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Interesting Facts About Passports You Might Not Know About

Thai police officers display the passports they found in Thailand's tsunami-battered Phi Phi island January 3, 2005. The passports mostly belong to the overseas tourists from countries such as France, Britain, United States, China, Korea, Denmark, Norway and Germany.

Issued by a country’s government, passport certifies the identity and nationality of its holder during international trips. It is an important travel document that contains information such as the holder’s name, place and date of birth, photograph, signature, and other identifying information

But, these passport have evolved over the years. Here are a few interesting facts about it:

1. King Henry V of England was the first to issue what some consider the first true passport as a proof of identity in foreign lands.

2. The passports in UK are issued in the name of Her Majesty the Queen. Therefore the Queen does not need to carry a passport. The rest of the members of the royal family, however, have passports.

3. A recent study revealed that Germans have the most powerful passports in the world. According to the 12th annual edition of the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index, the German passport topped the index ranking the most powerful passports in the world, for boasting visa-free access to 176 countries — the most of any nationality.

While, Syria, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan sit at the bottom of the list, with visa-free access to less than 30 countries.

4. Passport books for the countries within European Union have burgundy-coloured covers (except Croatia).

Most Muslim-majority countries have green-coloured covers- including Morocco, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

5. In the beginning the rules for the passport issued by the British government weren’t strict, as they are nowadays. Whole family photographs could be used instead of one person’s picture. Reportedly, in 1915 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stood with his iwfe and his two sons for him passport photograph.

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