Talk:United States passport

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Travel restrictions[edit]

The second sentence of 22 U.S.C. sec. 211a provides:

"Unless authorized by law, a passport may not be designated as restricted for travel to or for use in any country other than a country with which the United States is at war, where armed hostilities are in progress, or where there is imminent danger to the public health or the physical safety of United States travellers."

The State Department does not have authority to prohibit travel. The department has authority only to restrict use of a passport for travel, and only if a statutory condition exists. To my knowledge, no section 211a restriction is presently in effect.

There are other laws under which travel may be proscribed. Authority under a law other than section 211a is lodged in a government agency other than the State Department. E.g., the Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Treasury Department. Passportman (14/5/2008) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Passportman (talkcontribs) 05:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

US Nationals and not US Citizens[edit]

US passports are issued to all US Nationals, including residents of US Territories, and not just US Citizens. Hence the term American is misleading. The phrase "If a citizen does not have a passport (e.g., because it was stolen), and he can prove his United States nationality by another means (e.g., by providing information about himself), he will be entitled to consular assistance as a citizen or to enter the United States as a citizen, lack of a passport notwithstanding." is wrong. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:15, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Response: Every U.S. citizen is a U.S. national; not every U.S. national is a citizen. There are few non-citizen nationals.

Each person born in one of the 50 states or in the District of Columbia is a citizen by birth. Each person born in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands is a citizen by birth.

The only persons who are nationals but not citizens of the United States are American Samoans, and they have that status only if they were born in American Samoa, and only under certain conditions.

Objecting to the statement based on a handful of non-citizen nationals is a technicality. The statement is not at all misleading. The term "American" applies to all U.S. citizens, wherever they were born. Further, the term "American" was applied to residents of the 13 colonies. Nothing, not even a handful of non-citizen nationals, can change 3 centuries of usage.

Passportman (14/5/2008) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Passportman (talkcontribs) 06:01, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Response: Consular protection and assistance is extended to all US nationals and not just citizens. Hence if a national supposedly lost his / her passport, then the US mission abroard will issue him / her temp. travel document to return back to his/ her territory or United States. While all nationals may not be US citizens, they do enjoy same benefits and rights when it comes to consular services. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:24, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Not all U.S. Passports list Nationality as United States of America. It is possible to be a national of another nation and have a U.S. passport. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:01, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

@ in Wikipedia should be supported by citations to reliable sources. See the verifiability policy. Unfortunately the section you edited is lacking in citations. Could you tell us how you know that some US passports have something other than "United States of America" in the nationality field? Your source for this information should be cited in the article. Jc3s5h (talk) 15:55, 11 September 2015 (UTC)


The visa-free map is incorrect. Cuba does not require visas for U.S. citizens. On arrival you will receive a tourist card, but I don't remember right now how long it's valid for. They don't even stamp your passport unless you ask them to, because they know we are "not allowed" to go there.

I know for a fact that Egypt and Lebanon require visas for American citizens, but these are usually available at the airport and/or at certain border crossings, but for example if you enter Egypt from Israel without a visa you cannot visit Cairo, but you can remain for a limited number of days in the Sinai Peninsula. User:Mediterraneo

Question: what about terrorities in free association with the US (Marshall Islands, American Samoa) and territories such as Guam? Are there passports any different? User:Mediterraneo]

Citizens of U.S. territories (but not the Marshall Islands, see the next paragraph) receive regular U.S. passports. Residents of Puerto Rico (still technically a "territory" though it has special status as a commonwealth), the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands (formerly part of the Trust Territory, now a commonwealth like Puerto Rico) are full U.S. citizens; American Samoans are "nationals" of the U.S., a term found in the U.S. passport that today almost exclusively applies to them alone. Except for nationals (which are quietly acknowledged in the U.S. passport but are the same as full citizens for immigration purposes), there is only one kind of citizenship in the U.S., so there is no need for special passports for U.S. territories (unlike British Overseas Territories). Even the BOT passports are now different only in terms of endorsements and not having "European Union" on the cover or text in EU languages other than English or French (as BOT citizens are not EU citizens). Likewise, there is no mention of special restrictive endorsements in this article (unlike the one on UK passports which has all kinds of restrictions for BOT citizens), as all U.S. citizens and nationals have the same right to live and work in the U.S.; Puerto Ricans (especially in NYC) and American Samoans regularly exercise this right. Endorsements are only used here for technical reasons (such as to restrict duplicate passports issued for convenience).

The Compact of Free Association (COFA) lands of Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau (formerly the Trust Territory along with the Northern Marianas) are now independent nations and thus have their own passports; under the 2003 renewal of the Marshall Islands and Micronesia COFAs their citizens must have passports (but not visas) to enter the U.S., and it's likely that will be extended to Palau after its current COFA expires in 2009. 08:10, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

I think this page should include the green US passport which, I believe, was in celeberation of the US 200 year anniversary for the Constitution or the U.S. Consular Service depending on where you look. I am not sure how to cite this however.

