Passport Information and Rules

A passport is a travel document issued by a national government that identifies the bearer as a national of the issuing state and requests that the bearer be permitted to enter and pass through other countries.

Passports are connected with the right of some protection abroad by the government of the country of which one is a national, and with the right to enter the country of which one is a national. However, the right of protection does not arise from a passport, nor does the right to enter. Each right arises from nationality. A passport proves the nationality of the bearer, and, consequently, their right of protection and right to enter.

Passports usually contain the holder's photograph, signature, date of birth, nationality, and sometimes other means of individual identification. Many countries are in the process of developing biometric properties for their passports in order to further confirm that the person presenting the passport is the legitimate holder.

Passports are usually required for international travel, though this is not always the case; they serve only as an internationally-recognised means of identification of the traveller. This requirement may be waived (the terminology may vary in different countries) in individual cases or for classes of travellers. For example, citizens of some member states of the European Union do not need a passport to travel within each other under Schengen Agreement.

Travel without passports between the NAFTA countries is becoming greatly restricted: All persons entering the United States by aeroplane, including its own citizens, were required to have a passport, even from Canada and Mexico, starting January 23, 2007. Starting in summer 2009, the passport requirement will also be extended to all sea and land border crossings. The Canadian Government has responded to this by stating that soon United States citizens will be required to have a passport to enter Canada. However, for United States citizens, even by air travel, a passport is not generally required to enter Mexico, but US citizens currently have to show a passport upon coming back by air and have to show one when coming via land or sea as well. Citizens of Mexico, however, have never been allowed to enter the United States without passports and visas because of illegal immigration, although since the start of NAFTA, Mexicans have had access to a special visa category that is solely for NAFTA countries (see TN visa).

Citizens of the European Economic Area (the European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway ) enjoy the freedom to travel and work in any European Union country without a visa, although transitory dispositions may restrict the rights of citizens of new member states to work in other countries. The same rights are also accorded to citizens of Switzerland although they remain separate from the EEA.

European citizens traveling within the European Union do not need a passport, a standard compliant national ID card is however required. Not all EU countries have produced a standard compliant ID card, and in other countries few people have obtained one, meaning that many persons need a passport anyway. The Swedish national identity card is valid only within the countries that have fully implemented the Schengen Agreement, plus Switzerland. -- airports

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Additional Information?
The U.S. government provides an excellent source of travel information at including much passport information. The Canadian government also provides answers, if you Click Here.

Travel from USA to Mexico: Click Here
Travel from USA to Canada: Click Here

May I order a travel visa through an online service? Yes, for US citizens see this link: Travel Visas. For citizens of other nations, send email to, but provide (1) country to visit (2) reason for visit (3) length of visit, and (4) country which issued your passport.

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