The Types of Passport
At present, the types of passports issued by majority of countries in the world are generally divided into three types: Service/official Passport, Diplomatic Passport, and Regular Passport. 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).
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Service/Official Passport: It is issued for government office-bearer of a country. Besides, all countries will issue this type to the staff who works for embassies or consulates abroad but have no diplomatic status, along with their spouse and the grown-up children.
Diplomatic Passport: Those who possess diplomatic status are issued a diplomatic type, 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 the same type.
Regular Passport: It is issued to all other citizens (populace). For different reasons (line of duty or private affair) for going abroad, the regular one may also have different types in different countries.
Content of Passport
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 cover, while the details for use of it 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 they contain special pages for extension and remarks. To facilitate countries to issue visa, check Africa Visa list, many additional blank pages are included within it, each page imprinted with the word "VISA". The texts printed on it are primarily in the native language of the issuer, but the same texts in English are also included by most countries.
Passpor 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 effective; otherwise it is invalid and is without legal status. Periods of validity issued by different countries is inconsistent and respectively is one, two, three and five-years, though the one issued in some countries 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 the period of validity is insufficient less than six months, you will have to go to apply for extension or renewal. Only then can you go to embassies and consulates to apply for a visa.United Nations travel conference
While the United Nations held a travel conference in 1963, no passport guidelines resulted from it. Passport standardization came about in 1980, under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO standards include those for machine-readable passports. Such passports have an area where some of the information otherwise written in textual form is written as strings of alphanumeric characters, printed in a manner suitable for optical character recognition. This enables border controllers and other law enforcement agents to process these passports more quickly, without having to input the information manually into a computer. ICAO publishes Doc 9303 Machine Readable Travel Documents, the technical standard for machine-readable passports. A more recent standard is for biometric passports. These contain biometrics to authenticate the identity of travellers. The passport's critical information is stored on a tiny RFID computer chip, much like information stored on smartcards. Like some smartcards, the passport booklet design calls for an embedded contactless chip that is able to hold digital signature data to ensure the integrity of the passport and the biometric data.