China, like the People's Republic of China, is missing. I'm not good at editing but I think my visa was like $100 or Yuan, honestly I don't remember. But hopefully someone sees this and adds them. ~jasev01 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jasev01 (talkcontribs) 23:10, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Picture question...[edit]

Would a picture of an "official" (maroon color) passport be appreciated? — CJewell (talk to me) 08:04, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

I thought that all passports were changed to blue years ago to blend in with the tourist passports. If your maroon passport is a current one, a picture would be appreciated. While we're at it, there's also a diplomatic (black color) passport cover in the general passport article. 08:10, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Nope. See the picture I finally added in just now. — CJewell (talk to me) 01:43, 14 March 2007


Passports had green covers from 1941 until 1976, when the cover was changed to blue, as part of the U.S. bicentennial celebration.

Merger proposed[edit]

Passport#United_States should probably be moved here.--Jusjih 07:01, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Not totally. There should be some information on the Passport Article though.--Mtnerd 01:27, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
    • It looks fine now. I proposed merger due to excessive duplicates.--Jusjih 16:36, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Merge with passport card article?[edit]

No, they should be separate. The passport card would only be for crossing between the US and Canada, but the passport is the main travel document to all countries. OpieCA 20:07, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to disagree with you. Functionally, the passport card is simply a limited-use passport. I think it would serve readers better to have it as a section of this article, potentially with a redirect. --Tkynerd 20:27, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Merge. Passport card article as it is now is just a verbatim copy of a State Department press release. Agree with Tkynerd that the card is functionally just a scaled-down passport. Wl219 23:20, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I am against merging, and have just revised the entries. The passport card is a completely different international travel document from the passport. 23:22, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
In what way is the passport card "completely different" from the passport? Yes, one is a card and the other is a booklet, but they both serve the same purpose, and the fact that they take different forms doesn't, in my view, justify having separate articles on them. I think users are more likely to expect to find the passport card covered here than in a separate article, and any possible problems can always be handled with a couple of appropriate redirects, as I mentioned above. --Tkynerd 15:29, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Answer (1/2008): I added a paragraph, based on a State Department regulation, which distinguishes between U.S. passport booklets and U.S. passport cards. Passport booklets conform to ICAO recommendations, and passport cards do not. Therefore, passports booklets are passports, and passport cards are not. Passport booklets may be used for land, sea and air travel anywhere in the world. Passports cards may be used only for land and sea travel, and only between the U.S. and Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, and the U.S. and Caribbean countries. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:33, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

The unqualified statement that the passport card does not conform to ICAO standard is not true. The Dept. of State claims it has something to do with ICAO standard, but this arguemnt is unconvincing. I checked the statement and it is true that many other nations issue credit card sized IDs (like the US Passport Card) which can be used for international air travel.

In addition, the ICAO even issues its own guidelines concerning credit card identity documents (ICAO Document 9303, Part 3, Volume 1). The ICAO has nothing against the use and expansion of this format for use in international air travel.

Examples: Switzerland issues credit card sized IDs which can be used for international air travel to almost all other European nations, including the UK, Ireland (not part of Schengen), countries not in the EU (Norway, Iceland), and countries outside of Europe (Turkey, Egypt). There are many other examples (Germany, Estonia, Austria, etc.)

I would say that whether or not the "cards" are valid depends less on the ICAO and more upon whether the issuing government and the government of the country to be visited accept the document for purposes of verifying identity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:19, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Cuban Travel[edit]

Technically, the U.S. government does not prohibit travel to Cuba. The initial ruling during the trade embargo stated that travel was illegal, however a lawsuit shortly thereafter resulted in a ruling that, constitutionally, the U.S. government may not tell its citizens where they may (or may not) travel. Travel there is effectively banned due the government use of the "Trading with the Enemy Act" of 1917 (Treasury Department jurisdiction). It is illegal for persons under U.S. control (citizens, resident, et. al.) to conduct any monetary transactions with Cuba without a license.

Licenses are issued under several categories: “general” categories do not require specific permission in advance from the government and are issued to diplomats, full-time journalists, researchers, etc. Otherwise, one must apply for a “specific” license; this category includes religious groups, human rights organizations, projects directly benefiting the people of Cuba, or a specific event (athletic, education conference, etc.). The largest group traveling under license is Cuban-Americans, who are allowed to travel once a year to visit family for “humanitarian” reasons, although new proposals under the Bush Administration would change this to every three years.

Jaimelobo 20:29, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

American passports themselves are not invalidated for travel to Cuba. The restrictions are imposed by the Department of Treasury. See [1] for more info.--Jusjih 16:39, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Shouldn't some information about Cuba be added to the list? Even a "The Treasury Department says not to go there, you commie-loving bastard" line would be better than nothing. Lothar76 18:49, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

RFID Question[edit]

I just recieved my US passport.. Does anyone know where the RFID tag is located? i don't mean to remove it or anything, I'm just curious where they found a spot for it. --Armacham 20:37, 29 July 2006

-- Does it have the biometric symbol on the front cover?(, it is most likely located in the back cover. Biometric Passports will be issued to normal (Non Diplomatic/Official) passport holders in the late summer 2006.

3 month stay limitations[edit]

i see that there is a 3 month stay maximum for france for u.s. citizens, but does that mean an american can go to belgium for the weekend and go back to france for another 3 months, or does that mean the person can only be there 3 months out of a year?

