Types U.S. Passports: blue
The U.S. blue passport is a regular, normal passport. It is also known as a "tourist" passport. It is available to all Americans who wish to travel abroad. A blue U.S. passport is required if you plan to travel abroad for business, education, employment, or pleasure. All U.S. passport offices can issue these "American-flag" blue passports.
Some blue passports are free for employees of the American National Red Cross and Peace Corps volunteers who are planning to travel abroad.
United States passport cover: black
Black passports can be used as diplomatic passports. These passports are issued to United States Department of State employees who need to travel abroad to serve the Department of State's interests. Diplomats, ambassadors, and staff at embassy will all be issued black diplomatic passports. The same applies to the U.S. president and vice-president, as well as the justices of Supreme Court.
These passports are valid for 5 (five) year and cannot be used for leisure or tourism travel. This type of U.S. passport is only issued at the Washington Passport Agency's Special Insurance Agency.
Brown American passports
The U.S. passports that are brown (or a shade maroon) are called "official Passports." They are issued to U.S. officials who need to travel abroad on official business. This includes politicians, FBI agents, and bureaucrats. The Department of State can also authorize family members of such officials to obtain brown U.S. passports.
Active-duty military personnel (and their families), who need to travel abroad can also get the brown official passports. The Special Insurance Agency of the Washington Passport Agency issues military passports. A blue passport can be used by American citizens in conjunction with a military passport. However, the brown official passport is used for official travel while the blue tourist passport is used for personal and leisure travel.
The brown official U.S. passport application must be submitted with the same documents and forms as the blue passport. You also need to provide proof of your official status. Official passports don't require you to pay any fees.
A brown official passport has a maximum validity of 5 (five). These passports can't be used for leisure travel and must be returned when the official duty ends.
Gray U.S. passport covers
This is a service passport that contractors can use to travel to the United States in support of the government. It is not eligible for a brown official passport. These service passports are available for use in situations where a regular blue passport is not permitted. These passports are free of charge and can be used for up to five (five) years. They are issued by Washington's Special Issuance Agency.
The U.S. Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services issues green passports that aren't passports, but they are refugee travel documents. Although they look similar to passports, it is a document for noncitizens and does not indicate U.S. citizenship.
The green passports, which actually shade into a kind of bluish-green, are issued to refugees living on U.S. soil who cannot obtain a passport from their home country. They can be used to obtain travel visas and to be readmitted into the United States.
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U.S. U.S. passport color: FAQ
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the colors of the U.S. passport.
How do I get a black passport?
A U.S. diplomatic passport is a black passport. You must be an American Department of State employee, diplomat, ambassador or embassy staff member to obtain it. Black passports can also be issued to U.S. presidents and vice-presidents as well as the justices of Supreme Court.
How do I get a red passport?
Official passports are issued with a red U.S. passport, also known as a brown passport or maroon passport. This document is issued to U.S. government officials who travel overseas for business purposes.
A red passport is also available to active-duty military personnel and their families.
Application for an official passport is the same as regular blue. To obtain a red passport, applicants must show proof of their official status.
Why do countries change the color of their passports?
This is usually due to a significant change of governance, such as after a civil war.
In 1988, the UK changed from being blue to burgundy in order to match the rest the European Union. However, now that the UK has left the European Union as a result of Brexit, they have returned to their original color scheme of gold passports and navy blue passports.
Norway has recently adopted beautiful pastel colors as a way to show off its coolness and style. Changes are expected for security and anticounterfeiting reasons.
Is the president entitled to a passport with a different stamp?
Yes, the President of the United States receives a special passport. The president receives an additional black "diplomatic" passport in addition to a regular blue passport. This type of passport can only be used to travel in connection with the Department of State's interests.
U.S. passport cover colors: summary
Blue, especially dark blue, is the most common color used for passport covers in all countries. There are many shades of blue in the United States, United Kingdom, and 80 (eighty other) countries.
As you probably know, you can also get specialized passports in other colors. AiPassportPhoto can help you with all your passport photography needs, no matter where you are.