The term “passport” is not derived from “sea ports”, but from a medieval document that was required to pass through the gate ( or “porte”) of a city wall, or to pass through a territory. However, the concept of a passport has been around even before that, as early as 450BC.
A passport is a document given to you by a national government (or sometimes a diplomatic organization) that certifies your identity and nationality for international travel. All of the passports of the world are standardized with the same basic format and information on the passport holder.
Contrary to a widespread belief, a passport does NOT give you permission to enter other countries. All it does is help other countries identify your information to allow the possibility of being admitted.
However, a passport does typically allow the passport holder to return to the country that issued the passport. This is why it is important to hold on to your passport when you travel back to your country of origin!
Keep in mind this is not an absolute right, and you could still be denied entry to your country of origin in some cases.
Did you know that there are more passports than there are countries? We’ve compiled a huge list of the world’s different passports into one beautiful and gigantic infographic.
Scroll through this graphic and let us know which one stands out the most to you. Be sure to check out the end of the infographic, where we show you all the special diplomatic passports!
Download this infographic.