Generally the 3-month/90-day limitation for Schengen countries is an overall limit for remaining within the Schengen treaty area. Since France and Belgium are both Schengen countries, not only would your jaunt to Belgium not restart your 3-month period, it would also count as part of the three months that you're allowed to remain in the Schengen area. I'm not sure, though, what rules apply if you leave the Schengen area but remain within the EU (e.g., if you go to London for the weekend). --Tkynerd 02:04, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm thinking it would depend upon weather upon your return to Schengen area, they stamp your passport again or not. If not, then there would be no proof you left Schengen and so the clock wouldn't be reset. Practically though, given how loose things seemed to be entering the Schengen area for Americans (2004), I think that if they didn't notice you had overstayed until you held out your passport for exit stamp leaving Schengen they would still let you leave without missing your flight. Jon 21:39, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Even if your passport is not stamped, your departure from the Schengen area and your return to it will be recorded in the Schengen computer systems. They Know Where You've Been. :-) --Tkynerd 01:54, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Ireland is not part of the Schengen area, and yet the links next to Ireland in the visa/visa-free list are to Schengen-related documents. As far as I know, the length of time that a US citizen (or any other non-EU person) may stay visa-free in Ireland is based on Irish law and regulation, not on anything to do with the Schengen area per se. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:03, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
You are right. I changed the link to refectly this. Btw. this also pertains to Cyprus & Bulgaria, and somewhat to Romania, although the latter use the same list as the Schengen countries. Passportguy (talk) 06:36, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

visa free for US passport holder[edit]

The information of visa-free for US passport holders should not add over here in this topic. It is not quite relevant indeed.

It is quite relevant. I have reverted your edit. Please do not remove this information again without providing a better argument here on the talk page as to why you think it is not relevant. It's my understanding that there are somewhere around 190 countries in the world; I just counted 134 on this page that grant US passport holders visa-free entry. The ones that don't include significant nations such as most countries of the former Soviet Union, the PRC, and India. --Tkynerd 15:29, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
the topic of visa free given for US passport holders should be recorded in a new/subtopic of passport. It shouldn't be added over here. 21:06, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
(1) That's not an argument; it's just a statement. (2) If you really think that, then create the new article (I don't know what you mean by "subtopic"; this info is already under its own header in this article) rather than just deleting the information from this one. I'm reverting your edit again because it is destructive. --Tkynerd 21:28, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
passport is passport, visa is visa. For visa matter, one should write it down in a new topic to discuss. It is not destructive, but I sugggest that you should write down in a new topic to discuss. 21:30, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Again: If YOU think this information belongs in a new article, then YOU need to CREATE that article (and link to it from this one) rather than simply deleting the information from this one. And replacing this detailed information with a useless statement about "rogue nations," as you did recently, will not do. --Tkynerd 21:32, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't believe what you said about visa regulations for our superior American citizens. Inferior Russian people need American. Russian women don't want to have Russian husbands but American. Just go and ask Russian women if you don't know. What American people need are only money to pay with application forms in Russian embassies to get visas. Same case applies in certain inferior nations like China. 22:00, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
[2] and [3] show that it is not simply a matter of "going to the embassy" for an American citizen to obtain a Russian visa (I refer to the discussion on my talk page). In any case, this discussion is irrelevant to the issue of whether the information about visa-free entry to other countries for US passport holders belongs on this page. You've presented no sensible arguments for removing the information. Until you can do so, please leave the information where it is. --Tkynerd 22:34, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
On the countries that don't have a number of days or months following, are they allowing US citizens to stay as long as they want without a visa or do we simply not know what the limit is for vista-less stays? Jon 21:28, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I don't claim to know for sure, but my educated guess would be that those countries mainly fall into two categories: (1) we don't know how long a stay they permit for US citizens without visas; (2) they require US citizens to obtain visas before visiting. To the best of my knowledge, there are no countries that allow nationals of ANY other country to enter and remain indefinitely. (Possible exceptions: the Commonwealth of Nations and the Nordic Passport Union.) --Tkynerd 22:38, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Definately not all of the Commonwealth; India & Pakinstan are both part of it but those countries don't get along. The UK passport page though says the UK citizens have unlimited travel to the rest of the EU. The Indian passport page says that there is "free movement of people" between India & Nepal. Jon 19:16, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

HIGH ARRIVAL FEES IMPOSED ON US CITIZENS IN BOLIVA AND CHILE (ARGENTINA WILL FOLLOW IN JANUARY 2009) Can Chile, Boliva and as of late Argentina really be considered visa free? These South American countries impose a hefty fee on US citizens entering their country. While the do not have to apply in advance, these large fees (over US$ 130) do impose a restriction on travel freedom. I think that any fee over, say $20 or so, should be regarded as a limitation on the freedom of travel and these high fees should be noted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:25, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Argentina is no longer visa-free for United States citizens. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Credit passport holder for picture?[edit]

