nations in Africa that issues biometric passports, and has done it since 2007.The harmonized ECOWAS Smart electronic passport issued by the Nigerian Immigrations Service is powered by biometric technology in tandem with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) specifications for international travels.
Travellers' data captured in the biometric passport can be accessed instantly and read by any security agent from any spot of the globe through an integrated network of systems configured and linked to a centrally-coordinated passport data bank managed by the Nigerian Immigrations Service.
The introduction of biometric passports to Norway began in 2005 and supplied by Setec, costing NOK 450 for adults, or c. €50, NOK 270 for children.
In 2007 the Norwegian government launched a ‘multi-modal’ biometric enrolment system supplied by Motorola. Motorola's new system enabled multiple public agencies to digitally capture and store fingerprints, 2D facial images and signatures for passports and visas.
The Norwegian biometrics company IDEX ASA has begun development of electronic ID cards (eID) with fingerprint security technology for use throughout the EU.
In 2004, Pakistan became among one of the first countries in the world to issue the biometric passports, which are according to the publisher compliant with ICAO standards and dubbed Multi-biometric e-Passports, however they do not carry the "chip inside" symbol (), which is mandatory for ICAO-standard electronic passports.
On 11 August 2009, the first biometric passport was released for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The new e-passport has various security features, including a hidden encoded image; an ultra-thin, holographic laminate; and a tamper-proof electronic microchip costing at around 950 pesos.
On 20 April 2008, Qatar started issuing biometric passports which are ICAO compliant. A Qatari passport costs QR100.
Russian biometric passport was introduced in 2006. As of 2010, it costs 2.500 rubles (approximately USD 90), use only printed data and photo (i.e. no optional fingerprint etc.), BAC-crypted. Biometric passport issued after 1 March 2010 is valid for 10 years. Russian biometric passports are currently issued only within Russia and in its consulates in Germany, Latvia and Norway. Other Russian consulates issue only non-biometric passports, which are valid for 5 years.
On 21 June 2006, Saudi Arabia started issuing biometric passports which are ICAO compliant. A Saudi Arabian passport costs SR150.
Available since 7 July 2008, and cost 3.600 RSD or approximately €32 (Aged 3 or less a Serbian passport is valid for 3 years, aged 3 to 14 it is valid for 5 years, otherwise passport remain valid for 10 years.)
The Immigation & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore introduced the Singapore biometric passport (BioPass) on 15 August 2006. With this, Singapore has met requirements under the US Visa Waiver Program which calls for countries to roll out their biometric passports before 26 October 2006.
The new "e-passport" of Somalia was introduced and approved by the nation's Transitional Federal Government on 10 October 2006. It costs $100 USD to apply for Somalis living inside of Somalia, and $150 USD for Somalis living abroad. Somalia is now the first country on the African continent to have introduced the "e-passport".
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of South Korea started issuing biometric passports to its citizens on 25 August 2008. The cost is fixed to 55,000 Won or 55 US Dollars, and the validity of ordinary passport is 10 years.
The Republic of South Sudan started issuing internationally recognized electronic passports in January 2012. The passports were officially launched by the President Salva Kiir Mayardit on 3 January 2012 in a ceremony in Juba. The new passport will be valid for five years.
The Republic of the Sudan started issuing electronic passports to citizens in May 2009. The new electronic passport will be issued in three categories. The citizen's passport (ordinary passport) will be issued to ordinary citizens and will contain 48 pages. Business men/women who need to travel often will have a commercial passport that will contain 64 pages. Smaller passports that contain 32 pages only will be issued to children. The microprocessor chip will contain the holder's information. Cost to obtain a new passport will be SDG 250 (approximately USD 100), 200 for students and 100 for kids. and the validity of the citizen's passport will be 5 years, and 7 years for the commercial passport.
The Swiss biometric passport has been available since 4 September 2006. Since 1 March 2010, all issued passports are biometric, containing a photograph and two fingerprints recorded electronically. The cost is fixed to CHF 140.00 adult CHF 60.00 for children (−18 years old).
