Passport

A passport is a travel document issued by the government of a State to its citizens. It is an ID that allows its bearer to travel abroad. Individuals seeking entry to a country other than their own as tourists, students or workers must follow certain procedures and ask for authorization.

A passport is generally required to cross a border, and may be combined with a visa.

A passport contains information that identifies a person, such as first and last names, sex, birthdate and place, an identifying photograph, the bearer’s signature and often physical characteristics, such as height and eye color. Some States, especially in the European Union, are phasing in the requirement to include biometric data in chips.

The ICAO has standardized passports in its Document 9303, and has thereby set shared general characteristics for passports so as to facilitate border controls. Most passports issued throughout the world respect this standard; only a small fraction present small differences. A passport generally comes in booklet format.

It has a page with personal data containing the bearer’s photo and a machine-readable zone (MRZ) of 2 lines of 44 characters.