Why do passports only come in four colours and what is the meaning behind each?

THE British passport has changed from the EU burgundy colour back to navy since Brexit.

However, there aren't many passport colours in the world – and are in fact just four.

There are four colours they come in – red, blue, green and black – and are mainly because they are dark hues, meaning they hide dirt and damage, and look more official.

While they only use the four colours, they do come in varying shades, with some navy passports compared to a lighter blue, or a burgundy passport compared to a bright red version.

Here is what each colour means, as well as which country uses them.

What does a red passport mean?

The most common colour, the majority of the EU has a red passport, excluding Croatia, which is blue.

Citizens of nations with a communist history like Slovenia, Serbia, Latvia, Romania, China, Russia, Poland, and Georgia have red passports.

Countries interested in joining the EU, including Turkey, Macedonia, and Albania, also changed their passports to red a few years ago.

Other countries who favour red include Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

What does a blue passport mean?

The second most common colour, blue passports symbolises “the new world” and 15 Caribbean countries use this colour for the passports.

The block of South American countries, including, Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, also use the blue passport – the cover symbolising the connection with Mercosur, a trade union.

One of the most famous blue passports is the one issue to US citizens, but these were only changed to blue in 1976.

The UK also has blue passports since leaving the EU.


What does a green passport mean?

Most Muslim countries use green passports, with examples including Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan.

This is because green is considered to be the favourite colour of the Prophet Muhammad.

The colour is also thought as being a symbol of nature and life.

Several West African countries, including Nigeria, Niger and Segal, also have the green passport, but in their case shade indicates that they belong to ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States).

What does a black passport mean?

Black is the rarest colour when it comes to passports.

Some African countries, including Botswana, Zambia, Burundi, Gabon, Angola, Chad, Congo, Malawi all issue a black passport.

Citizens of New Zealand also have a black passport – because it’s the country’s national colour.

The UK passport is more powerful since Brexit, according to the annual Henley Passport Index, although still falls behind Germany and France.

A vaccine passport is also being considered in both the UK and abroad to allow Brits to avoid Covid restrictions when visiting pubs, restaurants and even foreign countries.

Here is everything you need to know about renewing your passport and how much it costs.

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