An anon has just changed the caption on the photograph of the non-electronic passport in this article to include the passport holder's name. This was ostensibly done to "give credit where credit is due," but my feeling is that the passport holder's identity is not pertinent to the article and that this edit draws undue attention to the passport holder, who probably did not intend to achieve a small measure of fame by letting Wikipedia use this picture. Thoughts? --Tkynerd 16:05, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Russell Steven Boltz posted the image of his passport and it has his name clearly written on it. Shouldn't the picture be deleted too? I mean to protect his privacy? Or should we interpret it as an attempt to inject his irrelevant personal data into this article. Either way, it should be deleted, don't you think?
The thumbnail shown in the article does not clearly show his name, and there's no need for the picture caption in the article to call attention to it. --Tkynerd 12:34, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
The thumbnail shown in the article does not clearly show anything except the face and signature Russell Steven Boltz and the characters “USA.” Thumbnails are just placeholder’s for the full image—and the caption usually describes what one will see in the full image. (It was posted to show the passport note.) In any case, do you agree the image ought to be deleted? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:17, 29 January 2007 (UTC).
Well, not necessarily. I'd say most readers (as opposed to editors) don't click on the pictures anyway, and since (I'm going to disagree with you here) neither the signature nor the printed text in the thumbnail clearly shows the guy's name, I don't think there's any need to include it in the caption. That's what I'm saying. (His identity isn't relevant to the use of the picture in the article, which is another good reason it shouldn't be included in the caption. If this were an article about him it would be different, but it isn't.) --Tkynerd 02:02, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Travel to US territories[edit]

Who had the idea to list Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, America Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands as places where US passport holders can travel without visas??? These are overseas territories of the United States. US passports aren't even required to travel to these places. --Caleiva 22:46, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, it may seem silly to list those areas as places US passport holders can travel to without visas, but most of the territories (except Puerto Rico) have the odd situation of not requiring passports for Americans to enter them, but passports are sometimes required to return from them. This is because even though they are US territories, they are separate customs areas from the US itself (in fact the US has a US or Federal Customs Area comprised of the 50 States, D.C. and Puerto Rico only). 21:56, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
No, you do not needed a passport to return from any territory of the U.S.-Defectu tui omnis iam = your failure is always present 02:53, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Secretary of State Gender?[edit]

Is the little section that informs readers that the French and Spanish messages in the US passport refers to Condoleezza Rice as a man really necessary? For example, Madeleine Albright was the Secretary of State for the second term of Clinton's presidency and as far as I know the translation was the same. Furthermore, at least in French, official titles, even when they are held by women, are still referred to in the masculine (at least in France, in Québécois French they usually make the gender differentiation) I just don't see the point of this inclusion in the article. I'm not going to remove it but I would be for doing so, or at least providing some more clarification because it seems kind of juvenile. Reflexsilver86 (talk) 00:15, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

UPDATE- Having been contacted by someone who claims to have made the comment asking me if I went ahead and edited this section, I decided to check back, as I haven't edited anything for the US Passport page. Someone had written an argument back to the gender issue, which obviously didn't belong in the article itself. I deleted both the comment and the entire paragraph, as I personally feel that it doesn't contribute to the quality of this article. If the person wishes to place the section back, I would recommend he do so by creating a separate section at the end, as information regarding the gender used in the signature page French and Spanish translations seems a bit superfluous. Reflexsilver86 08:52, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I found this information helpful and informative. Most European languages have inflected gender and it would seem very odd to use the masculine form to refer to a women Secretary of State. Kind of like calling a male service worker a "waitress" or Brad Pitt and "actress". I think it is a curiosity and should be included. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:24, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Example of a US passport[edit]

I can provide a photo of my own passport without censoring anything, it would be better. (talk) 07:01, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

wouldn't it make more sense to separate Americas into North America / Central America / South America?[edit]

as per typical U.S. approach to the continents? <EOM> --M a s (talk) 13:44, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you very much someone really thinks in this planet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

State-issued passports[edit]

Does anyone have any info on American passports issued by the state goverments? I keep comming across vague comments in cyberspace about how they used to but stopped, allegedly in 1968 or 1969 by order of Richard Nixon. But I can't find anything solid on the subject. Can anybody confirm or deny that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:22, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Answer: States issued passports in the late 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. State passports were not recognised by foreign governments, and created embarrassment for the State Department. To combat State passports, the Congress enacted in 1856 that only the State Department may issue U.S. passports. A handful of state passports were issued since 1856, but those were issuances were isolated events of the 19th-century, easily stopped. The reference to Pres. Nixon is irrelevant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:24, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

How to rewrite the lead...[edit]

Two things:

1. The Manual of Style states that the article title should be the subject of the first sentence of the article - and while the MoS is not mandatory, the portions about the lead seem to be followed by most articles of any length that I see, and I feel that we should do the same.

2. We have the Passport page that we can link to for describing the "general stuff", so having the current first sentence "Passports are issued by national governments to facilitate international travel." just does not feel right for me.

I'd like to have the article start with a sentence that says: A '''United States [[passport]]''' ... (and yes, you can have links within your "article title" in the lead, see British anti-invasion preparations of World War II, which got selected as a featured article a few days ago.)

but what to say to replace the "..."?

