Can I Travel on a World Service Authority Passport?

If you travel with nothing but a world passport. Your chances of a hassle-free trip are zero

Grandpa’s Answer:

Maybe it will get you into Tanzania but not many other places.

Afew yeas ago a Bolivian judge charged an American­born man with planning a pair of deadly hotel bombings in La Paz. Triston Jay Amero grew up in California but had tried to renounce his U.S. citizenship; he considers himself a “world citizen” and has traveled extensively in Latin America using a so­called “World Service Authority Passport.” Since then the WSA document has ad a very bad reputation as a document used by terrorists and crazies.

Can you really use a “world passport” for international travel?

No! The World Service Authority—the Washington­based organization that issues world passports—says more than 150 countries have accepted the document at least once. However, we know that virtually all the passport entry or exit stamps on the WSA website were issued as souvenir stamps to people with other “legal passports” by border officials . They were not legally authorized to give such stamps. Six countries have supposedly provided the WSA with formal letters of recognition ­­ most recently Tanzania in 1995. Others with an appropriate bribe will grant entry to anyone holding any kind of document – They are the likes of Burkina Faso, Togo,

Somalia, Cape Verde and Zambia. In other words, only places that no sane person would ever want to visit seem to some times­ maybe­ accept WSA passports.

If you travel with nothing but a world passport. Your chances of a hassle-free trip are zero –

Passage will depend on the whim (or ignorance) of the guy working customs at your destination.

WSA doesn’t guarantee that any country will accept their document, and it even offers a specific warning about countries where the passport “never” works: Canada, Australia, anywhere in the E.U. and the United States.

Like most countries ,the U.S. State Department will consider granting a visa to holders of passports from any nation that the U.S. officially recognizes. Exceptions may be made for other kinds of passports on a case­by­case basis.. Holders of diplomatic passports issued by American Indian Nations, The Red Cross, Non Government or United Nations Refugee Organizations, are sometimes granted visas.

Regular diplomatic relations are not a prerequisite: You can theoretically get an American visa on a passport from Bhutan, Cuba, Iran, the West Bank and Gaza (Palestine) or Taiwan . North Korea, NO! It doesn’t make the cut. Passports from the WSA get a special mention in the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual: “World Service Authority Passports are not acceptable as ‘passports’ for visa issuing purposes … the document is a 40­page, passport­size document with a bright blue cover & gold lettering.”

The world passport resembles a regular national passport, except it’s printed in seven languages (including Esperanto). Anyone who wants one can declare himself a citizen of the world and fill out an application form at the WSA Web site. You don’t have to renounce your national citizenship, but you do have to sign a statement saying you understand the world passport’s limitations. A three­year version costs $45; a five­year one costs $75. Prices are subject to change.

A peace activist named Garry Davis, son of a famous opera Diva created the WSA in 1953. He tried to travel around the world using the first world passport designed & printed by himself.. His organization says they’ve issued more than a half ­million world passports since then. Davis renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1948 and gained notoriety by picketing the fledgling United Nations in Paris. He argued that free travel was a fundamental human right and that world peace required a global World Federalist government as opposed to a system of nation­states.

He took his first trip on his world passport in 1956, from New York to Bombay. Davis told a New York Times reporter that the Indian customs official seemed confused but stamped it just the same.

Grandpa notes that this would NOT happen today. Anyone attempting entry to India (or almost anywhere else) would be turned back to his starting place. The carrier airline would get a heavy fine in addition to being required to repatriate the passenger immediately.

The original WSA passport didn’t usually work, and Davis found himself in jail dozens of times.

He’s also been convicted of fraud for selling the world passport. Why? Because he made money off of refugees or would­be emigrants who, after purchasing it, found the WSA passport to be less than worthless for getting into their preferred destination countries.

For the above info, Grandpa thanks David Gallup of the World Service Authority and Daniel Engber a columnist for Slate.

Grandpa at one time, purchased a handsome, deluxe $300 model WSA leather-bound passport and found it absolutely worthless for travel. But it had one redeeming use: In sleazy 3 overnight in an unattended open hotel reception desk pigeon-hole ­­­where it could be stolen with ease, the WSA document was accepted as ID by the illiterate clerks. Other passports were in fact stolen, but the crooks left behind his WSA “passport.” They knew its real value.

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