A passport specifies nationality, but not necessarily citizenship or the place of residence of the passport holder. A passport holder is normally entitled to enter the country that issued the passport, though some people entitled to a passport may not be full citizens with right of abode. A passport is a document certifying identity and nationality; having the document does not of itself grant any rights, such as protection by the consulate of the issuing country, although it may indicate that the holder has such rights. Some passports attest to status as a diplomat or other official, entitled to rights and privileges such as immunity from arrest or prosecution, arising from international treaties.
Many countries normally allow entry to holders of passports of other countries, sometimes requiring a visa also to be held, but this is not an automatic right. Many other additional conditions, such as not being likely to become a public charge for financial or other reasons, and the holder not having been convicted of a crime, may be applicable. Where a country does not recognise another, or is in dispute with it, entry may be prohibited to holders of passports of the other party to the dispute, and sometimes to others who have, for example, visited the other country.
Some countries and international organisations issue travel documents which are not standard passports, but enable the holder to travel internationally to countries that recognise the documents. For example, stateless persons are not normally issued a national passport, but may be able to obtain a refugee travel document or the earlier "Nansen passport" which enables them to travel to countries which recognise them, and sometimes to return to the issuing country. A country may issue a passport to any person, including non-nationals.
Variety of Passport
â Passport (also called tourist passport or regular passport)-- The most common form of passport, issued to citizens and other nationals. Occasionally, children are registered within the parents' passport, making it equivalent to a family passport.
â Official passport (also called service passport or special passport)-- Issued to government employees for work-related travel, and their accompanying dependents.
â Diplomatic passport-- Issued to diplomats of a country and their accompanying dependants for official international travel and residence. Accredited diplomats of certain grades may be granted diplomatic immunity by a host country, but this is not automatically conferred by holding a diplomatic passport. Any diplomatic privileges apply in the country to which the diplomat is accredited; elsewhere diplomatic passport holders must adhere to the same regulations and travel procedures as are required of other nationals of their country.
â Emergency passport (also called temporary passport)-- Issued to persons whose passports were lost or stolen, without time to obtain a replacement. Laissez-passer are also used for this purpose.
â Collective passport-- Issued to defined groups for travel together to particular destinations, such as a group of school children on a school trip.
â Family passport-- Issued to an entire family. There is one passport holder, who may travel alone or with other family members included in the passport. A family member who is not the passport holder can not use the passport for travel without the passport holder.
Other types of travel documents
â Laissez-Passer-- Issued by national governments or international organizations (such as the U.N.) as emergency passports, travel on humanitarian grounds, or for official travel.
â Certificate of identity (also called Alien's passport, or informally, a Travel Document)-- Issued under certain circumstances, such as statelessness, to non-citizen residents. An example is the "Nansen passport" (pictured). Sometimes issued as internal passport to non-residents.
â Refugee travel document-- Issued to a refugee by the state in which she or he currently resides allowing them to travel outside that state and to return. Made necessary because refugees are unlikely to be able to obtain passports from their state of nationality.
â Permits. Many types of this exist around the world. Some, like the U.S. Re-entry Permit and Japan Re-entry Permit, allow residents of those countries who are unable to obtain a permit to travel outside the country and return. Others, like the Bangladesh Special Passport, the Two-way permit, and the Taibaozheng (Taiwan Compatriot Entry Permit), are used for travel to and from specific countries or locations, for example to travel between mainland China and Macau, or between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China.
â Chinese Travel Document-- Issued by the People's Republic of China to Chinese citizens in lieu of a passport.
â Hajj passport-- a special passport used only for a hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
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