Passport plays a very important role in easing our travel as without our passports we can’t even think of entering inside international borders. A passport is indispensable for a traveler who wants to travel around the world but have you ever wondered about your passport?
Passport relates to adventure, freedom, and new experiences for globetrotters. It gives you a green pass to enter a country and explore all the beautiful places around the world. Here we are going to share with you some of the amazing facts about passports. Basically, the main function of a passport is to identify where its holder comes from and where he went.
But, in this article we are going to bring to you some unusual and interesting facts about passports that you didn’t know about:
1. The word ‘Passport’ was first mentioned in the Bible
Passport has one of the oldest and earliest references in the Bible and has been around for a very long time. The passport is mentioned in The Book of Nehemiah, a tome of the Old Testament. In 450BC during the Persian Empire, King Artaxerxes I the sixth King of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia granted passage to Judea for his official, Nehemiah through a royal missive addressed “to the governors of the province beyond the river”. This laissez-passer that we know today is the passport.
2. Since the 13th century, Passports have been in use
Passports have been in use since the 13th century. It was introduced by King Henry V as he wanted to prove his nationality and identity easily when traveling to foreign lands. However, in the 13th century, the name ‘passport’ was not introduced.
3. The word “passport” originated back in the 15th century
The origin of the two French words ‘passer’ + ‘port’ dates from the 15th century meaning “to pass through a port”. It was also written as a compound word “passport” at that time. The name passport was used to authorize the movement of goods at first but from the middle of the 15th century, it was also used to refer to the movement of people. Though the sources can’t ascertain that the term “port” referred only to seaports or gates of fortified cities.
4. You need a new passport if you undergo face surgery or have a Face tattoo
You will definitely need a new passport if you get a face tattoo done or undergo face surgery. Even for the slightest change in your appearance, you will have to change your passport picture.
5. Wearing a uniform or covering your face or head in your passport photo is not allowed
Wearing any uniform, caps, hats, or sunglasses are not allowed while taking your passport photo. You even have to get photographed again if your hair is covering your face. Only pilots and flight attendants who are Commercial employees may get approval.
6. Always renew your passport six months before the expiry
Some countries require the passport to be valid for 90 days after entry. So, it’s better to have a safety margin and not take chances with your passport’s expiry date before a trip, as that’s the time required by some, you should guarantee the validity of six months.
7. The different passport colors have different meanings
Passports are usually defined in one of four colors – red, blue, green, and black. In India, including the United States, the color of the passport is blue which symbolizes New World. Burgundy is the color of European passports, whereas Green passports belong to the Islamic regions like the Middle East, Morocco, Pakistan, and the Maghreb. The rare color Black passport refers to the African countries and also New Zealand as black is their national color.
An interesting fact, the US passport is often referred to as the ‘blue book’, the UK passport is nicknamed the ‘red book’.
8. What is a World Passport?
A few countries around the world like Ecuador, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Tanzania, and Togo accept a world passport as a valid travel document. World Passport is issued by a DC-based nonprofit organization, the World Service Authority to educate about and promote “world citizenship”, “world law”, and world government.
9. Before World War I Photo ID was not mandatory
Photo ID was not always mandatory in a passport. After World War I due to certain precautionary measures the addition of a photo to identify the owner of a passport was given importance. It has been heard that a German spy entered Great Britain with a false American passport. So, after the Second World War, passport formalities were standardized in the international system.
10. The Queen of England doesn’t require a passport
Queen Elizabeth II does not have a passport. Since unlike others she is not a citizen and all British passports are issued in her name, Her Majesty, the “Queen”, she just has to say that she is the queen. However, the other members of the royal family still need a passport to travel abroad.
11. Not all passports hold the same value
Some people have the upper hand in traveling the world with more ease than others. The more power your passport holds, the more mobile you are, it gets easier to travel to foreign countries without a visa. The Singapore and Japanese passport are the two most powerful passports in the world, according to Henley Passport Index 2022, and they can travel to 192 countries without a visa. India has a visa-free score of 60 and is currently placed at 83rd position, in the most powerful passport report it has improved its ranks from the earlier 90th position.