Passports are a requirement for international and domestic travel. Increased threshold of threats to security, especially terrorism, are prompting most countries across the globe to revolutionize their passport regulations and requirements. The US and other European countries have been on the forefront as far as the introduction of the new passport changes and requirements are concerned. Here is an overview of what has changed or is expected to change in the near future regarding how you apply and use your passport.
- Passport Makeovers
To enhance the speed of processing of passengers in airports, passports are being incorporated with microchips designed to hold passengers’ data. The machine-readable microchip will make it possible for instant changes to be affected across all airports and countries. For instance, the microchip can be instantly updated across all airports, thereby affecting travel restrictions more effectively at the touch of a button.
- Improved Security Features
To make passports more tamper-proof, new security features are expected to be incorporated in order to decrease the prospects of criminals defrauding customs agencies and personnel. The data chip will be virtually impossible to replicate, thereby eliminating prospects of forgery and other forms of malicious tampering.
- Strict Application Rules
In order to curb the increased threat to national security, governments, led by the United States, have revised rules and regulations for applying for passports. For instance, if a passport photograph does not meet a certain requirement of clarity and size, the application will be turned down. Other aspects include the restriction on the use of eyeglasses on passport photographs and the requirement to produce proof of US citizenship, including birth certificates among other requirements which make the application process watertight.
- Passport Renewal Regulations
Governments across the globe have enforced a 6-month validity rule requiring all passport holders to have their passports’ expiry date not less than 6 months from the time of entry to a country. This implies that you will have to renew your passport way in advance before the 6 months travel restriction period. Individuals having passports expiring within 6 months will be denied entry. The entire passport renewal process has been made much simpler in most countries as one can renew online at the click of a button.