A passport is an official travel document issued by a government that contains a person's identity. A person with a passport can travel to and from foreign countries more easily and access consular assistance. A passport certifies the personal identity and nationality of its holder. It is typical for passports to contain the full name, photograph, place and date of birth, signature, and the expiration date of the passport. While passports are typically issued by national governments, certain subnational governments are authorised to issue passports to citizens residing within their borders.
Many nations issue (or plan to issue) biometric passports that contain an embedded microchip, making them machine-readable and difficult to counterfeit. As of January 2019[update], there were over 150 jurisdictions issuing e-passports. Previously issued non-biometric machine-readable passports usually remain valid until their respective expiration dates.
A passport holder is normally entitled to enter the country that issued the passport, though some people entitled to a passport may not be full citizens with right of abode (e.g. American nationals or British nationals). A passport does not of itself create any rights in the country being visited or obligate the issuing country in any way, such as providing consular assistance. Some passports attest to the bearer having a status as a diplomat or other official, entitled to rights and privileges such as immunity from arrest or prosecution.