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When Do You Need A Passport?

A passport is a document which is issued by a national government as a means of identification for the person who holds it. It certifies the identity and nationality of the person listed on the document, which is important when traveling internationally.

In the United States, passports are issued through one of the State Department's 14 passport issuing centers. They also can be issued through clerks at federal and state courts, designated post offices and U.S. consular authorities in foreign countries for citizens who are living abroad.

Passports expire every 10 years for citizens over the age of 18 and every five years for those under 18. Upon expiration, passports must be replaced if the holder wishes to continue having one. Because people change in appearance with age, passports cannot simply be renewed, but must be completely replaced, including with an updated photo of the passport holder.

There was a time when the only people who needed a passport were those who traveled internationally on a frequent basis, or those who worked as foreign diplomats. However, passports are becoming more widely used for more reasons than just travel. Since 2009, Americans have been required to possess a passport to cross the border into Canada when traveling by airplane, whereas before they only were required to have valid photo identification and a birth certificate to prove citizenship.

So with all of these changes afoot, when do you need a passport?

The primary reason to own one is for foreign travel purposes. Passports have been required for entry into foreign countries, as well as re-entry into the United States from foreign countries, since Dec. 15, 1915, when an executive order was issued requiring all who traveled abroad to possess one. Prior to that, passports rarely were used for foreign travel or re-entry into the United States from a foreign country. There are only a few exceptions to this rule:

  • Closed Loop Cruises. Cruises that begin and end at the same United States port, known as closed-loop cruises, do not require a passport. A certified birth certificate and valid photo identification, such as a driver's license, are all that is necessary.
  • Nexus Cardholders. A Nexus Card is issued jointly between the United States and Canadian governments and is designed for those travelers who frequently commute between the two countries. It is awarded to low-risk travelers following a rigorous application process and can be used in place of a passport to travel between the two companies.
  • Land or Sea Travel. Traveling by land or sea to Canada or Mexico does not require a passport. However, you still will need more than a traditional driver's license or birth certificate to enter these countries and then re-enter the United States. A Nexus Card, which we previously discussed, can be used for this kind of travel. Land or sea travelers to these countries also can use an enhanced driver's license if they are available through their states. Currently, only the states of New York, Michigan, Vermont and Washington offer enhanced driver's licenses.

Even if yours is a situation which does not require a passport for travel, it is highly recommended that all travelers possess one. During emergency situations, air travel which was not previously planned may become necessary, which would require a passport. For that reason, travelers should weigh the benefits and risks of not having a passport before they leave the country.

Govt to issue e-passports from March 2018: Ahsan Iqbal

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal announced on Wednesday that the Passports and Immigration Office will begin issuing e-passports from next year. The contract for the preparation of e-passports had earlier been signed by a representative of private French ...

Published:  Wed, 13 Dec 2017 04:14:00 GMT



E-passports to be issued from next year: Ahsan Iqbal

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal announced on Wednesday that the Passports and Immigration Office will begin issuing e-passports from next year. The contract for the preparation of e-passports had earlier been signed by a representative of private ...

Published:  Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:23:00 GMT



Pakistan to issue e-passports in 2018

LAHORE: Pakistan will start issuing e-passports from March 2018, said Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday. Earlier, Passports and Immigration Director General Usman Bajwa signed the contract with a representative of private French company Gemalto.

Published:  Wed, 13 Dec 2017 05:17:00 GMT



TV benefits fraudster who flaunted her jet-set lifestyle is JAILED: Mum-of-three in £240k scam used fake names and passports to rip off 22 councils and buy holidays and a £ ...

A benefits cheat who fiddled 22 councils out of more than £244,000 in bogus housing benefit claims has been jailed for four years. Mother-of-three Tania Amisi, who lived in Chelsea Harbour in London, used fake names and different passports to trick local ...

Published:  Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:00:00 GMT



Brit tourists risk missing flights home under new scheme to replace lost passports that will see two-day wait for emergency documents

BRIT travellers who lose their passports could miss flights under a new scheme which will see a TWO DAY wait for an "emergency" replacement. The Foreign Office has introduced a new system in which applications for emergency documents will be processed ...

Published:  Sun, 10 Dec 2017 16:48:00 GMT



China Expands Recall of Passports to Uyghurs Outside of Xinjiang

Authorities in China have expanded a recall of passports from Uyghurs residing within the northwest region of Xinjiang to include members of the ethnic groups throughout the country, according to sources. Since October 2016, the Public Security Bureau (PSB ...

Published:  Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:17:00 GMT



U.S. Still Won't List Jerusalem as Israel's Capital on Official Docs, Passports, Maps

The United States still will not formally recognize Jerusalem as being located in Israel on official documents, maps, and passports, despite President Donald Trump's announcement earlier this week that America is formally recognizing the holy city as ...

Published:  Sun, 10 Dec 2017 01:53:00 GMT



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