Central Engraving and Printing Plant have printed passports for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for several decades. During this period, the passport has been redesigned many times. The current E-passport(or known as Biometric passport) with RFID technology facilitates the ROC passengers’ clearance worldwide. The E-passport is in compliance with the standards of International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO) and the binding and finishing of its production procedures are in conformance with Standard ISO 9001-2008. Available since 29 December 2008 and costing NT$1,600.
Biometric passports will be issued in Tajikistan from 1 February 2010. On 27 August 2009, Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs and German Muhlbauer signed a contract on purchase of blank biometric passports and appropriate equipment for Tajikistan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand introduced the first biometric passport for Diplomats and Government officials on 26 May 2005. From 1 June 2005, a limited quantity of 100 passports a day was issued for Thai citizens, however, on 1 August 2005 a full operational service was installed and Thailand became the first country in Asia to issue an ICAO compliant biometric passport.
In August 2009, Togo became one of the first African countries to introduce the biometric passport. The price of the passport was then set at 30000 CFA Francs for the Togolese residing in Togo. For the Togolese residing abroad, the price varies.
Turkish passports which are compatible with European Union standards have been available since 1 June 2010. Colours of the new biometric passports have also be changed. Accordingly, regular passports; claret red, special passports; bottle green and diplomatic passports wrap black colours.
Most recently Turkish Minister of the State announced that the government is printing the new passports at government minting office since the private contractor failed to deliver.
The current cost of issuing a 10-year passport in Turkey is 387.80 TL.
Turkmenistan became the first country in ex-USSR, in mid-Asia region to issue an ICAO compliant biometric passport. Passport is available since 10 July 2008.
Issuence of Ukraine's biometric passports and identity cards is regulated by law that stipulates that biometric identity documents are to be introduced on 1 January 2013. However, in practice, Ukraine's passports and national identity cards are expected to be available in April 2013.
The UAE ministry of interior stated that it will start issuing emirati biometric passports at the end of year 2010.
The U.S. version of the biometric passport (sometimes referred to as an electronic passport) has descriptive data and a digitized passport photo on its contactless chips, and does not have fingerprint information placed onto the contactless chip. However, the chip is large enough (64 kilobytes) for inclusion of biometric identifiers. The U.S. Department of State now issues biometric passports only. Non-biometric passports are valid until their expiration dates.
Although a system able to perform a facial-recognition match between the bearer and his or her image stored on the contactless chip is desired]
[, it is unclear when such a system will be deployed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at its ports of entry.
A high level of security became a priority for the United States after the attacks of 11 September 2001. High security required cracking down on counterfeit passports. In October 2004, the production stages of this high-tech passport commenced as the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) issued awards to the top bidders of the program. The awards totaled to roughly $1,000,000 for startup, development, and testing. The driving force of the initiative is the U.S. Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 (also known as the "Border Security Act"), which states that such smartcard Identity cards will be able to replace visas. As for foreigners travelling to the U.S., if they wish to enter U.S. visa-free under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), they are now required to possess machine-readable passports that comply with international standards. Additionally, for travellers holding a valid passport issued on or after 26 October 2006, such a passport must be a biometric passport if used to enter the U.S. visa-free under the VWP.
In Uzbekistan, 23 June 2009 Islam Karimov issued a Presidential Decree "On measures to further improve the passport system in the Republic of Uzbekistan." On 29 December 2009 the President of Uzbekistan signed a decree to change the dates for a phased exchange of populations existing passport to the biometric passport. In accordance with this decree, biometric passports will be phased in, beginning with 1 January 2011. In the first phase, the biometric passport will be issued to employees of ministries, departments and agencies of the republic, individuals who travel abroad or outside the country, as well as citizens who receive a passport in connection with the achievement of a certain age or for other grounds provided by law. The second phase will be for the rest of the population who will be to able get new passports for the period from 2012 to 2015.
Issued after July 2007, Venezuela was the first Latin American country issuing passports including RFID chips along other major security improvements. The chip has photo and fingerprints data.
ICAO related information:
The Canadian passport is the passport issued to citizens of Canada. It enables the bearer to exit and re-enter Canada; 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 Passport Canada, a special branch of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and are valid for five or ten years, except that those of children under age three are valid for three years. As of July 2009, 56.2% of Canadians held a valid Canadian passport. Although held by individuals, all Canadian passports remain property of Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada (the Government of Canada), as stated on the inside front cover of the booklet.
