By: Katherine On: December 7, 2016 In: Uncategorized Comments: 7
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Passport types vary by more than country.

Everyone knows that in order to travel internationally, you need a passport. But did you know that there are different types of passports?

Passport types are designed for specific kinds of travelers and purposes. What type of passport is best for you?

Passport Types and Standardization

Even though certain types of passports have been around for hundreds of years, passports from different countries began to resemble each other around the time of World War I.

In 1920, the League of Nations held a conference on passports, which included guidelines for what should be included on passports and how they should be issued.

Further standardization of passports came from follow-up League of Nations conferences in 1926 and 1927, a United Nations travel conference in 1963, and rules set by the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1980.

Today, different countries have varying laws regarding what information is issued on passports and what languages they may be printed in. Depending on where you travel, you may need a passport translation.

Types of Passports

Many types of passports are available in almost every country around the world. The conditions, length of validity and number of pages often vary by country.

However, the following US passports can illustrate the most common forms of passports in most countries.

Ordinary Passport

Also called a “regular passport” or “tourist passport,” this is the most frequently issued type of passport. It is issued to citizens of a country and allows for international travel.

In the US, ordinary passports are usually valid for 10 years if the passport holder is 16 or older, and five years if the passport holder is 15 or younger.

Passport Card

This type of passport is an alternative to an ordinary passport. While it is not valid for international air travel, the card will allow US citizens to cross land and sea borders with Canada, Mexico and several countries in the Caribbean.

Many of these countries did not previously require any type of passport for a US citizen to visit; now, with stricter laws stemming from the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, an ordinary passport or passport card is required.

Passport cards are cheaper than regular passports and ideal for those who are not planning to travel far.

Official Passport

Official passports, also called “service passports,” are issued to government employees and their spouses and dependents.

This type of passport is for the purpose of work-related travel. They are generally valid for only five years from the date of issue.

Diplomatic Passport

This type of passport is issued to diplomats residing overseas or nationals who travel abroad for diplomatic work. Diplomatic passports can also be issued to eligible dependents of diplomats.

Diplomatic passports do not mean that a diplomat can travel visa-free. The correct diplomatic visas must be obtained. A diplomatic passport in and of itself does not guarantee diplomatic immunity.

Emergency Passport

Emergency passports are issued when your passport is stolen or lost and you do not have time to replace it.

This passport type is usually valid for about a year, and emergency passport holders are encouraged to replace them with regular passports at their earliest convenience.

Family Passport

Family passports are sometimes issued to a nuclear family — a father, mother and any children.

This type of passport allows the designated passport holder — usually one of the parents — to travel alone or with any of the family members. Only the designated passport holder may use the family passport for individual travel.

Collective Passport

This type of passport is issued for a group of people traveling together, such as a school group. Collective passports are rarely issued.

Refugee Travel Document

When a person seeks asylum from their home country, they are often unable to obtain a passport, and passports cannot be issued to non-citizens. For people seeking asylum, refugee travel documents work as a type of passport that will allow international travel.

Which type of passport best suits your needs? Do you have one or more of the above forms of identification for travel purposes? Tell us about it in the comments below.

 

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7 Comments
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Maria Cecilia M. Jalamanan
2 years ago

im a government employee , which passport should i secure . because im planning to go to canada next year

Yasmine
2 years ago

to my knowledge ordinary passport is fine

Blinky23
2 years ago

Official passport is what you need

Lawal Oyebisola
2 years ago

What kind of passport is best for one who wants to study and live in abroad?

rashmi
1 year ago

do husband and wife both should have “OFFICIAL PASSPORT” for travelling another countries??

Mercy Emilly
11 months ago

Which passport is better for me cause awant to travel in different countries just for some vacations and tour

mwesigwa maxson
11 months ago

i think official passports should only be given to the worker only not to his or her dependents