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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.


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.

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.

References in periodicals archive ?
We have the potential to issue 100 passports every ten minutes," he added.
Replying to inquiries on the newly introduced e-passports, the Turkish Police Department said on Wednesday that citizens with unexpired passports would be able to use their old passports until the year 2015.
from Mexico and Canada to carry passports say the law will slow trade and confuse tourists.
In the face of the growing threat of forgery and identity theft, countries all around the world are tightening the security of their passports to the internationally-agreed standards.
According to the Canadian Tourism Commission, it is estimated that just one-quarter of Americans have passports.
Those only needing to add visa pages to their passports will submit an Application for Additional Visa Pages (DS-4085).
If you are renewing your passports and need to travel in two weeks, the Agency may be able to extend your existing passport.
passport issuance system produces passports that include digitized, printed photographs that significantly enhance the security of the passports.
It said Indians with passports which may expire in less than six months should renew their passports before undertaking any foreign travel "It is especially important to check the passport needs of any minor who may be accompanying their parents as passports for minors have a shorter validity period (five years) than passports for adults (10 years).
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India issued an urgent public advisory to the people holding handwritten non-machine readable passports (MRPs) to apply for the re-issue of such passports.
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan ambassador to Beijing, Masood Khalid Friday said that machine readable passport (MRP) facility would benefit Pakistani expatriates in China as it would save them botheration of travel to Islamabad for renewable of their passports.
Indian citizens holding handwritten passports or passports with 20-year validity beyond November 24, 2015 should apply for the re-issue of their passports and obtain machine-readable passports (MRP) from the embassy before the deadline ends, the Indian embassy said yesterday.