Diplomatic passports and other travel documents that open

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(CNN) – Chances are you only have one passport – maybe two if you have dual nationality.

But find yourself in a specialized job – diplomatic, investigative or even presidential – and you may find your documents completely inaccessible. Masses,

There are some non-standard passports here and there to pass through.

diplomatic passport

What is this? Diplomatic passports are issued to government diplomats and consulates posted abroad.

In the case of, for example, the Chargé d’Affaires in France, Brian Aigler, of the United States, would hold a diplomatic passport, as would Philippe tienne, the French ambassador to the United States.

what are the benefits? The visa requirement is often waived to ensure smooth passage. For example, holders of British diplomatic passports get visa-free entry into China.
Diplomats also often enjoy diplomatic immunity (note: this does not give you carte blanche to commit any crimes while abroad). Family members of diplomats can sometimes obtain diplomatic passports.

what else? In the UK, there is a very special type of diplomatic passport, which is stamped by the Queen’s Messenger Service (QMS).

This is an elite group of couriers, who have been distributing classified diplomatic material for nearly 800 years.
Meanwhile, controversy erupted over Canada’s diplomatic passports in 2017 when it was revealed that the country was probably eliminating too many of those passports.

President and Prime Minister’s Passports

Job Benefits: US President Joe Biden does not have to pay for his passport.

Job Benefits: US President Joe Biden does not have to pay for his passport.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

What is this? To get the highest version of a passport, you’ll have to work your way up to the president or prime minister. These are a unique form of diplomatic passport; The US President has even carved his profession on it.

what are the benefits? Again, it’s hard to be precise.

When we asked the UK Home Office what the benefits of Boris Johnson’s passport could be, it told us: “We do not comment on individual matters.”

However, the VIP holder may not have to carry his passport with him; Nor do they need to queue at customs – other officials will take care of that. Another added benefit: The President and Prime Minister do not pay for their own passports.
Anything else? In 2015, an unrelated snafu observed that an Australian immigration official mistakenly emailed personal details – including passport numbers – to the Asian Cup football tournament organizers of Obama, Merkel, Putin et al.

At least the guilty party’s own identity was protected; A press release from Australia’s Department of Immigration read: “[Redacted] It failed to check that the AutoFill function in Microsoft Outlook entered the correct person’s details in the email ‘To’ field.” Oops.

official/special passport

What is this? Official passports (as they are called in the US and UK) or special passports (as they are known in Canada) are issued to senators, parliamentarians, military officers and various other government employees who are not strictly diplomatic. , but is required to travel on a post or official mission abroad.

what are the benefits? On paper, these passports do not offer any significant special benefits. As the Government of Canada explains: “The official passport is not designed to offer any benefit to the bearer.”

But while the official offices we spoke to remained silent about the benefits, it seems that some official passports give you some star treatment; For example, if you have one from the US, you are exempt from paying visa fees.
Anything else? Just as they can be issued, so can official passports be revoked. In August 2021, 14 official passports of Turkish Cypriot authorities were reportedly taken away from them following a dispute over the reopening of the former tourist hotspot, Varosha.

interpol travel document

The Interpol passport was unveiled at the inauguration of the 79th session of the Interpol General Assembly in Doha on 8 November 2010.

The Interpol passport was unveiled at the inauguration of the 79th session of the Interpol General Assembly in Doha on 8 November 2010.

Karim Jaffer/AFP/Getty Images

What is this? Issued exclusively to Interpol employees, Interpol travel documents come in two formats: an e-passport booklet and an e-ID card (e-Identity card).

Both are fitted with hi-tech integrated circuits that capture personal information such as fingerprints and a photo similar to the one printed on the document.

what are the benefits? The travel documents came into existence in 2010 after the 79th Interpol General Assembly. Chasing criminals around the world is not easy, and the Interpol travel document was designed to eliminate bureaucratic red tape and intensify the plight of pursuers by waiving various visa requirements. ,

Anything else? Although we know that Interpol has about 1,000 employees, it is not clear how many people have Interpol travel documents.

Articles in recent years have dispelled myths around the world about Interpol agents breaking down doors and arresting crooks. Most of the tasks are admin based. As far as that infamous Red Notice is concerned: it’s not really an arrest warrant.

United Nations Laissez-Passer (UNLP)

United Nations Blue "'Near" Travel documents.

The blue “‘laissez-passer” travel document of the United Nations.

Ralph Hirschberger / Picture Alliance / Getty Images

What is this? Members of the United Nations (UN), International Labor Organization, World Health Organization and various other organizations can get their hands on this document, which was first launched in 1946, and went electronic in 2012.

There are two types of UNLP: blue laissez-passers, and red ones (for high-ranking members).

what are the benefits? The United Nations states that holders of the Red UNLP “may be granted diplomatic privileges and immunities and diplomatic facilities while traveling on United Nations business.”

In some countries, this includes a visa exemption. Unlike many other passports on this list, the UNLP does not officially replace a national passport, but complements it. Directs the United Nations: “Both documents should always be carried on official visits…”

Anything else? The phrase “laissez-passer” is translated along the lines of “late pass”. The term may have come into use soon after the Safe Conduct Act 1414, in which Henry V made it a high treason for an international counterpart to break a promise to allow someone to travel freely through his country. made.

Documents called laissez-faires were also used to ensure the safe passage of refugees from war-torn areas during World War I.

When You Don’t Need to Carry a Passport at All

No passport is required if you are Queen Elizabeth, who was seen visiting Fiji in 1977 during her Silver Jubilee tour of the South Pacific.

No passport is required if you are Queen Elizabeth, who was seen visiting Fiji in 1977 during her Silver Jubilee tour of the South Pacific.

Anwar Hussain / Getty Images

Although most members of royal families still require a passport to travel, reigning monarchs may be exempt.

We know for certain that Queen Elizabeth II does not have a passport, because, as the UK Royal Family’s official website states: “As a British passport is issued in the name of the Queen, the Queen has Having a passport is unnecessary.”

What about the Pope?

As sovereign of Vatican City, the Pope holds a special Holy See passport.

But in 2014, shortly after being elected, Pope Francis took the unusual step of renewing his identity card and passport, to continue identifying as an average Argentine, with no special privileges granted to him.
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