What Passport Colors Really Mean Around the World?

Vannessa | 01 - 10 - 2024

Do you know passport colour differs in each country? Do you know why the reason behind these color preferences? Do passport colors have any significance? Although they may not have big stories, each color symbolizes something related to the country. 

Who Decides the Passport Colour?

The International Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) suggests the format for creating a passport, including sizes, colors, and font. The recommendations correspond to handling the passport, such as folding and transportation, as well as ensuring the accuracy of the information yet to be provided in the passport. Although there are no laws or restrictions on passport designs, most countries’ formats look similar. Now, take a look at the different colors of a passport and its meaning.

Red Colour

Who suggests the passport format?
  • A. International Civil Aviation Organisation
  • B. International Chamber of Commerce
  • C. International Maritime Organization
  • D. Interpol


Red is the preferred passport color for most European countries. In addition to the existing EU members, newly joined countries have also adopted red passports. The list of red passport countries includes Turkey, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, and Georgia. The European countries fixed the red color based on their religious and historical reason saying it symbolizes factors and importance of Christianity. The Nordic countries chose red to illustrate the historical significance of Viking tribes. 

Green Colour 


Similar to red, green color also personifies a country’s religion and past. That’s why many Islamic countries chose green to represent the passport colour. Since green is a favorite color of Prophet Muhammad, Muslim countries adopted the same color for their flags.

Green also symbolizes nature and peace. Alongside Muslim countries, African states also add green colour to the passport. Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Senegal are some countries with green passports. Interestingly, the United States once issued green passports in honor of Benjamin Franklin for one year(1993 – 1994).

Blue Colour 


Blue- the second most preferred color for a passport as it signifies the “new world.” This colour is mostly used in South and North America and some Asian countries. The United States of America uses blue passports, which have become a signature passport color in the modern world. Apart from other factors, it also represents political purposes and goals. Territories of the United States such as Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Paraguay, Brazil, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and Guam use the blue color for their passports. The Mercosur Organization of South America chose the blue colour for their passports. Some Asian countries like India, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Israel opt for blue on their passports.

Also, read about the top countries where US citizens can travel without a visa.

Black Colour


Black passports are rare as they are used by certain African and Asian countries. Compared to other colour, Black is used for different reasons. Many claim that black looks more formal and can withstand damage. Black is the official colour of New Zealand, Botswana, and Zambia and it is the main factor to use black for passports. Diplomatic passports of some countries are black, for instance America.

Know Your Passport Color Meaning

Black Passport Meaning Dark shades show less dirt and tend to look more official
Red Passport Meaning Often chosen by countries with a current or previous communist system
Green Passport Meaning Very common in the Muslim religion, it represents a symbol of eternity
Blue Passport Meaning Symbolizes the “new world” and also represents the color of the American flag
Brown Passport Meaning These are assigned to U.S. government employees and active members of the US military who travel abroad for duty. 
Purple US Passport These are issued to US citizens during emergencies with a validity of one year from the issue date. 

Now, you know the interesting reason behind the passport color and their significance. Check out our other blog to learn Surprising Facts about Air Force One That Will Blow Your Mind.

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