Here’s What Passports Look Like Around the World

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Here’s What Passports Look Like Around the World
A well-loved passport is the sign of a true traveler. These wonderful little books show off a country's style, are a handy record of a traveler's journeys and, well, we literally can't travel abroad without them.

But while you may know your own like the back of your hand, chances are, you don't come into contact with a wide variety of passports on a regular basis.
By Maggie Fuller, AFAR Staff
Photo by Jeffrey Cross
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    Here's What Passports Look Like Around the World
    We rounded up a handful of passports (believe us, it wasn't easy get people to lend us one of their most-prized possesions) from around the world to give you a peek at what the ultimate travel accessory looks like in different countries.

    From the March/April 2016 issue
    Photo by Jeffrey Cross
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    SPAIN
    Since Spain is part of the European Union, anyone holding a Spanish passport has the right to visit and live anywhere in the EU.
    Photo by Jeffrey Cross
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    TAIWAN
    Those numbers stamped across the cover of the Taiwanese passport? They match the holder's National Identity Card number. Because Taiwan national law considers residents of mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau to also be Republic of China nationals, the numbers differentiate Taiwanese residents.

    (Note: This is an older version of a Taiwanese passport. The newer biometric version features a different cover design and was introduced in 2008)
    Photo by Jeffrey Cross
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    EL SALVADOR
    in 2006, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala signed a treaty establishing free movement across the borders of those four countries. They also changed their respective passport designs to a common theme: a navy blue background and an outline of the region with the individual country shaded.
    Photo by Jeffrey Cross
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    SWITZERLAND
    In addition to place of birth, Swiss passports list place of origin, meaning the town your parents came from.
    Photo by Peter Bohler
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    CUBA
    Most passports contain a message from the issuing authority to the authorities of any other countries. Each says essentially the same thing, but is worded slightly differently.

    Cuba's reads: The authority issuing the present passport on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Cuba certifies that the bearer is a Cuban citizen and, in virtue of this, requests the civil and military authorities of the countries through which he travels to provide him with whatever protection and assistance he needs.
    Photo by Jeffrey Cross
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    AUSTRALIA
    The standard Australian passport is valid for 10 years and contains 42 pages, but it can be issued with 74 pages. For reference, the standard US passport comes with 28 pages and can be extended to 54 for an additional fee. Clearly, Australia wants its citizens to travel!
    Photo by Jeffrey Cross
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    RUSSIA
    In 2001 Russia started issuing passports with the Russian crest, featuring the double-headed eagle seen here, on the cover, and in 2006 started issuing biometric passports (e-passports embedded with microchips and antannae). Biometric passports are becoming more and more the norm in countries all over the world and are differentiated by the circle-within-a-rectangle symbol seen at the bottom of the Australian passport on the previous page.
    Photo by Jeffrey Cross
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    MEXICO
    Each of the 32 pages of a Mexican passport features a different coat of arms from one of the 31 states as well as the Federal District.
    Photo by Jeffrey Cross
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    SINGAPORE
    With no visa or visa-on-arrival required for its citizens to travel to some 173 countries, Singapore ranks 5th in terms of countries offering world-wide travel freedom.
    Photo by Jeffrey Cross
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    NIGERIA
    The Nigerian passport features the Nigerian coat of arms: a black shield for fertile soil, two white horses for dignity, an eagle for strength, Nigeria's national flower scattered at the base, and the national motto, "Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress."
    Photo by Jeffrey Cross
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    WHAT’S NEXT . . .
    Where will you take your passport? 

    >>Next: 14 Life-Changing Trips We've Taken