INTERPOL Travel Document initiative

103 Recognizing countries

INTERPOL has developed its first ever travel documents (e-Passport Booklet and e-Identification Card). These are intended to enable officials working for INTERPOL and for its member countries' National Central Bureaus and law enforcement agencies to travel internationally on official INTERPOL business, by benefiting from visa facilitations granted by member countries when assisting in transnational investigations or urgent deployments.

Facing today's challenges

The crossing of international borders by law enforcement officials is a necessary reality in combating today’s global security challenges. INTERPOL operates in a world transformed by the transport and Internet revolutions. Whilst largely beneficial, these changes have also facilitated globalized crime, with international criminals exploiting technological advances to further their activities.

One of the most significant hurdles faced by international law enforcement officials in the fight against international crime is the lack of speed and ease with which assistance can be  provided to those countries requesting it. Indeed, when an affected country requests assistance, it can take anywhere from 24 hours to eight weeks for law enforcement personnel to be issued with visas and arrive at the scene.

“Criminals can cross borders swiftly and effortlessly, while our Heads of National Central Bureaus, law enforcement colleagues and even our General Secretariat staff are slowed down or stopped because of legitimate but time consuming visa requirements and bureaucratic international red tape, which constitutes a major impediment to keeping the world safe.” Ronald K. Noble, INTERPOL Secretary General.

Speeding up INTERPOL’s response

It was with this need in mind that in 2009 the INTERPOL Executive Committee endorsed a proposal to create an INTERPOL Travel Document that would enable authorized officials travelling on official INTERPOL-related business to enter member countries whenever and wherever needed.

Member countries ratified this initiative at the 79th session of the INTERPOL General Assembly in Qatar in 2010, opening the way for the use of a new police cooperation tool and greater inter-state cooperation.

The INTERPOL Travel Document bypasses the lengthy visa requirements set by member countries, allowing quick entry to law enforcement officials. Member countries make this possible by agreeing to assign specially derived visa facilitations for INTERPOL Travel Document holders. This allows member countries to choose which arrangements suit them when granting special visa facilitations to INTERPOL Travel Document holders.

Making the world safer

With more and more countries joining the initiative every day, the INTERPOL Travel Document has become a critical INTERPOL tool for police cooperation. Together with INTERPOL’s 24/7 Command and Coordination Centre (CCC) and specialized operational teams, it ensures that whenever there is a call for assistance – in a crisis situation, natural disaster, investigation, or for a major international event – this call is promptly answered.

Setting new standards in document security

When the INTERPOL Travel Document initiative was launched, its ambition was not only to enable law enforcement officers to carry out their duties, but also to set new standards in travel document security and identity management.

Constantly striving to integrate the most advanced security features, INTERPOL continues to raise the bar for travel document security, most notably through its second generation of documents developed in cooperation with Entrust and Safran Morpho in 2012. Both documents comply with the international standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The INTERPOL Travel Document adheres to strict procedures defined in a Security Charter, which was adopted by member countries in a Resolution at the 81st INTERPOL General Assembly in Italy in 2012. Under the further monitoring of the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files (CCF) and the INTERPOL Travel Document Committee, the INTERPOL General Secretariat takes all the necessary measures to protect information security and to ensure that no misuse of data takes place and that no unauthorized persons have access to any data pertaining to the holder.

News - 2013
26 November 2013

Visit by Argentina’s Foreign Minister to INTERPOL focuses on global security issues

24 October 2013

INTERPOL General Assembly provides roadmap for Organization’s future

01 October 2013

Jordan marks close cooperation with INTERPOL with formal recognition of travel document

27 September 2013

INTERPOL Chief’s visit to Kyrgyzstan highlights region’s counter-terrorism role

13 September 2013

INTERPOL Chief meets Cape Verde Prime Minister to boost international law enforcement collaboration

27 August 2013

INTERPOL Chief’s visit to Comoros underlines region’s global security role

26 August 2013

Boosting national and regional security focus of INTERPOL Chief’s visit to Madagascar

11 July 2013

Close cooperation between INTERPOL and France focus of visit by top policing officials

09 July 2013

Growing threat of cybercrime focus of Fiji visit to INTERPOL

09 July 2013

Ministers from Senegal and Sudan briefed on INTERPOL tools and services

12 June 2013

Tackling crime from North Africa to South Pacific focus of INTERPOL meeting

10 June 2013

INTERPOL Chief’s visit to Tajikistan underscores security priorities in Central Asia

30 May 2013

Argentine foreign minister’s visit to INTERPOL focuses on international police collaboration

17 April 2013

Strengthening global policing response to new crime challenges focus of INTERPOL meeting

11 April 2013

INTERPOL Chief’s first visit to Haiti looks to advance country’s cooperation with global law enforcement

20 March 2013

INTERPOL Chief underlines Russia’s strategic security role during Moscow visit

15 March 2013

Georgia minister visit to INTERPOL underlines close cooperation with formal recognition of travel document

25 February 2013

Renewed collaboration with INTERPOL will boost security in South Pacific, Secretary General tells Tonga authorities

22 February 2013

South Pacific’s role in regional and global security focus of INTERPOL Chief’s visit

20 February 2013

International cooperation with ASEANAPOL bolsters security landscape, INTERPOL Chief tells police meeting

09 February 2013

Congo’s contribution to a safer world recognized by INTERPOL Chief as Africa tour concludes

08 February 2013

INTERPOL Chief on visit to DR Congo underlines need for common solutions to cross-border security threats

06 February 2013

INTERPOL Chief commends Somalia on police cooperation leading to arrest of escaped murder suspect

05 February 2013

Djibouti Prime Minister pledges support for global police cooperation during INTERPOL Chief visit

31 January 2013

Strong cooperation between INTERPOL and France focus of visit by Interior Minister Valls

News - 2011
30 December 2011

2011: A ground-breaking year for INTERPOL’s future

28 November 2011

French Interior Minister’s visit reinforces strong relations between INTERPOL and France

09 November 2011

Chinese Vice-Minister’s visit to INTERPOL underlines role of international law enforcement cooperation

14 October 2011

INTERPOL Chief says Commonwealth of Independent States collaboration is a model for other regions

17 October 2011

Qatar Minister underlines commitment to INTERPOL and global policing community

06 October 2011

INTERPOL Chief’s visit to Azerbaijan highlights country's international security role in Europe and Central Asia

20 September 2011

Vietnam police chief’s visit to INTERPOL focuses on role of international police cooperation in boosting regional security

19 September 2011

INTERPOL Chief's visit to Georgia underlines Eurasia's strategic role in global law enforcement collaboration

17 June 2011

European co-operation meeting at INTERPOL seeks to use global approach to boost Europe's security

19 April 2011

INTERPOL puts 21st century crime at forefront of international security agenda

07 March 2011

Visit by Poland's police chief to INTERPOL highlights country's commitment to international law enforcement co-operation

18 February 2011

Pan-African INTERPOL meeting sets course for united action against transnational crime

16 February 2011

INTERPOL African conference to boost regional action against transnational crime

11 February 2011

Singapore announces special visa status to INTERPOL Travel Document holders at historic groundbreaking ceremony

11 February 2011

Democratic Republic of Congo officially recognizes INTERPOL Travel Document

24 January 2011

Cameroon officially recognizes INTERPOL Travel Document

Connecting Police for a Safer World

INTERPOL Travel Document in International Publications