Passports of the European Union
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The European Union does not issue passports, but ordinary passports issued by its 28 member states share a common design. Common features include the burgundy coloured cover, the use of the words "European Union" in the country's official language, as well as common security features and biometrics.
Some EU member states also issue non-EU passports to certain people who have a nationality which does not render them citizens of the European Union (e.g., British Overseas Territories Citizens except those with a connection to Gibraltar, British Protected Persons and British Subjects).
With a valid passport, EU citizens are entitled to exercise the right of free movement in the European Economic Area (European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) and Switzerland, without a visa.
When going through border controls to enter an EEA country, EU citizens possessing valid biometric passports are sometimes able to use automated gates instead of immigration counters. For example, when entering the United Kingdom, at major airports, adult holders of EU biometric passports can use ePassport gates, whilst all other EU citizens (such as those using a national identity card or a non-biometric passport) and non-EEA citizens must use an immigration counter. Anyone travelling with children must also use an immigration counter.
As an alternative to holding a passport, EU citizens can also use a valid national identity card to exercise their right of free movement within the EEA and Switzerland without a visa.. Strictly speaking, it is not necessary for an EU citizen to possess a valid passport or national identity card to exercise their right of free movement. In theory, if an EU citizen can prove his/her nationality by any other means (e.g. by presenting an expired passport or national identity card, or a citizenship certificate), he/she must be permitted to enter and reside in the EEA and Switzerland without a visa. An EU citizen who is unable to demonstrate his/her nationality satisfactorily must nonetheless be given 'every reasonable opportunity' to obtain the necessary documents or to have them delivered within a reasonable period of time.
Common design features
Since the 1980s, European Union member states have started to harmonise the following aspects of the designs of their ordinary passports (but not other types of passports, such as diplomatic, service and emergency passports):
- Paper size B7 (ISO/IEC 7810 ID-3, 88 mm × 125 mm)
- 32 pages (passports with more pages can be issued to frequent travellers)
- Colour of cover: burgundy red
Information on the cover, in this order, in the language(s) of the issuing state:
- The words "EUROPEAN UNION" (before 1997: "EUROPEAN COMMUNITY")
- Name of the issuing state (similar typeface as "EUROPEAN UNION")
- Emblem of the state
- The word "PASSPORT"
- The Biometric Passport symbol
Information on the first page, in one or more of the languages of the European Union:
- The words "EUROPEAN UNION"
- Name of the issuing state (similar typeface to that of "European Union")
- The word "PASSPORT"
- Serial number (may also be repeated on the other pages)
Information on the (possibly laminated) identification page, in the languages of the issuing state plus English and French, accompanied by numbers that refer to an index that lists the meaning of these fields in all official EU languages:
1. Surname 2. Forename(s) 3. Nationality 4. Date of birth 5. Sex 6. Place of birth 7. Date of issue 8. Date of expiry 9. Authority 10. Signature of holder
Optional information on the following page:
11. Residence 12. Height 13. Colour of eyes 14. Extension of the passport 15. Name at birth (if now using married name or have legally changed names)
- The following page is reserved for:
- Details concerning the spouse of the holder of the passport (where a family passport is issued)
- Details concerning children accompanying the holder (name, first name, date of birth, sex)
- Photographs of the faces of spouse and children
- The following page is reserved for use by the issuing authorities
- The following page carries the index that translates the field numbers into the official languages of the EU
- The remaining pages are reserved for visa
- The inside back cover is reserved for additional information or recommendations by the issuing state in its own official language(s)
Overview of passports issued by 28 Member States
|Member state||Passport cover||Biodata page||Cost||Validity||Issuing authority||Latest version|
||16 June 2006|
||1 February 2008|
Ministry of Interior Affairs
|29 March 2010|
||3 August 2015|
||13 December 2010|
||1 September 2006|
||1 January 2012|
||1 June 2014|
||21 August 2012|
||21 August 2012|
||12 April 2006|
||Municipal registration office||11 November 2007|
||National Passport Centre ("Διεύθυνση Διαβατηρίων/Αρχηγείο Ελληνικής Αστυνομίας")||28 August 2006|
Registration Office (Nyilvántartó Hivatal)
|1 March 2012|
||Consular and Passport Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs||3 October 2013|
||Minister of Foreign Affairs through||20 May 2010|
||29 January 2015|
||27 January 2011|
||Passport Office, Luxembourg||1 July 2011|
|Malta||29 September 2008|
||9 March 2014|
|Poland||Application made within Poland:
Application made through a Polish consulate:
In both cases:
||1 January 2006|
||25 May 2009|
||Ministry of Administration and Interior (General Directorate for Passports)||26 April 2006|
||15 January 2008|
||28 August 2006|
||2 January 2015|
||2 January 2012|
In the United Kingdom
Western European Passport Service: Paris Embassy
||5 October 2010|
||Civil Status and Registration Office, Gibraltar||6 September 2006|
- Visa requirements for the European Union citizens
- Citizenship of the European Union
- Passports of the European Economic Area
- National identity cards in the European Economic Area
- Visa policy in the European Union
- Schengen Area
- Public Register of Travel and Identity Documents Online
- False and Authentic Documents Online (FADO)
- Estonian alien's passport
- Non-citizens (Latvia)
- "Resolution of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States of the European Communities, meeting within the Council of 23 June 1981".
- "Council Regulation (EC) No 2252/2004 on standards for security features and biometrics in passports and travel documents issued by Member States".
- Non-European lookalike passports, UK Passport office[dead link]
- "UK Border Agency: Using e-passport gates". Ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk. 2014-03-05. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
- Article 6.3.2 of the Practical Handbook for Border Guards (C (2006) 5186)
- Judgement of the European Court of Justice of 17 February 2005, Case C 215/03, Salah Oulane vs. Minister voor Vreemdelingenzaken en Integratie
- UK Border Force Operations Manual: Processing British and EEA Passengers without a valid Passport or Travel Document[dead link]
- "Travel documents, website of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic". Mvcr.cz. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
- "Service prices 2014". Poliisi.fi. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
- "Passport". Poliisi.fi. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
- Department of Foreign Affairs. "Passport Fees - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Dfa.ie. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
- "Il Rilascio". Poliziadistato.it. Retrieved 2014-08-29.
- "Passaporto per i minori". Poliziadistato.it. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
- "Ministero degli Affari Esteri - Documenti di Viaggio - Passaporto". Esteri.it. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
- STATE FEES FOR ISSUANCE OF PASSPORT
- "Tarieven 2013". Bprbzk.nl. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
- "Paspoort en identiteitskaart voor Nederlanders in het buitenland". Denhaag.nl. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
- "Paspoort wordt 10 jaar geldig". Rijksoverheid.nl. 2012-09-28. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
- Izdaja potnega lista
- Izdaja potnega lista za otroka
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to European passports.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for EU citizens travelling within the EU.|
- EU Citizenship by Investing
- European Passports in PRADO (The Council of the European Union Public Register of Authentic Travel and Identity Documents Online)