It is pretty widely known that quite a few Moslem and Arab countries do not recognize Israeli passports because they don't recognize Israel as a country.

I am pretty sure there are other places recognized as countries by most other countries, but not all; and/or places recognized as countries by only a minority of other countries.

Which, if any, countries do not recognize the passports of which other countries? Is Israel really the only case as asserted in a comment on a recent question?

Yes I know the term "country" is particularly tricky in this question where some and maybe most people don't regard a place to be a country, but at least that place and some other countries do.

Answers should focus on places which issue their citizens passports. For some places which assert they are countries their citizens have passports issued by another country, as is the case with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, whose citizens can obtain Russian passports.

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    @AndrewGrimm: I spelled it both ways because both spellings are used and I wanted it to be picked up by search engines no matter which spelling somebody in the future might search for. Dec 2, 2013 at 9:07
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    @AndrewGrimm: The old spellings haven't died out yet. Dec 2, 2013 at 9:14
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    One case I know is Northern Cyprus but it's on the Wikipedia list and is not widely recognized so that's probably not a good answer to your question. A passport from the Turkish Cypriot State can only be used to travel to a few other countries besides Turkey (where Turkish Cypriots can stay indefinitely). I think that some of these countries do not put visa or stamps in the passport itself but on a separate sheet of paper. Since the border is now open, Turkish-speaking people in Northern Cyprus can also get a real Cypriot passport (if they can document pre-1974 roots in the island, obviously).
    – Relaxed
    Dec 3, 2013 at 17:38

4 Answers 4


Having some passport not recognized by some country is not that unusual. It's pretty much certain to happen somewhere for passports of countries with partial recognition.

Someone else mentioned passports of Northern Cyprus (which is only recognized by Turkey), which according to Wikipedia, is only accepted in 6 countries. But there are many other countries in the same boat.

The Republic of China passport: The Republic of China is recognized by 21 UN members plus the Holy See. But its passport is accepted in almost all countries. However, there are some peculiarities. According to Wikipedia, a few countries (Argentina, Kenya, Laos, Nepal, Serbia) will issue the visa on a separate sheet, not on the passport itself, presumably due to not recognizing the passport. Brazil apparently will require the person apply for a Brazilian laissez-passer as the document to put the visa on. China (People's Republic of) will issue some kind of permit instead.

The page for Kosovar passport does not explicitly mention any country where it is not accepted. But common sense would dictate that it is not recognized by Serbia.

The Nagorno-Karabakh passport is not recognized anywhere, according to Wikipedia (though it's unclear if that means it cannot be used anywhere). For Transnistrian passport it says "not valid for travel to most countries" (not really sure what that means). The pages for Abkhazian passport and South Ossetian passport do not explicitly mention any country where they are not accepted. But again, they would be at least not recognized by the countries that their territory is claimed by (Azerbaijan for Nagorno-Karabakh, Moldova for Transnistria, Georgia for Abkhazia and South Ossetia). The page for Palestinian Authority passport also does not mention where it is not recognized; but for that case it is conceivable that it could be recognized everywhere. For Somaliland passport, it says it is accepted in 8 countries as unofficial travel documents, which probably means it is not accepted mostly everywhere else.

South Koreans visiting North Korea will be issued a visa on a separate piece of paper.

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    Similarly, Taiwan will issue permits to holders of P.R. China passports, rather than visas in those passports.
    – Max
    Apr 18, 2014 at 10:50
  • Though it doesn't seem to be uniformly enforced, Schengen visas for Kosovar passports are apparently often issued with limited territorial validity on the basis that a number of Schengen countries don't recognise the passport.
    – Lll
    Jun 30, 2020 at 7:52

One case I know is Northern Cyprus. In the wake of the 1974 invasion, Turkey created a new state that still administers a part of the island. That state is recognized (and strongly influenced) by Turkey. Its situation (generally unrecognized but accepted by another country) is therefore in a way the “reverse” of Israel's situation (widely recognized but opposed by some countries).

Northern Cyprus issues passports that, a few years back could be used to travel to at least a few other countries (you needed to go through Turkey however as direct flights to other destinations were basically non-existent and crossing to the South to get a flight there was impossible). Where things get a little “funny” is that those countries would typically avoid putting any stamp in the Northern Cypriot passport, instead delivering visas on a separate piece of paper as a way to signal their refusal to recognize the Turkish Cypriot state. I have a friend who could study in the US on such a passport.

Things have become much easier as part of Cyprus's accession to the EU (even if the final resolution of the conflict that was hoped for did not happen). Since then, the border between both parts (the “green line”) is open and people from Northern Cyprus can go to the South and get a Cypriot passport (which is of course much more convenient, widely recognized with visa-free travel and immigration in the EU and more).

My understanding is that you need to have some pre-1974 roots in the island to get a passport from the Republic of Cyprus. The conflict is old enough for many people to have been born after the division but if they can present their parents' birth certificates and the like, Turkish-speaking residents of the Northern part can get such a passport (not sure about the exact rules or practicalities but I know some who have).

I am not sure of the status of the people who came to Cyprus from Turkey after 1974. I suspect some of them might be able to get Turkish papers.

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    yes, Cyprus recognises those who can show roots on the island prior to the 1974 Turkish invasion as being Cypriot citizens (I think this rather irks Turkey, lol), hence they can get Cypriot passports.
    – jwenting
    Dec 5, 2013 at 7:00

People's Republic of China doesn't recognize Taiwan passports (Republic of China passports). Taiwan in turn doesn't recognize passports issued by PRC.

See Wikipedia: Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents

  • Aha. I knew they could currently travel to each others' countries and wondered how it worked. Dec 5, 2013 at 4:07

There is the Principality of Huttriver, which isn't recognized by the Australian authorities, yet its prince seems to travel on a Hutt passport:

BRENDAN HUTCHENS: The Prince still travels abroad on his Hutt River passport, as do the principality's citizens, who have many stories to tell from passport control.


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    This type of things was already discussed in the “fantasy passport” question. It's difficult to provide a completely watertight definition but intuitively Hutt River, Sealand and the like seem like a different kettle of fish than Northern Cyprus, Israel, or Taiwan. And one guy pretending to travel with a passport and having slipped through some exotic border points a few times in the last decade is also very different from a systematic policy.
    – Relaxed
    Dec 4, 2013 at 17:48
  • I agree that micronations are not what I was asking about but if some countries have actually recognized some such passports then it does actually answer my question literally. Dec 5, 2013 at 0:28

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