Passport full of stamps on a table

If you’re working with your country’s embassy in a foreign country to get your passport, what’s the “passport issuing country”?

The “passport issuing country” is your country. It’s not the foreign country you are in. It is your country that you are applying to get the passport from, the country of the embassy you are using.

I hope that makes sense. Let me try to answer this in a few different ways if you are still a little confused. Hopefully, explaining it in one of these ways will make sense.

And there are lots more questions below you will find helpful!

The “country of issue”

Consider these three factors when thinking of the question 

1 –  The the country you are a citizen of or “country of citizenship” 

2 – Which official outlet of that country issues your passport which will be your “passport issued at”. This will be the consulate, embassy or diplomatic mission you go to for all the logistics of getting your passport.

3 – Finally, the country you are requesting the passport from or “passport issuing country”.

Irrespective of where it is issued, your citizenship belongs to the issuing country. The issuing country is the country you are requesting the passport from. The only issuing country for a US passport is the USA. The only issuing country for French passports is France.

French or US passports (as examples) can be issued by any of their embassies, consulates, or diplomatic missions around the world, but that doesn’t make them the issuing country. It only makes them the issuing location. It needs to be a location that can issue a passport. Not all embassies do that. 

A foreign office or embassy has jurisdiction over a country’s passport because two factors support their legitimacy: their recognition by the foreign country, as well as your designation as a legitimate issuer by your country.

I don’t know much beyond that and encourage you for practical reasons to check and see where you can get your passport from and get in contact with them if you have additional questions about it.

Special circumstances

In some situations, a country may have a relationship with another country for the purpose of handling its foreign affairs, which includes passports. In those instances, a passport for a national of one country may be issued by a passport of another country. 

This could be done regularly or just in special circumstances, depending on the countries involved.

Such relationships aren’t common today; they were more prevalent during the colonial era, when many of the industrialized nations, we now call independent, were under the suzerainty of an imperial overlord.

Related: A US Passport Help Guide (With Tips and Examples)

An additional note on citizenship

If, for example, you are a Norwegian passport holder… If your passport does not explicitly mention citizenship as a matter of course, having a Norwegian passport book or card does not entitle you to citizenship.

Back to passport country of issuance

Another attempt to answer the original question with an example.

If your French passport is issued by the French embassy in Japan, the passport-issuing country is still France. A refugee in Japan, for example, should have their travel documents issued by Japan, since Japan regularly issues visas for refugees. 

There is still a possibility that you may not have the same passport issuing authority as the individual would have listed if applying for a passport from France.

There is typically no difference between the nationality of the passport holder and the country whose passport issuing country, irrespective of where it was issued. 

But that isn’t always the case. Travel documents are sometimes issued to non-nationals by some countries. A travel document from some countries will specify which country a non-national belongs to.

Another example of “country of issue”

A fictitious example to help with “passport issuing country” or “country of issue”.

I have a Canadian passport that was issued in London. My passport reads;

‘authority: Canadian embassy of London

The passport I received in London was still made in Canada and sent via courier to London as I applied for it in London. Other countries cannot issue Canadian passports, just as Canada cannot issue passports for any other country other than her own country.

Each country does things a little differently

Even if you request one abroad, you will still receive your US passport from the United States, which is indicated in your passport. 

Despite its absence from the data page of my passport, I received my current US passport in Reykjavik. There is no mention of the country from which the document was issued. The Department of State issued it.

Passports are not actually issued by the embassy. To receive a passport, they send paperwork back to the home country which then forwards the passport over to the embassy. It is then delivered to the country or made available for collection at the embassy.

To try to put it succinctly, the passport issuing country is the country that issued the passport… not the country where the passport was issued.

What does “place of issue” mean on a U.S. Passport?

The place of issue is the location of the issuing authority. It is typically listed as the city name. It is asking you where your passport was issued, including the country, city, and state. In recent years, US passports haven’t listed what office issued the passport, so I’ve found that just putting USA is sufficient.

Passport applications are processed through 26 agencies in the US. Additionally, National Passport Centers are available, such as the one in New Hampshire. 

The “Place of Issue” was replaced with the issuing “Authority”. This by default was printed as “US Department of State”.

On passports issued abroad, you might have seen “US Embassy (city name)”. Routine passport applications for Americans living abroad or emergency passports for those who have lost their passports.

If you are wondering what to write there, list the city where your passport was issued if you are a foreign national with a passport that was issued in the United States.

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What is the place of issue?

Your passport’s place of issue is the name of the city where it was issued. It is also possible for you to renew your passport at a local embassy or consulate when you are abroad. These situations are common for students and foreign nationals on work visas.

Related: Should I Leave My Passport In The Hotel Or Carry It With Me At All Times?

How do you find the place of issue on a UK passport?

The place of issue is typically stated next to the date of issue. It’s usually on the information page. So you know, if you are filling out paperwork, In the UK, passports are no longer required to state the place of issue, so the correct answer is UK.

Who are UK passports issued by?

UK passports are only issued by the HM Passport Office. Home Office is where the HM Passport Office is located. Through the General Register Office, they provide civil registration services.

What is place of issue for US passport?

A passport’s issuance location is called the “place of issue”. If one is using a state agency then it would be that American Embassy outside the United States.

If you are going to apply for a visa, you will be asked for the city, state, and/or country where your passport was issued. 

There is no specific issuing office listed on U.S. passports, so unless otherwise noted on the passport, I’ve simply written “USA.”

Renewal of an American passport abroad is usually handled by the local embassy in the country where the individual is residing.

A citizen of the United States living in Germany, for example, might have as “place of issue” in his/her passport “Embassy of the United States in Frankfurt”.

Typically in a US passport, the place of issue is somewhere near the passport holder’s name. This may also be listed as the “Issuing authority” or the “Authority”.

I hope you found this article helpful.