CJewell (talk to me) 15:17, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Reply by Passportman (18/1/2008):

1. (a) The 5 intro paras have 2 main points -- passports generally and U.S. passports. The 2nd and 3rd paras discuss U.S. passports and contrast them with U.S. passport cards. The 4th para talks about passports generally ("Whichever the country of issuance ..."). The 5th para. applies the info in the 4th para to U.S. passports. Thus, "Passports are issued by national governments . . ." in the first para ties in with the 4th-para discussion of passport issuance by countries other than the U.S. It follows that the first para refers properly to both passports generally (first sentence) and to U.S. passports (second sentence). (b) The tie-in between the two main points is thematic. There's no need for a formal link. That appears at the bottom of the article, which directs readers to "Nansen passports" and "Paspsorts".

2. (a) I don't know why, in the 1st para., "U.S. passport" should be in bold. That phrase, in bold, appears in the header just above the first para. Repetition of the phrase in bold doesn't convey new information to a reader. (b) The phrase in the first para. actually is "U.S. passports". The "s" of passports is not bold. Was that intentional?

3. In the section titled "Biometric passports", someone wrote "citation needed" after the statement that an open passport invites unwanted reading of a data in the RFID chip. I wrote to Bruce Schneier, an expert on RFID chips. He replied that, by its nature, the passport shield protects only when a passport cover is closed, because only then is the shield in place. No shield = no protection. He likened the shield to a waterproof bag. If the bag is in place, it protects. If not, it doesn't protect. According to Mr. Schneier, the proposition is "obvious", and no citation is possible. Should the "citation needed" tag be removed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:44, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Re: "Biometric passport" section: I added "citation needed" because the statements made by "privacy advocates" are not so "obvious", and in fact I would argue inaccurate and misleading. (please see guidelines here [[4]].) I am restoring the "citation needed" tag. If you have a source, please link to it, and don't ask us to take the word of someone we've never heard of. It sounds like your source may know about RFID chips in general, but isn't familiar with BAC. ... Also, I think it somewhat unfair that you prefaced my contribution with "According to the State Department", when citation link is already to the State Department's web site. If this is to be the practice, then all paragraphs in wikipedia should be prefaced with "According to ____". (And in case anyone's wondering, I do not work for or have any association with the State Department or any other govt agency. [citation needed] - hahah I tagged that myself)

Reply by Passportman (20/1/2008)

1. Bruce Schneier is known, but, for the moment, that's beside the point. I won't delete the "citation needed". I'll look for a supporting citation.

2. Not all paras in Wikipedia need "according to". Here, the issue is RFID-tagging of people. No side has the better of the science, privacy, public policy, and sociology issues. In this context, "according to" is warranted, because the phrase indicates advocacy rather than established fact. Note that I added "According to the State Department" at the beginning of the para which presents the State Department view, and "According to privacy advocates" at the beginning of the following para, which presents the opposing view. Use of a similar prefatory phrase balances the text. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:44, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Visa-free Travel[edit]

According to the map, Americans need a visa to travel to Brazil or Cuba for instance. This is however not mentioned in the table. I think it would make more sense if we would list all countries in the table, and by highlighting the fields in either red or green, it would be shown to what countries Americans may travel visa-free. Please discuss! Thank you, (Einstein00 (talk) 18:41, 21 January 2008 (UTC))

Reply by Passportman (22/1/2008)

Wholesale changing of the map or its table, or both, is a lot of work. It is realistic to limit your efforts to a country-specific change as information comes to your attention. Further, you should consider:

1. In the table, white, green and pink are used to indicate visa requirements. It is better to continue that colour scheme. 2. Footnotes in the table refer to sources of visa information. Usually, it's one footnote for each country. For some countries, there are two footnotes. There's no pattern to the footnote allocation. 3. The Delta visa information pages are frequently cited. Consular pages are also cited. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:18, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm not real concerned about changing the colors and all those details. The most important thing would be to have ALL COUNTRIES listed. This way the table could be used for any country-specific passport article, and it would also give us a better idea how extensive visa-free travel is. Thank you, (Einstein00 (talk) 03:43, 23 January 2008 (UTC))

Reply by Passportman (24/1/2008)

My view: Adding to the list is OK. Subtracting from it, such as by deleting dependencies and possessions, is not.

FYI: The number of countries listed by the State Department on its web site, on a page headed "Independent States of the World", is 193, including the United States. The UN list, on a page headed "Member States", has 192 countries. Note that Taiwan is a country, but not a UN member. Vatican City is also a country which is a not a UN member, though Vatican City has observer status in the UN General Assembly.

Details about the colour scheme in the listing may be important to other editors, so I'll publicise the information. The scheme seems to have been that white represents visa-free travel, green represents that an application for a visa is to be made on arrival, and red represents that a visa is to be obtained before travel. The colour scheme was not rigorously followed, so there are inconsistencies.

