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Diplomatic passports and other travel documents that open doors

Diplomatic passports and other travel documents that open doors
Written by Publishing Team

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(CNN) – You will likely only have one passport – maybe two if you have dual citizenship.

But find yourself in a certain job — diplomatic, investigative, or even presidential — and you might get your glove on completely inaccessible documents. general audience.

Here are some of the non-standard passports and permits out there.

Diplomatic passport

What is that? Diplomatic passports are issued to government diplomats and consuls stationed abroad.

So, for example, the Chargé d’Affairs of the United States in France, Brian Aguilier, will hold a diplomatic passport, as will the French ambassador to the United States, Philippe Etienne.

What are the benefits? The requirement to obtain a visa is often waived to ensure a smooth passage. Holders of British diplomatic passports, for example, get a visa to enter China without a visa.
Diplomats often have diplomatic immunity (note: this does not give carte blanche to commit any crime you like while abroad). Family members of diplomats can sometimes obtain a diplomatic passport as well.

What then? The UK has a very special type of diplomatic passport, which bears the Queen’s Messenger Service (QMS) seal.

This is an elite group of couriers who have been delivering classified diplomatic material for nearly 800 years.
Meanwhile, there was a controversy over Canadian diplomatic passports in 2017 when it was revealed that the country may have been losing out on too much.

Passports of the Presidency of the Republic and the Prime Minister

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

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

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

What is that? To possess the highest form of passport, you will need to work your way up to the position of President or Prime Minister. These are a unique type of diplomatic passport; Even their profession is embodied through it.

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

When we asked the UK Home Office about the benefits of Boris Johnson’s passport, she told us: “We do not comment on individual cases.”

However, the VIP holder probably does not have to carry their passport with them; And they don’t need to queue up at customs – other officials will do it. Another plus: Presidents and Prime Ministers do not pay for their passports.
any thing else? In 2015, an unmitigated protester mistakenly saw an Australian immigration official by emailing personal details – including passport numbers – of Obama, Merkel, Putin and others to the organizers of the Asian Cup soccer tournament.

At least the guilty party had the protection of its own identity; A press release from the Australian Department of Immigration read:[Redacted] Failed to verify that the Microsoft Outlook autofill function entered the correct person’s details in the To field of the email. “Pardon.

Official/private passport

What is that? Official passports (as they are called in the United States and the United Kingdom) or special passports (as they are known in Canada) are issued to senators, legislators, military officials, and various other government employees who are not strictly diplomatic, but need to travel to a job abroad or On an official mission.

What are the benefits? On paper, these passports do not offer any special advantages. As the Canadian government explains: “The official passport is not designed to confer any benefits to its holder.”

But while the official offices we spoke to have remained silent about the benefits, some official passports seem to give you some excellent treatment; If you own one from the United States, for example, you are exempt from paying the visa fee.
any thing else? As they can be issued, official passports can be canceled. In August 2021, it was reported that 14 official passports of Turkish Cypriot officials had been taken from them after a row over the reopening of the former tourist area, Varosha.

Interpol travel document

The Interpol passport was revealed at the opening of the 79th session of the INTERPOL General Assembly in Doha on 8 November 2010.

The Interpol passport was revealed at the opening of the 79th session of the INTERPOL General Assembly in Doha on 8 November 2010.

Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images

What is that? Issued exclusively to INTERPOL personnel, INTERPOL travel documents come in two forms: an electronic passport booklet and an electronic identity card (electronic identification card).

Both are equipped with high-tech integrated circuits that contain personal information such as fingerprints and an image identical to that printed on the document itself.

What are the benefits? Travel documents came into existence after the 79th session of the INTERPOL General Assembly in 2010. Chasing criminals around the world is no easy feat, and the INTERPOL Travel Document is designed to cut down on bureaucratic red tape by waiving various visa requirements and speeding up the ordeal of the stalker.

any thing else? Although we know Interpol has around 1,000 employees, it is not clear how many have an INTERPOL travel document to hand.

Articles in recent years have debunked the myths about taunting Interpol agents around the world, smashing doors and arresting bad guys. Much of the work depends on management. As for the infamous red notice: It’s not actually an arrest warrant.

United Nations Entry Permit (UNLP)

blue United Nations "'Success" passport.

Blue Pass travel document issued by the United Nations.

Ralph Hirschberger/PictureLance/Getty Images

What is that? Members of the United Nations, the International Labor Organization, the World Health Organization and various other organizations can obtain this document, which was first launched in 1946, and published electronically in 2012.

There are two types of UNLP: Blue Pass, and Red Pass (for members with higher ranks).

What are the benefits? The United Nations states that holders of a red UNLP may “be accorded diplomatic privileges, immunities and facilities when traveling on United Nations missions”.

In some countries, this includes visa exemption. Unlike many of the other passports on this list, the UNLP does not officially replace the national passport, but rather complements it. He instructs the United Nations: “Both documents should always be carried together when traveling on official business.”

any thing else? The phrase “laissez-passer” is translated similar to “let pass”. The term may have been in use shortly after the Safe Conduct Act 1414, which made Henry V high treason for an international peer to break his promise to allow someone to travel freely through his country.

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

When you are not required to hold a passport at all

No passport required if you are Queen Elizabeth II, as she was seen here arriving in Fiji during her Silver Jubilee tour of the South Pacific in 1977.

No passport required if you are Queen Elizabeth II, as she was seen here arriving in Fiji during her Silver Jubilee tour of the South Pacific in 1977.

Anwar Hussain / Getty Images

Although most members of royal families still require a passport to travel, ruling monarchs can be exempted.

We know for sure that Queen Elizabeth II does not have a passport, because, as stated on the official website of the UK royal family: “Since a British passport is issued in the name of Her Majesty, it is not necessary for the Queen to have a passport.”

What about the Pope?

As sovereign over Vatican City, the Pope has a special passport for the Holy See.

But in 2014, shortly after his election, Pope Francis took the unusual step of renewing his identity card and passport, and went on to identify him as an ordinary Argentine, so that he would not be granted any special privileges.


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