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Background

As part of the Advance Passenger Information (API) for an upcoming flight from my country of residence (Country R) to my country of citizenship (Country C), the airline is asking me to indicate the following:

Field Response
Citizenship I know that that has to be Country C
Country of residence That would be Country R
Passport issued in This is where I am not sure, see my question below.

My passport was issued to me via the "Authority" that is the Consulate of Country C in {Nearest Big City} in Country R. I know that the "Issuing Country" or "Issuing Authority" is Country C.

Question

When the airline is asking for "Passport issued in," are they asking for the "Issuing Country"/"Issuing Authority", so for who issued the passport / where it was originally printed (so Country C), just using a different phrasing?

Or are they asking about a different concept - as in where, in terms of location, the passport was issued to me (so Country R)?

Research

I have reviewed the questions & answers for:

and did a fair bit of googling, but was not able to find any definitive information that distinguished between "What is the Issuing Authority?", which I already know the answer to, and "Passport issued in", which is the question the airline is asking. This commenter mentioned they'd done both and it wasn't a problem in either case, but I'd like to find out the "correct" option if possible. If the answer is "you have to call the airline for this one", that's ok too :)

Any help would be much appreciated, thanks!


Additional Information in Response to Comments

  • The airline in question is Condor.
  • Destination country is in the EU.
  • The phrasing "Passport issued in" is not my translation, but the exact wording they use on the US English version of their site.
  • I logged in to the German version of the site to see the (presumably original) question, which is "Reisepass ausgestellt in".
  • I cannot speak to what phrasing other airlines use, all I know is I had never come across this particular phrasing before, only "Issuing Authority" or "Country of Issue" (which is Country C in my case). Hence my question about this particular phrasing.

My Experience - After the Flight

I selected Country C for "passport issued in", as advised in the comments. I had no issues checking in, boarding my flight, or entering the EU. Maybe this information will be useful to someone in the future.

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  • 2
    Ask the question: why would they be interested in where the passport was originally printed? What usefull information about the passport holder does that bring? Jul 16, 2023 at 1:10
  • 2
    @MarkJohnson Then why does the question exist at all?
    – Doc
    Jul 16, 2023 at 2:29
  • 1
    Because they want to know who and where the passport was issued. Jul 16, 2023 at 5:59
  • 1
    Which airline? Do all airlines ask the exact same question, using the exact phrase passport issued in? If yes, there should/must be a standard answer. If no, the only way to find out for sure what the airline means by the question is to ask the airline (and then post an answer here). A quick google search shows eg TUI does not ask this question tui.co.uk/destinations/info/faq/advance-passenger-information
    – Traveller
    Jul 16, 2023 at 9:00
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    Which airline and destination country? What is the actual language of the question (and the actual wording, if not English)? I wouldn’t be surprised if this was something that was incorrectly translated, especially as it might involve two or more translations along the way.
    – jcaron
    Jul 16, 2023 at 10:53

3 Answers 3

8

My guess is that the airline is posing the question incorrectly. US API, for example, asks for the country that issued the passport, not the country in which it was issued. (See CBP's page UN/EDIFACT Implementation Overview for the technical details.) Whoever came up with the text "passport issued in" probably did not understand that some countries list the issuing office, which may be a consulate in a foreign country, which could lead some people to enter the wrong value here.

Fortunately, the airline will check your passport in the airport and correct the API record before finalizing the flight. The machine readable zone in the passport identifies the "issuing state or organization" in positions 3 through 5 of the first line and the bearer's nationality in positions 11 through 13 of the second line. If either has been entered incorrectly by the traveler, the system will take the correct values from the MRZ. (ICAO 9303 specifies the details.)

It is also possible that they really do want to know the location of the issuing office, but it strikes me as unlikely: it is not encoded in the MRZ, for example, and the US API system, at least, does not ask for it. As Mark Johnson notes in a comment, this information isn't particularly important nowadays.

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  • There are some rare political constructs where a country issues a passport for someone who is not a citizen of that country. Jul 16, 2023 at 13:13
  • @SimonRichter I don't doubt that this is true, but such a document is typically called a "travel document" these days rather than a "passport." Another circumstance in which the issuing country code and the nationality code shown in the MRZ will differ is where the issuing country maintains different types of nationality. The UK is probably the best known example of this. By contrast, the US uses the same code for citizens and non-citizen nationals; it differentiates the passports of the latter by adding an observation that the bearer is a US national but not a US citizen.
    – phoog
    Jul 16, 2023 at 13:17
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    Thank you! Between @Hilmar's experience and your answer, I will fill the "Passport issued in" field the same way I would the "Issuing country"/"Issuing authority" field. I will report back here with my experience after the flight.
    – Robyn
    Jul 17, 2023 at 15:06
  • @DavidSchwartz yes, that is why I wrote "the US uses the same code for citizens and non-citizen nationals; it differentiates the passports of the latter by adding an observation that the bearer is a US national but not a US citizen." Interestingly, the passport of a US citizen does not actually seem to indicate that the bearer is a US citizen. The message from the Secretary of State says "citizen/national" and the data page says "nationality."
    – phoog
    Jul 17, 2023 at 20:05
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One data point: I have a German passport that was issued by a consulate in the US. I always use Germany as the passport origin (regardless of how the question is phrased) and I never had any issues with that. I'm guessing the question is poorly worded: The rules that govern entry depend ONLY on the country that issued the passport, regardless of where it was actually printed or processed.

A minor exception: If I travel to China the arrival form asks for "place where Visa was issued". In this case they actual do require the actual consulate that stamped it into your passport. Fun fact: that's printed on the Visa but only in Chinese characters so I can't read it. A friendly fellow traveler from China helped me out !

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  • Thank you Hilmar for sharing your experience. Between @phoog's and your answer, I will fill the "Passport issued in" field the same way I would the "Issuing country"/"Issuing authority" field. I will report back here with my experience after the flight.
    – Robyn
    Jul 17, 2023 at 15:05
-2

When the airline is asking for "Passport issued in," are they asking for the "Issuing Country"/"Issuing Authority", so for who issued the passport / where it was originally printed (so Country C), just using a different phrasing?

What you put into that field doesn't matter in the slightest. As explained in the answer to For UK/USA bound flights, are details entered during online check-in, such as date of birth or passport number ever checked by airlines/immigration?, the only fields that actually matter during both the booking and the check-in process are First Name and Last Name. Every other field about the passenger could be completely wrong and you'll still be allowed on board.

So I would select Country C and not worry about choosing the "wrong" one. Even if it's wrong, you'll still be allowed on board which is the only thing that matters.

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    While yeah, they will be allowed to board, it is not entirely unlikely that filling wrong information will lead to significant delays and even missing the flight due to the airline stuff not knowing what/how to do. Why add troubles where none are needed? You're routinely advising folks to ignore rules and regulations because "by law it's ok", but sometimes being smart is better than being right. Often times even.
    – littleadv
    Jul 29, 2023 at 16:54

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