We are currently living in Europe, my spouse applied for US passport renewal, we went to US embassy with the application and listed city and country where she was born.

Officer stated that we need to change the country since at the time of application the city belongs to a new country recognized by the US, or we can omit the country and just leave the city. She also stated that we will get info about this in the mail. We omitted the country and left the city only. No further info was given to us at that time.

10 days later we got the passport listing city only. 15 days later we got the pamphlet witch states following,

"Passport applicants who opt for the city or town of birth designation should be aware that they may encounter difficulties in travelling to , or obtaining visas for entry into, certain foreign countries. "

If we were aware of this at the time of the application we would list the new country without any questions. So now we are stuck with this " may encounter difficulties" over our head.

What would you do?

  • Perhaps it's a duplicate, perhaps not, but the government info quoted in the answer to this travel.stackexchange.com/questions/27446/… almost certinaly is relevant to you. Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 15:00
  • 2
    Is the city one that is generally undisputed (Brno, Czech Republic), has specific disputes (Taipei) or widespread issues (Jerusalem)?
    – user71659
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 2:38
  • @user71659 or an ambiguous one, such as London (England or Ontario?) or Brest (France or Belarus?) or any of probably dozens of others.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 3:38
  • @user71659 no it is not, small EU country gained independence few years back
    – Benn
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 13:06
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    @MichaelSeifert I guess few is relative. In this case it should just be enough so that name of country of birth at time of birth and name of country where place of birth is now are different. Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 22:22

4 Answers 4


NZ and SA passport here. Both list my city of birth as Pietermaritzburg, and don't mention country.

76+ countries later, no problems for me with regards to this. The only problems I've had have been with the "uruwhenua' on the front of the NZ passport (one officer thought it was Uruguay), and the example photo in the NZ passport used to not match the owner's photo....that was problematic in Central Asia.


This probably isn't a going to be a big issue for you. For example, New Zealand passports only list the city of birth, and not the country. This does not appear to be a significant problem (or any problem) for New Zealand passport holders.

  • Canadian ones are the same. Mine says "Regina" but doesn't specify if it's Saskatchewan or Kentucky. Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 4:38
  • @JimMacKenzie You must have unwittingly selected the no country option because Canadian passports will normally list CAN or USA in that case.
    – user71659
    Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 6:46

None of my passports ever had a birth place stated. I have been to 56 countries without issues.

A handful of times an airline check-in person would tell me something like There is an error in your passport to which I just state that it is optional. Sometimes they ask another staff member if that is possible, which just takes them a few seconds, but I have never been delayed at any immigration.

Bottom line is that it is a generic warning, I get that too with each passport renewal, but really it does not have much impact for travelers.


I've had some minor issues related to this. US passports typically only list the state where a person is born. When I moved to the Netherlands, some of the paperwork for registering at City Hall required the city where I was born. As it was not in my US passport, I had to go through a fairly lengthy process to get a legalized copy of my birth certificate (including an Apostille) just so they could record the city where I was born.

  • 3
    But OPs passport mentions his city of birth.
    – Newton
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 3:17
  • 1
    @Newton Yes, but it does not have the country, which would be a bigger issue. The point is, each country has its own bureaucratic traditions and having incomplete information in your passport can trip you up unexpectedly.
    – Eric
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 3:45

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