I would like to purchase a passport cover like this one for a number of reasons.

example of a zipped passport cover

However, it's unclear to me what the rules are regarding passport covers.

Does US immigration require you to remove the cover when having your passport checked?

I don't mind removing it before passing it on, but it would be nice to know if it's necessary in advance.

  • 1
    You have the inside photo?
    – Karlson
    Aug 26 '16 at 14:26
  • 1
    @Karlson the inside is just your passport... The cover is only to protect the outside of the passport.
    – Summer
    Aug 26 '16 at 14:41
  • 1
    @JaneDoe1337 If the cover can prevent NFC read of the biometric passport or the scan page it can be a problem.
    – Karlson
    Aug 26 '16 at 14:44
  • 2
    I'm pretty sure I've seen signs at immigration in some country saying that passports should be removed from covers before presenting them to the immigration officer. But I can't remember which country it was (probably the UK or USA). Aug 26 '16 at 15:30
  • 3
    I don't use a passport cover (my wife does) but I'd vaguely got the impression that more or less everywhere expects you to take the covers off for inspection, particularly if a scanner is involved
    – Andrew
    Aug 26 '16 at 18:53

In my experience, yes, it will be removed so that the officer can check appearance for validity. I've travelled for decades with a clear cover and, most frequently, just the rear flap has been been removed so that a little sticker can be affixed to the back cover. Additionally, a cover makes it more difficult to scan. Should it be presented with cover on, officers don't seem bothered; they simply remove it, and return it with the passport.

  • 2
    I have seen the message 'passports without cover' on several airports in Europe, it seems the norm these days. I do use a cover and always take the passport out before handing it to the officer or using it in the machine.
    – Willeke
    Aug 26 '16 at 16:59
  • While entering the UK, I received a stern 'You must remove the passport from the cover' as I handed my passport over to their immigration. From that point on, I have always made it a point to just hand them the passport.
    – Travis
    Nov 11 '18 at 16:16
  • I always remove the cover from my US passport, because the cover's design doesn't permit it to be scanned while in the cover, but I often get asked if it is another passport, as it happens to be exactly the same color as a UK passport. Nov 11 '18 at 16:45
  • @MichaelHampton, not for long!
    – BritishSam
    Nov 12 '18 at 9:41

Yes you should,and do yourself and the people behind you the favour doing it in the queue. O

  1. We can not see what kind of passport it is, biometric or not.
  2. Front page nationality is important to us in the borders.
  3. We need to feel the quality
  4. Many people use the covers almost as a wallet, stuffed with god knows what of credit cards and cash.
  • I'm not sure point 2 is necessarily all too applicable in countries where most border folks speak zero English if they've rarely ever seen your country's document (for example, recently at Istanbul-Sabiha airport, the officer asked - in Turkish of course - where I'm from. Apparently though he could see it when scanning the card) xD All-in-all though, good answer.
    – Crazydre
    Nov 11 '18 at 15:44
  • @Coke I think it's always relevant because the agent can immediately see what the passport isn't: a citizen or travel area (Schengen, GCC etc.), so the agent directly goes to the right processing steps.
    – user71659
    Nov 11 '18 at 18:29

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