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A document that indicates permission granted by a sovereign to its citizen to travel to foreign countries and return and requests foreign governments to allow that citizen to pass freely and safely.

With respect to International Law, a passport is a license of safe conduct, issued during a war, that authorizes an individual to leave a war-ring nation or to remove his or her effects from that nation to another country; it also authorizes a person to travel from country to country without being subject to arrest or detention because of the war. In maritime law, a passport is a document issued to a neutral vessel by its own government during a war that is carried on the voyage as evidence of the nationality of the vessel and as protection against the vessels of the warring nations. This paper is also labeled a pass, sea-pass, sealetter, or sea-brief. It usually contains the captain's or master's name and residence; the name, property, description, tonnage, and destination of the ship; the nature and quantity of the cargo; and the government under which it sails.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a document (for UK citizens issued by the Foreign Office) certifying the holder's nationality and citizenship. It suggests allegiance to the Crown, and thus is important in relation to the crime of TREASON.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

PASSPORT, SEA BRIEF, or SEA LETTER, maritime law. A paper containing a permission from the neutral state to the captain or master of a ship or vessel to proceed on the voyage proposed; it usually contains his name and residence; the name, property, description, tonnage and destination of the ship; the nature and quantity of the cargo; the place from whence it comes, and its destination; with such other matters as the practice of the place requires.
     2. This document is indispensably necessary in time of war for the safety of every neutral vessel. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 9, s. 6, p. 406, b.
     3. In most countries of continental Europe passports are given to travellers; these are intended to protect them on their journey from all molestation, while they are obedient to the laws. Passports are also granted by the secretary of state to persons travelling abroad, certifying that they are citizens of the United States. 9 Pet. 692. Vide 1 Kent, Com. 162, 182; Merl. Repert. h.t.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation had launched the UAE Passport Force initiative to place the Emirati passport on the list of the five most powerful passports in the world by 2021 however, the country achieved this goal in 2018, three years before the deadline.
The July 26 notification issued by the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports says that the federal government in a decision taken on July 25 has approved extension of two months for the government officers/officials who obtained passports in private capacity while concealing of their government service.
'Cabinet authorised the increase of the validity period for the three categories of the Namibian passports (National, Diplomatic and Official) from the current five years to 10 years,' he said.
Information emanating from the passport office has it that it is producing about 300 passports per day.
This is in response to former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, who said revoking all diplomatic passports issued to former foreign affairs secretaries and envoys would be unlawful.
'It is not 'unlawful'; It is a courtesy to those who have ceased doing the job requiring blue passports,' Locsin said over Twitter on Monday.
The Passport Control Centre will reduce congestion and ease the issuance of the new generation passports at Nyayo House in Nairobi.
LAHORE -- Directorate General Immigration and Passport has advised all government officers/officials, who concealed their profession in passports, to contact passport offices to get rectified passports within three months.
ISLAMABAD -- More than 50,000 government officers have adopted illegal means of obtaining passports in a private capacity by concealing facts about their profession.
The purpose of these digital passports is to avoid tampering,fraud andcreation of fake passports.
A British consultancy firm, Henley and Partners, have published an annual Passport Index ranking the relative strength of the world's passports.