Passport Types

At present, the passports issued by majority of countries in the world are generally divided into three types: diplomatic, service/official and regular passports. Some countries only issue one type(like UK); some countries only issue two of them (like India, Pakistan and so on); but there are also some countries which issue four or five types (like US, France and so on).

Diplomatic passport: Those who possess diplomatic status are issued a diplomatic passport, like the diplomat, consul and official as well as the head of state, governmental officials, delegation members of the Congress or government, who are going abroad for national affairs or activities. According to the international convention, the spouse and the children of the above personnel generally are also issued diplomatic passports.

Service/Official passport: It is issued for government office-bearer of a country. Besides, all countries will issue this kind of passport to the staff who works for embassies or consulates abroad but have no diplomatic status, along with their spouse and the grown-up children.

Regular passport: It is issued to all other citizens (populace). For different reasons (line of duty or private affair) for going abroad, the regular passport may have different types in different countries.


As for content, all countries have similar requirements with each other. All contain the national emblem, the full country's name and the type imprinted on the passport cover, while the details for use of the passport are usually imprinted on the back cover; On the insider front cover are generally printed the words requesting that the correlated military or administrative departments of the target country for some necessary convenience and assistance to the person who carrying the passport.

Passport extensions for expired passports are allowed in all countries, so all passports contain special pages for extension and remarks. To facilitate countries to issue visas, many additional blank pages are included within the passport, each page imprinted with the word "VISA".

The texts printed on passports are primarily in the native language of the issuer, but the same texts in English are also included by most countries.

Period of Validity

A passport is not a permanent credential but a document with a limited period of validity. It is the legal proof during the period of validity only, which is also known as the effective passport; otherwise it is invalid and is without legal status.

Periods of validity of a passport issued by different countries is inconsistent and respectively is one, two, three and five-years, though some countries' passports may be valid for ten years.

Generally speaking, a period of validity in excess of six months is required by countries for visa issue. If passport's period of validity is insufficient less than six months, you will have to go your passport issuing department to apply for extension or renewal. Only then can you go to embassies and consulates to apply for a visa.

Effective Area

The effective area is one of important passport contents. Passports in some countries imprinted the words like "this passport is effective toward XX (country name)" or "citizen who holds the passport is not allowed to go to X X (country name) and XX (area name)".

Make your passport well-kept

Before you apply for the visa to your destination country, you had better keep your prepared passport well in a safe place at home.

Do not always carry it with you. After obtaining a visa, the passport is active for that country and holds a high value. Some international criminal groups and pickpockets specialize in stealing the passport and consider the passport more valuable than currency.

They will trade the passport for money, or perform some other illegal activities using the passport as a shield. Therefore, you must keep your passport safe under lock and key, especially after you pass through the customs inspection and go on the oversea trip, be vigilant at all times. Now you should carry your own passport along with you all the times.

Do not put it into your outside pockets or bag then after a while another. It is much safer to put it into an inside pocket, which allows ready access for any eventuality you may encounter where it is required.

What to do if your passport is lost

If you lose your passport before you go abroad, you should immediately report the case to the security authorities and passport issuing office in your country, provide a detailed statement of the time and the place of its loss and state the basic information on your passport (name, gender, date of birth, passport number and so on), Necessarily, you may have to go to your local newspaper to report the loss of the passport (your name and passport number should be published plainly).

If the passport is lost abroad, you should rapidly report the case to the local public security organs and complete the detailed and essential registration procedure, simultaneously you should go to your countries nearest embassy or consulate as soon as possible to complete the registration procedure of the loss report, and then apply for a passport reissue.

In order to prevent the loss of the passport, TCG suggests that you'd better write your passport number on a jotter beforehand, or photocopy the whole content on first page of the passport then make it well preserved. All these preparations may offer you some convenient clues or good help should you lose it.

After you get the passport

After you issued a passport, firstly you should carefully inspect it. If there are some questionable points or errors, you should immediately ask the related staff for the application of correction. If no questions or mistakes are discovered after your inspection, you can well bring it back and keep it well.

Getting a passport is just the first step of the procedure for going abroad. Another necessary thing is that you should carry your passport and the correlated credential materials to go to the embassies or consulates of your target country stationed in your own country for the visa application. When you obtain the visa, you should have an "International Prophylactic Inoculation Certificate". After purchasing the air ticket to your target country and doing some pre-trip preparatory work, you can proceed with your journey abroad.

A passport with two opposing blank visa pages and validity of at least six-month is required from the day when you submit the visa application is required before you visit China.

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