The World Passport is back in the headlines this week thanks to Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def), who was arrested this week in South Africa. After arriving in the country some time ago, on a US passport, he attempted to leave on a World Passport. Below is a breakdown on what a World Passport is and where you can (and can’t) use them.
The World Passport
The World Service Authority (WSA) is an organisation that aspires to do away with the borders that define nation states around the globe. As a symbolic attempt to represent the “inalienable human right of freedom of travel on planet earth”, the WSA issues applicants a World Passport.
The organisation aims for the passport to one day become widely accepted across the globe. However, over the last 50 years only 150 countries have accepted it; mostly on a case-by-case basis. At this point, there are only six countries that officially recognise the passport: Zambia, Togo, Tanzania, Mauritania, Ecuador and Burkina Faso.
Where does it work?
Developing countries in Africa and South America are far more likely to accept these passports. However, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will successfully gain entrance to or, as Yasiin Bey has learned, exit the country. The WSA has warned its members that the passport “almost never” works in developed countries like the United States, Canada, Germany and France.
You will not be able to travel to South Africa, Australia or the UK on a World Passport. It is essential that you check what the visa requirements are for the passport you hold before embarking on your flight.