The map and its colour scheme has some inconsistencies. For example, the map shows visa-free travel to Australia. The list shows, accurately, that a visa, in the form of an electronic approval of intended travel, has to be obtained before travel is undertaken. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:36, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Actually the map's color scheme indicates that Australia is light green, not that you can travel visa-free there. There is no key indicating what the colors mean. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:52, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

UK Visa too Long[edit]

I traveled to the UK last summer and under the standard visa, the stamp said that I was allowed to remain for a period of 3 months. Has it changed recently? I can provide a scan of the stamp if necessary. Bragr (talk) 17:57, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Normally US citizens are allowed to stay up to 6 months (see e.g. [5]). However, sometimes the time given may be shorter than that, depending on various circumstances. Passportguy (talk) 20:19, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

I got a 6 month stamp 4 years ago, and a 3 month stamp last month. Did something changed here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:49, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Article Split?[edit]

This article looks far far too long, From "Visa-free entry or visa on arrival" downwards really should be in it's own article if it's to have this level of detail, if it were short it wouldn't be an issue but more than half the article is about something only tangentially related to the United States passport itself.--Sully (talk) 18:54, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Agree. Otherwise, the article can be shortened by (1) deleting the map, which is seriously out of date, and (2) listing only those countries which offer visa-free entries or visas on arrival. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:41, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

a) The map is regularly updated.
b) Indded, "only those countries which offer visa-free entries or visas on arrival" aer listed, so I don't quite understand your point,
c) All other passport pages have similar information on them. Splitting this into a separate article would make that article itself rather pointless as it would only consist of a stand-alone list. Passportguy (talk) 16:00, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Passportguy that the article should not be split. However: Is the map up to date? Australia is shown on the map as offering a visa on arrival, though Australia requires the obtaining of an electronic visa before travel. Is the map useful? It's small, so it is hard to check the status of a small country. Does the list include only countries which offer visa-free arrival or a visa upon arrival? Cf. Brazil. It seems to me that the list would be easier to use if it were to include countries only, to the exclusion of territories (Norfolk Island, American Samoa, etc.). The U.S. State Department web site has a page which lists independent countries and another page which lists territories and dependencies. Passportman 12/5/08 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Passportman (talkcontribs) 02:08, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Australia is shown on the map as offering a visa on arrival, though Australia requires the
obtaining of an electronic visa before travel.
Australia is coloured, as it provides the Electronic Travel Authority, which is counted by many government as a non-visa/visa on arrival. I personally would not count it as such and thus leave Australia uncoloured, but since this is an issue on quite a number of pages it would need some consensus one way or the other.

Btw : I would say map already has a fair size, but if you require an even larger map, just click the map on the page and you'll get a full-size image. As for dependancies : the should be listed, as they often have entry requirements that differ significantly or are often completely independant from their respective home countries. Therefore they need to be listed. You could argue that smaller countries are not as important/interesting as larger ones, but a list should really strive to be as complete as possible. And also : where would you set the cut-off point : at 50,000 inhabitants, 100,000, 1,000,000 ?? Listing all dependancies separately would make the list even larger and more confusing, as you'd suddenly have two Asia, two Europe etc. lists to check. Passportguy (talk) 12:35, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Some territories and dependencies have passport requirements different from those applicable to their respective countries. There are 2-3 dozen territories and dependencies listed on the State Department page. It's hard work to keep up with the passport rules of countries. Adding 2-3 dozen territories and dependencies to the 192 +/- countries is a workload beyond the capacity of volunteers. Conclusion: I would list all countries which are UN members, plus Taiwan. I would not list territories and dependencies. One more item: Some entries about passport requirements have 2 footnotes, sonme have 1. Suggested standards: (1) 1 footnote only. (2) The reference in each footnote should be to the official country web page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Passportman (talkcontribs) 01:26, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Terrioriries : We are talking about only around 40 dependant territories, if you compare that with around 200 indepedant countries, it's not really that many. Also - interest : Most people looking at this article especially, will be a lot more interested in knowing what the entry requirements for e.g. Aruba are than for let's say Mongolia. Thus a deletion is not warranted.
As for footnotes : I agree one is enough, however in some instances two 'may' be required, e.g. if visa-free lists and visa-free length of stay are listed on two different pages. I agree that the source should preferably be a official source by the country in question, but unfortunately those are often not available, especially for less developed countries. Also, in the case of latter countries especially, you also often get conflicting and/or out of date internet pages (of consulates especially), in which case timatic or a simlar source may actually be more trustworthy. Again, this really has to be decided on a case-to-case basis. Passportguy (talk) 10:50, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Suggestions: (1) Have a general rule of 1 footnote. Primary reference: the governmental web page. Secondary reference (if there is no governmental web page): a semi-official source, such as government-supported tourism board. (2) Alphabetical order should be maintained in the listings of countries and territories. Example: Transnistria appears after Moldova and before Monaco. Items for thought: Are disputed countries (Transnistria; Kosovo) to be listed? What about the proper form of the name of a country e.g., Transnistria (unofficial) or Pridnestrovskaia (official); Ivory Coast (English/unofficial) or Cote D'Ivoire (French/official)? Passportman 16/5/2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Passportman (talkcontribs) 01:08, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Visa-free access or entry conditions[edit]

It has come to my attention that under the visa-free travel section only those countries are listed that do not require visas from US citizens. This is by no means incorrect, however, it does not address many other countries which do require visas from Americans. Therefore, I would like to propose that the section be renamed "Entry conditions" or something similar, and all countries recognized by the US government be included in the listings. This way one may easily find information about the policies of all countries regarding entries by US citizens.

