Such passports are also often sold with several matching documents, including an international driver's license and similar supporting identity papers.
Camouflage passports are generally issued in names of countries that no longer exist or have changed their name. Others use the names of places or political subdivisions that exist within a real country, but that have never issued and cannot issue passports. Still others are issued in the names of wholly fictitious countries but that typically have a plausible or familiar ring to their names.
Nansen passports are often confused with camouflage passports, but are actually valid documents.
Camouflage and fantasy passports
While sometimes referred to as fantasy passports, camouflage passports differ from fantasy passports in several ways. Camouflage passports are sold by businesses who sell passports in the names of many non-countries, none of whom they claim to represent, while fantasy passports are issued by an entity that is issuing a passport in their own name. Lastly, camouflage passports are calculated to appear to have been issued by an actual country. The identity of that nation is immaterial as long as it is assumed to be real by a person to whom the passport is lawfully exhibited. Fantasy passports also are "official looking", but this is only to enhance the credibility of the issuing entity and bolster the holder’s own sense of membership therein. Of course, a camouflage passport might be used as a novelty, while a fantasy passport might be used as camouflage; there is, accordingly, some overlap.
Fantasy passports are usually issued both by and in the name of certain state-like or pseudo-state entities. These include putative micronations, non-territorial states or principalities, pseudo-states, and Indian Tribes.
The goal of a fantasy passport is sometimes to make a political statement or to denote membership in an organisation. For example, the Iroquois Confederacy has issued Iroquois passports for use by its lacrosse team when participating in international competitions.
Interest in fantasy passports can also be explained by their novelty appeal. Souvenir state passports, manufactured by United Passports, are a good example of fantasy passports. Although these passports do look very similar to actual US passports (in color and size) they are clearly marked and distributed as novelties, to avoid confusion.
- NSK (Neue Slovenische Kunst) passports issued by the non-territorial Slovenian art collective championed by the rock band Laibach
- World Service Authority (WSA) passports, which are apparently honored by at least a few countries. (See World Passport.)
- Conch Republic, a micronation declared as a tongue-in-cheek protest secession of the city of Key West, Florida, from the US in 1982.
- Principality of Sealand, another "micronation" for which fake passports had previously been issued but now revoked by the central government
- Newfoundland passports can be found at various tourist shops to serve as souvenirs of Newfoundland and Labrador. These mark the distinct culture of the most eastern Canadian province and oldest place of European colonization in North America. They are also reminders that Newfoundland was once an independent British Colony of Newfoundland and Dominion of Newfoundland before joining Canada in 1949.
- "Kingdom of Heaven" Passports are issued by the Embassy of Heaven Church in Stayton, Oregon.
- "Manchukuo" passports issued by the Manchukuo Temporary Government
- Republic of Taiwan passports have been issued by various groups supporting Taiwan independence. In 2001, a Los Angeles resident successfully obtained a Brazilian visa on such a passport, and used it to travel to Brazil. In news interviews, he stated that he faced no difficulties in entering the country, while in contrast a fellow traveller using a Republic of China passport was "heckled" by Brazilian officials, possibly because they confused it with a People's Republic of China passport and took the man to be mainland Chinese. Others claim to have successfully obtained Belizean residence permits on Republic of Taiwan passports.
On the other hand, both camouflage and fantasy passports are wholly different from second passports where a person, typically with dual citizenship, is issued two legitimate passports by different countries.
Legality of camouflage passports
Whether a simple possession of a camouflage passport is illegal in countries depends on the legal specifics of the individual country, but ownership of a camouflage document may conceivably put the bearer under increased scrutiny from law enforcement and intelligence agencies. After 9/11, the US restricted the sale of camouflage passports, but they are still legal to possess in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and all of the EU.
Some businesses, such as hotels, rental agencies, or internet cafes, request that patrons show or leave their passport with the business. A camouflage passport in theory could help protect a customer's privacy, however any business with legitimate concerns about fraud or theft (such as a rental car agency) would likely refuse to accept a fake passport.[original research?]
Media related to Camouflage passports at Wikimedia Commons
- "騎呢滿洲國護照 8美元一本 [Funny Manchukuo passports, US$8 each]", Apple Daily, 2007-07-03, retrieved 2011-09-26
- Li, Laura (April 2001). "Explaining the 'Alice King Phenomenon'". Taiwan Panorama. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
- Chu, Monique (2001-08-22). "Taiwanese man uses a 'Republic of Taiwan' passport to travel to Brazil". Taipei Times. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
- "台灣共和國護照獲多國簽證". Liberty Times. 2001-05-18. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
- "外交部針對所謂「台灣共和國」護照乙事，予以澄清". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 2001-05-18. Archived from the original on 2007-03-30. Retrieved 2013-01-13.