Passport Canada has announced that electronic passports, or e-passports, will be issued to Canadian citizens starting from 1 July 2013. The use of e-passports will allow Canada to follow international standards and maintain the ease of international travel that Canadians currently enjoy. At the same time, Passport Canada will also start offering the option of a longer 10-year validity period.
The first Canadian passports were issued in 1862, following the outbreak of the American Civil War, when the United States demanded more secure identification from Canadians wishing to cross the border. They took the form of a Letter of Request from the Governor General. These documents remained in use until, in 1915, Canadian passports were first issued in the British format, a ten section single sheet folder.
The modern form of the Canadian passport came about in 1921. At that time, Canadians were British subjects, and Canada shared a common nationality code with the United Kingdom; thus, Canadian passports were issued to those British subjects resident in or connected to Canada. This arrangement ended in 1947, when the Canadian Citizenship Act was granted Royal Assent and the designation of Canadian citizenship was created. As of July the following year, Canadian passports were issued to Canadian citizens only, and by 1985 the first machine-readable passports were distributed, in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization standards.
In the 2008 federal budget, Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, announced that electronic passports would be introduced by 2011. A pilot project began in 2009, with e-passports being issued to special and diplomatic passport applicants. The e-passport roll-out was pushed back to July 1, 2013.
The issuance of passports falls under the Royal Prerogative, rather than an Act of Parliament; they are issued in the name of the reigning monarch, as expressed in the passport note. However, the authority to issue passports is granted to Passport Canada, a Special Operating Agency formerly under the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and now Citizenship and Immigration Canada, under the authority of the Canadian Passport Order, an Order in Council that specifies grounds for which Passport Canada can issue or renew a passport.
Applicants must complete the required forms, which include the necessity of two passport photos and affirmation from a surety. Rules regarding renewals of passports and the eligibility of guarantors were last updated 1 October 2007, whereafter applicants may renew the passport using a shorter application form if: they are resident in Canada when they apply; lived in Canada and were at least sixteen years of age at the time of their previous application; and are in possession of a Canadian passport that was issued under their current name after 31 January 2002, is valid for five years, and not damaged or reported lost or stolen. Further, a guarantor may be a Canadian who currently holds a valid, or no more than one year expired, five-year Canadian passport; has known the applicant for more than two years; is eighteen or more years old; and were sixteen years of age or older when they applied for their own passport. For citizens abroad, passport applications are forwarded back to a passport centre by the local embassies, high commissions or consulates.
Passport Canada may revoke a passport or refuse to issue or renew a passport on grounds set out in the Canadian Passport Order, including such grounds as failure to submit a complete application, misrepresentation in obtaining a passport, and criminality. However, whether a Canadian passport may be revoked or refused on the basis of national security concerns has been questioned. In July 2004, Abdurahman Khadr was denied a Canadian passport by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, on the explicit advice of her Foreign Affairs Minister, Bill Graham, who stated the decision was "in the interest of the national security of Canada and the protection of Canadian troops in Afghanistan." The government invoked royal prerogative in order to deny Khadr's passport, as national security was not at that time listed in the Canadian Passport Order as a ground for refusal, though, shortly thereafter, on 22 September 2004, section 10.1 was added to the Order, which allowed the Minister to revoke or refuse a passport due to national security concerns. Khadr sought judicial review of the minister's decision to refuse his passport, and on 8 June of the following year, the Federal Court ruled that the government did not have the power to refuse to issue Khadr's passport in the absence of specific authority set out in the Canadian Passport Order, but stated in obiter dicta that if the order were to be amended (as it had been after the fact), Khadr would likely not be able to challenge the revocation. In 2006, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, then Peter MacKay, again denied Khadr's application, this time invoking section 10.1 of the amended Canadian Passport Order Section 10.1 was later challenged in Federal Court by Fateh Kamel, whose passport had also been refused for national security reasons. On 13 March 2008, the Federal Court declared section 10.1 of the Passport Order to be unconstitutional and therefore invalid, though the court suspended its declaration of invalidity for six months in order to allow the government time to amend the order. The federal government launched an appeal at the Federal Court of Appeal and a ruling handed down on 29 January 2009 overturned the lower court decision in March 2008. The court unanimously agreed the denial of passport service on national grounds is in compliance with the Charter, citing the limitation clause as its main decision point. Kamel launched an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada but the court declined to hear his case and thus ended the legality challenge to the Canadian Passport Order.