I have already included Brazil, Cuba, Paraguay, and Suriname. These edits have been reverted by other users, so I would like to hereby explain why I added them in the first place. Please discuss. Thanks, (Einstein00 (talk) 21:09, 23 July 2008 (UTC))

While I persobnally didn't revert them, the problem I see with including all countries is that for those that do require visas regulations are usually quite intricate. There are many different types of visas and regulations differ for all. If such information were to be included in table-form it would render such a reference table unusable, as the table would eventually be cluttered with page-long extensive explainations of different visa types for various countries. The main idea of these tables is to provide a quick reference. If you really want to add detailed information on several countries for which US citizens require visas, I would suggest creating a new page such as "Entry requirements for US citizens" or similar, where you could provide such information in prose form. However I must warm you - it will be a daunting task to collect all that information ! Passportguy (talk) 21:27, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Passport holders destroying RFID chips?[edit]

While I know we can't put this in the article without credible sources, there have been forum posts and blogs stating that some people are placing their passport covers between pieces of 2x4's or 1x4's and either tightening a vice on the wood or hitting the wood repeatedly with a hammer to destroy the chip. From what I understand, the wood protects the covers from the hammer blows but transmits the force of the blows onto the chip.

There has also been talk (though I don't know if I believe it) of people putting their passports in a microwave on low power for 3-5 seconds, which is said to burn out the chip without causing it to char the surrounding material or start a fire. I would think this would be treated (if caught) on the same level as tampering with a federal document. On that note, if the chip were damaged wouldn't they have to prove you intentionally damaged it?

Has anyone ran across a credible source that has run a story on these types of actions (and their possible repercussions)?-- (talk) 09:29, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I think putting it in a microwave would certainly be evident and assumed to be intentional!! Anyways, according to page 5 of the passport: "Alteration or mutilation of passport This passport must not be altered or mutilated in any way. Alteration could make the passport invalid, and if willful, may subject you to prosecution (Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1543)..." (talk) 21:10, 1 January 2009 (UTC)



I removedImage:USVisaFree.PNG because as you can clearly see it is an out of date map. Because the Map still pictures the USSR. HereFord 03:23, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

You're kidding, right? I don't know about it being out of date; but it certainly does not show the USSR. I see Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, and all the other dozen republics of the former USSR on there. --Spoon! (talk) 03:44, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
So, if you don't mind, I'm gonna put the image back on the page. Any particular outdated details can be discussed on the image's talk page. --Spoon! (talk) 21:12, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Still out of date. Bolivia has a visa on arrival.--Tterrag (talk) 20:02, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Does the Secretary of State need a passport?[edit]

Does the Secretary of State need a passport? After all, a passport says "The Secretary of State of the United States of America hereby requests....." I ask this because the Queen of the United Kingdom doesn't need one (although this is somewhat of a different situation). What about the President when he travels. Which type, if any, does he use? I'm guessing Air Force One doesn't have customs go through it. And what about soldiers?- Matthew238 (talk) 08:20, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

The Secretary of State may or may not need one for the US (likewise with the President), but they surely need one when entering other countries. I would assume that the Sec. of State has a diplomatic passport, while the President an official passport. The President might also get a diplomatic passport as he is actually in charge of foreign affairs, though he delegates that role to the Sec. of State. --alchaemia (talk) 18:19, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the president does need a passport. The president has a diplomatic passport. However, a team of aides takes care of all the trip's paperwork and will take all the passports of his entourage (president, secret service, other aids, etc) to immigration for processing, while the pres. & entourage simply get off the plane and go off in a motorcade. Interesting question regarding the Sec of State and the message in the passport but I would imagine (s)he too will need a diplomatic passport for travel. (talk) 21:16, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Cleanup visa section[edit]

In many of the countries which are listed as "visa on arrival", VoAs can only be obtained at certain points (often just the airports). Egypt (only Cairo airport), Azerbaijan (only Baku airport), Armenia (Yerevan airport), & Indonesia (only select airports & seaports) are just a couple examples I know of. If traveling by land, then a visa is required before arrival. Could an asterisk be added to such countries with a note at the bottom "Only at select points of entry" and possibly give such countries a different color?

Egypt issues VOA at all airports, not just Cairo airpoirt, Armenia issues them at all crossings (not just airports), Azerbaijan only issues them at Baku (or at least did, apparently they may be in the process of ending VOA). If you want to add notes feel free to do so, however be careful that your sources for these notes are reliable and up-to-date.

Furthermore, many of the sources don't seem too reliable. All the countries listed have an embassy in the US with a website including entry requirements. It would be a bit of work, but using an official source should be a no-brainer for this page.

Do you have any particular sources that you find unreliable ? The problem with embassy websites is that they are often very out-of-date and don't add new information until months to years later. Also they quite often get deleted and/or change their URLs, making it very cumbersome to keep up with all the broken links.

Syria is not listed and thus this article suggests a visa is needed. However, at land borders they will accept applications which are faxed to Damascus for clearance/approval in a process which takes 2-8 hours. Since it's obtained at the border (not at the airport & despite a lengthy wait), would that be considered VoA?

The problem with Syria is that although unofficially they do issue visas to all nationals at land borders, this is not an official policy (which in fact quite clearly states that this is not possible) and therefore this practice cannot be listed here.

