As the holiday season is looming, now is the time to start wondering where our passport is and if it is still valid! Because it is far too easy to get bogged down under the paperwork requirements for these important documents, so we thought we would reignited our love for passports with some interesting facts about them!
You can’t wear a uniform in the US passport photo
Your passport photos will be rejected in the United States if you are wearing a uniform of ANY kind. This includes military and law enforcement uniforms; diplomats, other officials, pilots and flight officials may get approved though…
Turkey has the most expensive passport
A Turkish passport is the most expensive in the world, costing an enormous sum of £215. Many countries around the world charge between £30 and £80 for an adult passport.
Among the cheapest are UAE at £9 and Swaziland charge a mere £2.50!
People collect immigration stamps
Collecting passport stamps is a ‘thing’, and it’s not uncommon for people with this hobby to take specific routes with various stop offs to collect the ‘badges of honour’.
Among the most coveted are the micro nation of Akhzivland, Antarctica, Easter Island, and Mongolia.
I’d imagine Antarctica is particularly difficult seeing as in order to visit you must be working at a scientific research station.
The UK Passport is the 3rd Most Powerful in the world
According to CS Global’s ‘Visa Free Digest’, the UK has “dropped” to 3rd position in the world strongest passport, offering visa free access to 175 countries across the globe.
The UK now sits behind Germany in the number one spot, offering access to 177 countries and Sweden in the 2nd position, with access to 176.
The top positions have a tendency to jostle due to new agreements regularly being made between governments.
Biometric passports hold a lot of personal information
Also known as ePassports or digital passports, these modern documents use biometric information to determine the authenticity of the identity of the traveller.
The microchip embedded into the passport book, stores the information from a system that uses facial recognition, fingerprint recognition and iris recognition making it incredibly difficult to travel on a forged passport.
Armenia & Azerbaijan have a love/hate passport relationship
Whilst Azerbaijan refuses entry to individuals with an Armenian passport due to the Nagorno Karabakh war that began in 1988, those with a passport from Azerbaijan have visa free entry into Armenia.
The Finnish Passport Doubles as a Flipbook
The passports that were issues since 2012 received a lot of media attention due to a fun, quirky feature.
The document doubles as a flipbook of a walking moose through its pages.
The Norwegian Passport has a hidden image
Often regarded as ‘the coolest’ passport on earth, Norway have positioned themselves at the top of yet another league table. Not only have they ditched the traditional dull navy or maroon tones, and opting for passport covers in white, turquoise or coral, they have also added for a beautiful security feature.
The UV security image features the Northern Lights, only visible when it is placed under black light.
“VALID TO ANY COUNTRY EXCEPT GERMANY”
Between 1948 and 1952, all Israeli passports were stamped with this message.
Due to the atrocities carried out in the Holocaust, it was considered improper for Israeli’s to travel to Germany unless on state approved business.
Israel actually refused to enter into any diplomatic relations with Germany until 1965.
The Queen Doesn’t Need a Passport
Yes, you reads that correctly. UK passports contains images of the Royal arms and they are issued in the name of Her Majesty, deeming it unnecessary for her to have one.
This only applies to The Queen – all other members of the Royal Family are required to have a passport to travel.