Like all biometric passports, the newer EU passports contain a Machine-readable zone, which contains the name, nationality and most other information from the identification page. It is designed in a way so that computers can fairly easily read the information, although it still human readable, since it contains only letters (A–Z), digits and "<" as space character, but no bar graph or similar.
Names containing non-English letters are usually spelled in the correct way in the non-machine-readable zone of the passport, but are mapped according to the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the machine-readable zone. For example, the German umlauts (ä, ö, ü) and the letter ß are mapped as AE / OE / UE and SS, so Müller becomes MUELLER, Groß becomes GROSS, and Gößmann becomes GOESSMANN.
The ICAO mapping is mostly used for computer-generated and internationally used documents such as air tickets, but sometimes (like in US visas) also simple letters are used (MULLER, GOSSMANN). German credit cards use in their non-machine-readable zone either the correct or the mapped spelling.
Some German names are always spelled with "old" spelling, such as the poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe or the Third-Reich politician Paul Joseph Goebbels; however, in the name of the German football player Ulrich Hoeneß, the umlaut is spelled "old", but the letter ß is not (the spelling in the machine-readable passport zone is HOENESS, the ß being mapped here).
The three possible spelling variants of the same name (e.g. Müller / Mueller / Muller) in different documents sometimes lead to confusion, and the use of two different spellings within the same document (like in the passports of German-speaking countries) may give people who are unfamiliar with the foreign orthography the impression that the document is a forgery.
The Austrian passport can (but does not always) contain a note in German, English, and French that AE / OE/ UE / SS are the common mappings of Ä / Ö / Ü / ß.
Names originally written in a non-Latin writing system may pose another problem if there are various internationally recognized transcription standards. For example, the Russian surname Горбачёв is transcribed
The "machine-readable zone contains the name transliterated in a standardized (English-based) way, defined by the standard for machine readable travel documents (ICAO 9303). Горбачёв would be written GORBACHEV.
Letters with accents are often replaced by simple letters (ç → C, ê → E, etc.), but for some letters mappings are common:
å → AA
ä, æ → AE
ij (capital letter: IJ )→ IJ
ö, ø, œ → OE
ü → UE (German) or UXX (Spanish)
ñ → N or sometimes NXX
ß → SS
The Icelandic letters ð and þ (non-EU, but EFTA passport) are mapped as DH (sometimes D) and TH, respectively.
It is recommended to use the spelling used in the machine-readable passport zone for visas, airline tickets, etc., and to refer to that zone if being questioned. The same thing applies if the name is too long to fit in the airline's ticket system, otherwise problems can arise. (The machine-readable has room for 39 letters for the name while the visual zone can contain as many as will fit)
Optional information on the following page:
|11. "Residence||12. "Height|
|13. "Colour of eyes||14. "Extension of the passport|
|15. "Name at birth (if now using married name or have legally changed names)|
|Member state||Passport cover||Biodata page||Cost||Validity||Issuing authority||Latest version|
||16 June 2006|
||1 February 2008|
Ministry of Interior Affairs
|29 March 2010|
||3 August 2015|
||13 December 2010|
|" "Czech Republic||
||1 September 2006|
||1 January 2012|
||1 June 2014|
||21 August 2012|
|" "Åland Islands||
||21 August 2012|
||12 April 2006|
||Municipal registration office||1 March 2017|
||National Passport Centre ("Διεύθυνση Διαβατηρίων/Αρχηγείο Ελληνικής Αστυνομίας")||28 August 2006|
Registration Office (Nyilvántartó Hivatal)
|1 March 2012|
||Consular and Passport Division of the "Department of Foreign Affairs||3 October 2013|
||"Minister of Foreign Affairs through||20 May 2010|
||29 January 2015|
||27 January 2011|
||Passport Office, Luxembourg||1 July 2011|
||Passport & Civil Registration Directorate||29 September 2008|
|" "The Netherlands||
||9 March 2014|
Application made within Poland:
Application made through a Polish consulate:
In both cases:
||1 January 2006|
|" "Portugal||Application made within Portugal:
||25 May 2009|
||"Ministry of Administration and Interior (General Directorate for Passports)||26 April 2006|
||15 January 2008|
||28 August 2006|
||2 January 2015|
||2 January 2012|
|" "United Kingdom||
See also: "Visa requirements for European Union citizens
Passport rankings by the number of countries and territories their holders could visit without a visa or by obtaining visa on arrival in 2016 were as follows (sourced from Henley Visa Restrictions Index 2016):
For details, click on the name of the country:
Some EU countries, such as Germany, Ireland, Malta and the UK, allow their citizens to have several passports at once to circumvent certain travel restrictions. This can be useful if wanting to travel while a passport remains at a consulate while a visa application is processed, or wanting to apply for further visas while already in a foreign country. It can also be needed to circumvent the fact that visitors whose passports show evidence of a visit to Israel are not allowed to enter Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Syria and Yemen (It is, however, possible to get the Israeli entry and exit stamp on a separate piece of paper).
Each EU and EFTA country can make its own citizenship laws, so some countries allow dual or multiple citizenship without any restrictions (e.g. France, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom), some regulate/restrict it (e.g. Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain), and others allow it only in exceptional cases (e.g. Lithuania) or only for citizens by descent (e.g. Croatia, Estonia).
A citizen of an EEA or EFTA country can live and work in all other EU or EFTA countries (but not necessarily vote or work in sensitive fields, such as government, police, military where citizenship is often required). Non-citizens may not have the same rights to welfare and unemployment benefits like citizens.
Decision 96/409/CSFP of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 25 June 1996 on the establishment of an emergency travel document, decided that there would be a standard emergency travel document (ETD).
ETDs are issued to European Union citizens for a single journey back to the EU country of which they are a national, to their country of permanent residence or, in exceptional cases, to another destination (inside or outside the Union). The decision does not apply to expired national passports; it is specifically confined to cases where travel documents have been lost, stolen or destroyed or are temporarily unavailable.
Embassies and consulates of EU countries different to the applicant may issue emergency travel documents if
As a consequence of citizenship of the European Union, when in a non-EU country EU citizens whose country maintains no diplomatic mission there, have the right to consular protection and assistance from a diplomatic mission of any other EU country present in the non-EU country.
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