There are only 4 basic colors for passports around the world. The reasons why states choose one or another color for their citizens’ passports may be many and various. But the colors are only 4.

This was also confirmed by the vice president of Arton Group, Hrant Boghossian.The organization that runs the interactive Passport Index database.

So we wondered what this choice was due to. See the answers we`ve reached – are interesting …

passport Singapore

Red passports

This is the most common color. Typically, these passports occur in countries that are from a former or current communist regime. Residents of Slovenia, Serbia, Russia, China, Latvia, Romania, Poland and Georgia have red passports. As you must know, red is a fundamental color for communism. This is the color of the flag of the former Communist superpower – the Soviet Union. The color of the passports of those countries is a legacy of that era.

Of course, this is just one of the reasons for the existence of passports in red.
EU member states, with the exception of Croatia, have passports in burgundy color (or other shades of red). Countries that apply to join the EU, such as Turkey, Macedonia and Albania, have also exchanged their passports with red a few years ago. The Andean countries – Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru – also use burgundy passports.

passport Cuba

Blue passports

This is the second most common color. The blue color symbolizes the “new world”. 15 Caribbean countries have blue passports. Within the South American country blue cover of the passport symbolizes the link with MERCOSUR (editorial note – the largest interstate alliance in South America). MERCOSUR brings together 250 million people and more than 75% of the total GDP in the continent. It includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela (since July 2006), and associated members are Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru).

The only exception to the color of passports is Venezuela, where the passports are red (because of the “socialist” regime that still governs the country).

US passport

The League of Nations standardized passports in 1920. At that time, the U.S. was not a member of the organization, but decided to adhere to the standards anyway. From this point, the U.S. passport started as a piece of paper, slightly bigger than a diploma. The paper then evolved, taking on the likeness of a small booklet with 28 pages and a green cover.

But, that color wasn’t permanent.

In 1970, the color was changed to blue, then switched back to green in 1993 and back to blue in 1994. The U.S. passport has remained this color ever since.

passport of Tanzania

Green passports

Most Muslim countries have a green passport. Such countries are: Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The green is the favorite color of the Prophet Mohammed, a symbol of nature and life. So, in addition to political, the color of a country’s passport can also be determined for religious reasons. But that’s not all …

Residents of the West African countries – Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, have passports with different shades of green. In their case, the color symbolizes their belonging to the Economic Community of West African countries.

passport St Kitts and Nevis

Black passports

This is the most rare color. Such are the inhabitants of some African countries – Botswana Zambia, Burundi, Gabon, Angola, Chad, Congo, Malawi and others. Residents of New Zealand also have a black passport because it is their national color. As residents of one of the most desirable citizenship state in the world – those of St. Kitts and Nevis.

See the map of how the colors of passports around the world are distributed.
passports colors world-map

Just a little more…

Finland has incorporated the sequence of a running moose into their passport. As you turn the pages quickly, you can see the animal running like in a flipbook.

“Passport production is a highly controlled process, and only few companies around the world are doing it,” Mr Boghossian said.

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