I'd change North Korea, but thought I'd ask: travel between N/S korea is suspended, but prior to January no visa was needed to visit the tourist destinations Panmunjom, Kaesong, & Kumgangsan. Iran is labeled VoA noting the status for Kish Island, should the same be done for NK listing those cities...given the current "suspension"? IBstupid (talk) 00:53, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Usually minor visa free areas are not listed, as that would be way beyond the scope of the list and would clutter it. Many countries have minor special zones and free areas that can be visited visa-free. Panmumjom is not in North Korea btw (its in the DMZ) and Kumgangsan cannot be visited without prior approval by NK authorities, which is arranged for by the travel agency - so again this is not visa free travel. Passportguy (talk) 02:25, 14 May 2009 (UTC)


Why is Australia colored as if a visa was required for canadians in the Canadian passport page, but colored visa-free for US citizens in the US Passport page? Both US and Canada are in the same category from an australian perspective. --zorxd (talk) 16:25, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:United States passport/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

I actually think this article probably qualifies for a higher rating at the moment. --Daydreamer302000 (talk) 10:33, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Last edited at 10:33, 31 July 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 09:38, 30 April 2016 (UTC)




The map is very inaccurate at the moment.

-Paraguay, Suriname, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and China require U.S. passport holders to obtain a visa prior to entering the country.
-Uruguay and Equatorial Guinea do not require U.S. passport holders to obtain a visa prior to entering the country.
-Hawaii is not shaded red, thus not included as a part of the United States.

I suspect many other inaccuracies are prevalent in the image. I don't know the protocol for editing images of maps, but someone please correct this image.
--Tterrag (talk) 17:51, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Removing the "visa-free travel" blocks in passport articles[edit]

Just a general heads up. The above proposal may be of interest to regular editors at this page. RashersDogRusty (talk) 13:15, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

In the course of discussion, this was relocated to Talk:Passport. A consensus has emerged for the removal of 'Visa-free Travel blocks' from all national Passport articles. RashersTierney (talk) 03:08, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect Number of Pages[edit]

"There are 32 pages in a biometric passport." - The passport I received today has just 28 pages. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Matthewlefflercomputer (talkcontribs) 02:59, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Red passports...[edit]

Can somebody please tell me (and add details to the article) about the red passport seen in this pic?

Thanks! -Ayeroxor (talk) 22:23, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

== It's simply a passport case/cover. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:06, 6 June 2010‎

Obsolete/updated policies -> History section?[edit]

I see at that several parts of 7 FAM 1300, esp. 1380, are "no longer available". Does this mean they've been superceded? If so, should that go into a History of U.S. passport regulations page? Planning for the future... --Lexein (talk) 20:53, 6 October 2011 (UTC)


An American friend of mine has a green passport (not blue) wich is apparently a special limited edition of some sort (if I remember correctly, it was issued in 1998). It's written almost exclusively in French (with small print translation in English) on the first couple of pages and it details the history of the French-American relationships in the time of the war of independance. In particular, great emphasis is placed on Ben Franklin's role in the birth of the US. Does anybody know whether this kind of "special edition passports" are frequent? I'd like to know more about this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:59, 5 January 2010 (UTC) I'm not editing-just have a question: I have a passport issued to me gratis for offical business in 1962. I was in the USN and it was a hush hush thing in the early VN days. Greenish cover issued by our embassy in Manila and only one visa from the Republic of Vietnam. Does anyone know how many of these might have been issued? From what I heard, most were taken back after operation but I kept mine. Comments? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 7 January 2012 (UTC)


I find the term "biometric passport" confusing. Apparently this passport doesn't actually have any of what I would call "biometrics," that is fingerprints, iris scan, etc, unless you count the photograph. Is that right? Can someone clarify this point in the article? Kendall-K1 (talk) 16:55, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Why no Endorsements section?[edit]

The Endorsement page is pretty important, yet not listed here. Except for the erroneous section listing it on the Data Page, which it is not.-Presidentbalut (talk) 00:29, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

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POLISH PEOPLE MUST HAVE VISA!!!! In map is error. In map all teritory of European Union annaunce that polish people don't need a visa. This is lie. Polish people must have visa. PLEASE EDIT THIS MAP — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:00, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

This is a map showing visa requirements for the US citizens not Polish citizens.--Twofortnights (talk) 18:51, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

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The lead is incredibly confusing[edit]

First sentence of first paragraph: "United States passports are passports issued to citizens and non-citizen nationals of the United States of America."

First sentence of third paragraph: "By law, a valid unexpired U.S. passport (or passport card) is conclusive (and not just prima facie) proof of U.S. citizenship," (emphases mine)

Huh? Don't these two contradict each other? If passports are issued to non-citizen nationals, how are they proof of citizenship? Can someone untangle, please??

If there's some fine distinction here I'm not getting, I really think it needs to be made clearer -- at the very least, with a "note" superscript. Moncrief (talk) 19:53, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

No fingerprints in the U.S. passport?[edit]

As the United States demand all foreign passports to be biometric and contain fingerprints of the bearer who wants to enter the United States, it seems irrational that U.S. citizens do not have their own fingerprints in their own U.S. passports. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2003:8C:4C6C:7200:E866:76E6:38C1:1653 (talk) 20:33, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Huffpo link needs to be removed[edit]

It is a map created by a random blogger whose blog does not even exist anymore. It lists no source and is therefore useless. The page shpould link to the state department if anywhere at all regarding stats: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:54, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

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