Prior to the late 80s, British passports were blue in color, as they are now. However, since the blue passport inception in 1921, there have been a number of interesting variations on the blue color, but the British passport has never been black.
British Passport Colour
Although the new British passport is officially blue in colour, there has been much debate recently as to whether it is actually blue or closer to black.
On 10 March 2020, the new Series C blue British passport officially began to be issued. Series B passports would also be issued while the Home Office used up old stock. On 25 September 2020, HMPO announced all British passports issued would now be blue.
Many people have been wondering why this change has come into effect, but there is a very good reason for it: Brexit! Since the United Kingdom has now left the European Union, it no longer has to comply with EU rules and regulations when it comes to things like passport colours.
Maybe you have the most powerful passport in the world, or perhaps you carry the rarest. No matter the case, your passport will likely be one of four colors: blue, green, red, or black.
Regular passport (of maroon color) Special passport (green) Diplomatic passport (black) Service passport (grey)
Citizens of many Caribbean and South American countries, including Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, also carry blue passports.
British Passport Colour
In addition to new rules governing European travel, the old, burgundy-colored British passport has now been replaced by a new, British blue passport.
Unless your British Passport is due for a renewal, you do not need to apply for a new one. Many have decided to renew in order to get the new blue passport, but this is not necessary. Your burgundy passport is still valid for travel until its listed expiry date.
British nationals that were issued a red passport prior to Brexit must check that the validity of the passport does not exceed a maximum period of 10 years. Any additional months on top of the 10-year validity period will no longer be valid for travel to the EU.
The World's Strongest Passports for Travel Freedom
In 2022, the most powerful passport in the world in terms of travel freedom is the Japanese passport, according to the HPI. A passport issued by Japan allows the holder to enter 193 different countries and territories without having to get a visa in advance.
The distinctive blue cover will be re-introduced now the UK has left the EU, and will replace burgundy passports which were gradually rolled out from 1988. The first new passports will be issued and delivered early next month. Full introduction will be phased in and from mid-2020 all new passports will be blue.
Interestingly, the Queen did not own a passport. Since British passports were issued in her name, it did not make sense for her to own one.
Find out loads more about Brexit
For many people they were a symbol of the UK taking back control of its own rules by going back to the traditional style of UK passport. Although they didn't have to, in 1998, the UK chose to change the passport colour to match the EU passports, following EU recommendations.
Black passports are diplomatic passports. They are issued to employees of the United States Department of State who must travel overseas to work for the interests of the Department of State.
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.
Routine processing is 8 to 11 weeks and expedite processing (for an additional $60) is 5 to 7 weeks. Our processing times begin the day we receive your application at a passport agency or center, not the day you mail your application or apply for a passport at a local acceptance facility.
If you renew your passport during early 2020, you may be given either a blue or a burgundy British passport but all styles of passport will be equally valid. All passports issued from mid-2020 will be blue.
Passports issued by EU States to their citizens have the common "recommended" lay out. They are burgundy in colour and have the words “European Union” printed on the cover, accompanied by the name of the issuing EU State.
While our previous electronic passports are secure, the Next Generation Passport book uses new technologies to produce a more robust passport with enhanced security features, such as a polycarbonate data page, laser-engraved personalization, and updated artwork.
The red passport
Citizens of Slovenia, China, Serbia, Russia, Latvia, Romania, Poland and Georgia have red passports. Countries wishing to join the European Union such as Turkey, Macedonia and Albania have also started adopting red passports a few years back.
A recent design that has amazed travellers is the Norwegian passport, which features secret images of the Northern Lights that show under the UV light. However, one passport that exists some may not know about is the white passport.
Japan once again holds the most powerful passport, allowing visa-free access to 193 countries, according to the Henley Passport Index's third quarter 2022 report released Tuesday.
For some countries, the choice of color relates to a predominant religion. Muslim countries including Morocco, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia have green passports, which is connected to Islam: Green is considered to have been a favorite color of the Prophet Muhammad, who is said to have worn a green cloak and turban.