1. What is passport?
A passport is always required when traveling from one country to another. This is the official certificate of citizenship issued by your country confirms your identity and nationality.
Actually, the word "passport" in English means the pass of a port. In other words, the passport is the proof for a citizen to go through the international ports of all countries. Some countries may issue a kind of general credentials to replace the passport.

For international travel across borders, a citizen must possess a legitimate passport that issued by his own country's government, and simultaneously, an effective visa to your destination country.

As mentioned above, the passport is your identification card when abroad, which is required in many cases, such as getting through the port, booking the air ticket or identifying yourself when something unexpected happens. Therefore, take good care of your passport when abroad.

3. Passport Types
Passport is issued by a country for her citizens as a certificate of the identity when traveling abroad, which includes three types in China--diplomatic, service/official and regular passport. While, some countries issue only one type of passport (like UK), some two of them (like India, Pakistan and so on), the other four or five types of passports (like US, France and so on).

(a). Diplomatic Passport
Diplomatic Passport is issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the diplomatic personnel and their spouse and minor children only. The diplomatic personnel include diplomatic officials, consul officials, head of country and state and the members of the parliament and government delegation.

(b). Service/Official Passport
Passport for Public Service, called Official Passport in some countries, is issued for the Civil Servants or the people who work for Embassy and Consulate but are not the diplomatic personnel and their spouse and minor children. Service/Official passport is issued by Foreign Affairs Department in the regional governments that are authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy or consulate.

(c). Ordinary Passport
Ordinary passport is issued to all the ordinary citizens who travel abroad for different reasons (except for public affairs). Ordinary passport is issued by Entry-exit Department in the Public Security Bureau with authority and Oversea Office authorized by the Embassy and Consulate.

4. Item of Passport
The passports of different type issued by different countries are similar in items, which includes the national emblem, the full country's name and the passport type on the passport cover and the passport purpose on the back cover. Passport extensions for expired passports are allowed in all countries, so all passports contain special pages for extension and remarks. To facilitate countries to issue visas, many additional blank pages are included within the passport, each page imprinted with the word "VISA".

5. Period of Validity
Like the identification card, the passport will be invalid when it expired. The duration of validity varies from type to type. To be exact, the duration of validity of ordinary passport is 5 five years for the holder under 16 years and 10 years for the holder over, while that of the diplomatic passport is 5. Some passport can be extended when expired, while some can not.

6. Effective Area
The effective area is one of important passport items. Passports in some countries imprinted the words like "this passport is effective toward XX (country name)" or "citizen who holds the passport is not allowed to go to XX (country name) and XX (area name)".

7. Keep your passport well
Before you apply for the visa to your destination country, you had better keep your prepared passport well in a safe place at home. Do not always carry it with you. After obtaining a visa, the passport is active for that country and holds a high value. Some international criminal groups and pickpockets specialize in stealing the passport and consider the passport more valuable than currency. They will trade the passport for money, or perform some other illegal activities using the passport as a shield. Therefore, you must keep your passport safe under lock and key, especially after you pass through the customs inspection and go on the oversea trip, be vigilant at all times. Now you should carry your own passport along with you all the times. Do not put it into your outside pockets or bag then after a while another. It is much safer to put it into an inside pocket, which allows ready access for any eventuality you may encounter where it is required.

8. What if your passport is lost
(a). If you lose your passport before setting out abroad, you should immediately report the case to the public security authorities and passport issuing office in your country, and provide them the detailed statement of the time and the place of its loss and the basic information on your passport such as name, gender, date of birth, passport number etc. A statement of cancellation of your lost passport on the newspaper is essential before reapplying a new one.

(b). If the passport is lost abroad, you should report the case to the local public security bureau at once. Meanwhile, you should go to your embassy or consulate ASAP to complete the registration procedure of the loss report, and then apply for a passport reissue.

9. What is next
On getting your passport, what you should do is check through all the items carefully to see weather there is any error. Inquire to the issue office on the spot, if any. Or you will go into troubles later.

Getting a passport is just the first step of the procedure for going abroad. The next thing you should do is carry your passport and the correlated credential materials to go to the embassies or consulates of your target country stationed in your own country for the visa application. When you obtain the visa, you should have an “International Prophylactic Inoculation Certificate”. After purchasing the air ticket to your target country and doing some pre-trip preparatory work, you can proceed with your journey abroad. A passport with two opposing blank visa pages and validity of at least six-month is required from the day when you submit the visa application is required before you visit China.

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