11,000 temporary passports issued at Warsaw airport in Poland between April and December 2023

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Between April and December 2023, Warsaw airport in Poland was the scene of a historic event in the field of immigration and travel document management. According to data revealed by the Polish Ministry of Interior and Administration, around 11,000 temporary passports have been issued to travelers in emergency or unforeseen situations.

What is a temporary passport and under what circumstances can it be issued?

A temporary passport is an emergency travel document issued in specific situations where an individual is unable to use his or her regular passport. It is an official document, often with limited validity, issued to replace an ordinary passport in emergency situations.

Temporary passports can be issued in a variety of emergency situations, including but not limited to wars and other major crises. Here are a few contexts in which these documents are often needed:

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  1. Loss or theft of Passport: If your passport is lost or stolen while you're abroad, a temporary passport allows you to return to your home country or continue your trip.
  2. Damage or expiry of passport A damaged or expired passport may also justify the issue of a temporary passport.
  3. Passport renewal deadlines If a traveler is unable to obtain a passport renewal in a timely manner, a temporary passport can be used as a temporary solution.
  4. Armed conflicts and wars : In areas affected by armed conflict or war, citizens and foreigners can lose their documents or have them destroyed. Temporary passports enable safe evacuation or return to a more stable environment.
  5. Natural disasters In the event of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or hurricanes, travel documents can be lost or damaged. Temporary passports help affected individuals to travel to seek refuge or help.
  6. Humanitarian crises In situations of humanitarian crisis, such as famine or epidemics, temporary passports can be used to facilitate access to international aid, or to enable displaced people to cross borders in search of safety.
  7. Emergency evacuations : During emergency evacuations, for example in the event of terrorist threats or unstable political situations, temporary passports enable citizens and foreign residents to leave a crisis area quickly.
  8. Diplomatic or political problems In some cases, diplomatic tensions or political changes can lead to existing passports being cancelled or not recognized. In such cases, temporary passports serve as a transitional solution for affected travelers.

Temporary passports: 11,000 issued at Warsaw airport between April and December 2023

Between April and December 2023, Warsaw Airport delivered around 11,000 passports according to data from the Polish Ministry of the Interior and Administration. This period saw a marked increase in the issuance of these documents, particularly during the summer vacations. In July and August, 1,894 and 1,846 temporary passports were issued respectively, peaking on August 14 with 125 passports issued in a single day.

Temporary passports are issued in situations where travelers lose, forget or have their passport or identity card stolen. Requiring a valid airline ticket for application, the process involves verifying identity and taking the photograph needed to issue the document. For children, the consent of both parents is required. The cost of this service at Warsaw airport is 30 PLN, or around seven euros.

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Thanks to the Passport Document Registry, operational since 2022, the temporary passport application is generated electronically and signed on a signature-applying device. This system has facilitated the rapid and efficient issuance of temporary passports, helping many travelers in urgent situations, such as travel for special occasions or family emergencies.

The Ministry underlined the importance of the passport point, open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 20:00 in the public area of Terminal A of the airport. An information kiosk is also available to provide information on temporary passports. Currently, the Polish passport ranks as the 20th most powerful passport in the world, allowing visa-free travel in 101 countries and passport-free travel in 43 countries, but requiring a traditional visa in 20 countries, a visa on arrival in 30 countries, and an e-visa in a further 22 countries.

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