Before 1947, there were two types of passports: those issued to people who were born British subjects and those issued to people naturalized as British subjects.
Today, there are five types of Canadian passports:
Regular passports are deep navy blue, with the Royal Arms of Canada emblazoned in the centre of the front cover. The words "PASSPORT•PASSEPORT" are inscribed below the coat of arms, and "CANADA" above. The bilingual cover is indicative of the textual portions of Canadian passports being printed in both English and French, Canada's two official languages. The standard passport contains 36 pages, with 29 available for entry/exit stamps and visas.
New security features, similar to those on banknotes, have been added with increasing frequency since 2001. Microprinting, holographic images, UV-visible imaging, watermarks and other details have been implemented, particularly on the photo page. As well, the photo is now digitally printed directly on the paper (in both standard and UV-reactive ink); previously, the actual photo had been laminated inside the document.
The new e-passport version will also display the international ePassport symbol on the front cover.
The information page ends with the Machine Readable Zone.
The passports contain a note from the issuing authority addressed to the authorities of all other states, identifying the bearer as a citizen of that state and requesting that they be allowed to pass and be treated according to international norms. The textual portions of Canadian passports is printed in both English and French, the official languages of Canada. The note inside of Canadian passports states:
Passport applicants may request, in writing, that Passport Canada not list the country of birth on their data page.
In response to the government of the People's Republic of China's (PRC) modification to the requirements for the issuance of Chinese visas to Canadian citizens born in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan the PRC will not issue visas to Canadian passport holders whose place of birth is inscribed as being Hong Kong HKG, Macau MAC or (city name) TWN. Accordingly, passports issued to Canadians born in Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan now only list the place of birth, without an accompanying three-letter country code, unless upon request.
Canadian citizens born in Jerusalem have their birthplace identified only by the city's name, with no national designation, due to the unresolved legal status of Jerusalem.
In September 2003, Le Devoir printed a piece calling on Passport Canada to give individual Canadians the choice of which official language appeared first in their passports, English or French. The Passport Office initially claimed that this was not allowed under international norms, but it was shown that Belgian passport applications asked Belgian citizens which of their country's three official languages (Dutch, French or German) should appear first in their passports.
In 2008, Passport Canada announced that it would be issuing more secure, electronic passports to Canadian travellers starting in 2012. The e-passport will have an electronic chip encoded with the bearer's name, gender, and date and place of birth and a digital portrait of their face.
On 7 April 2010, Passport Canada announced that in 2012, Canada will begin issuing electronic passports, or ePassports, to all its citizens. Passport Canada states that "the use of ePassports will allow Canada to follow international standards in the field of passport security to protect the nation's borders and maintain the ease of international travel that Canadians currently enjoy. At the same time, Passport Canada will start offering the option of a 10-year validity period as well as the current 5-year validity period."
Subsequently in September 2011, Passport Canada announced that the electronic passport will be ready by the end of 2012, however this was pushed back once again to 2013 when the organization found significant delay due to increased in passport application for revised entry policies to the United States in late 2000s and a lengthy consultation process was needed to survey public reactions to the new passport changes.
As of 1 July 2013 all new Canadian passports issued are ePassports .
All ePassports are issued with 36 pages as opposed to a choice of 24 pages or 48 pages before.
Previously, Canadians were able to enter the United States by presenting a birth certificate (or other proof of Canadian citizenship) along with a form of photo identification (such as a driver's licence or provincial health card). In many cases United States border agents would accept a verbal declaration of citizenship.
Under the United States Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, as of 23 January 2007, all Canadians entering the United States via air are required to present a valid passport or NEXUS card. As of 1 June 2009, all Canadian citizens (16 years or older) require a passport, NEXUS card or enhanced driver's license to enter the US via land or water. In addition, each holder of Canadian passport is entitled to 180 days or 6 months visa free stay in the United States.
Special passport issued for the purpose of attending the 1936 Vimy pilgrimage. One of more than 6000 issued.
Canadian passport (1993–2002).
Canadian passport (2003-2013)