What Is a Travel Document Number?

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If you plan to travel abroad, you need to check your travel documents. But What is a travel document number?

Quick look: A travel document number is like a special ID for things like passports, visas, and Green Cards. Think of passports as your main ID for traveling abroad, and visas as the rules for your stay in another country.

To shed some light on this aspect, we’ve curated a guide covering the pitfalls you might run into. Hence, we’ve included passports, visas, and green cards in our summary. Here’s how to spot the travel document number on any of them.

What is a Travel Document Number?

In short, a travel document number acts as an identifier. It also helps in determining your eligibility to be in a certain country.

The travel document number is used alongside your photograph and personal information to confirm your identity.

As such, it plays a vital part in your legitimate stay in a foreign country. That’s why there are no two travel document numbers exactly alike.

At the same time, this number is essential for discovering frauds in time. Naturally, tempering with this info is a felon everywhere in the world.

What is a Travel Document Number

Types of Travel Documents 

There are several travel documents needed before going abroad. They vary depending on the type of your visit and how long you will be staying. These are the three most common travel documents:

  • Passports
  • Green cards
  • Visa



Passports are the oldest and thus most used type of travel document. They contain all the details regarding your personal data and a frontal photo of the holder. You get a passport from your birth country, which is usually valid for five to ten years.

Inside, officials will mark all the trips you’ve made within that period. After it expires, you must renew it via a regular procedure.    

A password looks like a small booklet filled with the holder’s travel history. On top of that, passports can double up as identification cards, meaning they’re also proof of citizenship.

Since 2007, the United States has digitized its passports. The passports come as cards with an electronic chip at the back which holds the information. The chip at the back holds the unique travel number, special identifier, digital signature, and a photo.

A passport has a lot of information; however, officials will always ask for its number before anything else. All these unique identifiers are kept in the government’s database. Custom officials can also use this unique number to track your travels around the world.

Why Do You Need a Passport?

Why Do You Need a Passport

You need a passport to verify yourself with your country’s immigration officers. It shows that you have permission to get out of the country and your identity. Depending on those grounds, you’ll either get permission, or they will decline your request.

Hence, the other state’s authorities must verify your identity and the reason for your visit. Such processes are standard and help fight terrorism and other forms of crime.

Typically, you’ll also require a visa to enter a foreign country. However, you need a valid passport to apply for a visa. So, after you present your passport during your visa interview, the officials will track your history via the travel document number. Next, they will decide your eligibility for a visa.

A passport gives access to staying in a foreign country for a specific period without a visa. Countries have different periods when their citizens can stay abroad on a visa-free stay.

On this note, keep in mind that certain world countries issue passports allowing holders access to a wider range of foreign states by default. In other words, passports come with ranks regarding how much freedom to travel they provide.

So, you can refer to the Henley Passport Index to see the power that your country’s passport holds. For example, the Japanese passports give access to 191 countries without a visa, while the state of Iraq issues passports giving access to only 28.

Therefore, before going abroad, you should be aware of the regulations regarding visa-free visits. Otherwise, you could be in danger of deportation while still on vacation. 

How to Obtain a Passport

Different countries have different procedures for getting a passport. So, you must be aware of the series of steps before initiating the process. Typically, only the country’s citizens can apply for a passport. Also, each country has a special department handling these operations.

In general, the department of state is responsible for giving out passports. 

As for the required info, it always includes sharing your PII and your parents’. Also, you’ll need to attach several items to the application, most notably a frontal photo of yourself in the proper size.

Then, the board will check your claims and if there are no issues, expect to get a passport within the next ten days. 

Does a Passport Have a Travel Document Number?

A passport has a travel document number in the upper right corner of the doc. The passport number is on the front, very close to your photo. 

A passport’s travel number has nine digits, unique for every person. The first two numbers show which country issued that particular travel document. For instance, in the United States, people who got their passports from Washington have their passports starting with “01”.

A person who gets their passport as military personnel will find a travel number starting with “90”. 

Additionally, passports belonging to diplomats start with “90”, too. Lastly, if you get a passport due to a travel emergency, it will start with “Z” or “70”. 



You will also require a visa to travel abroad. The department of citizenship and immigration issues visas in all countries.

In the US, the country’s citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) issue all visas. The department determines who gets into their country based on many factors.

Furthermore, a visa can be a separate document or permission attached to your passport. Either way, you need to apply for a visa through the desired country’s embassy found in your state.

A visa is a small document attached to a passport with an authorizing stamp. The visa has an expiration date deciding how long the holder is allowed to stay in that country. So, a visa can remain valid for weeks or even years, but it is not proof of permanent residence.

At the same time, the type of visa depends on the reason for your stay. Also, it’s followed by specific conditions attached to your visit to a certain country. A visa is used to travel to countries where you are not a citizen, and passports are not enough to grant entry.

Therefore, it contains more information than a passport. A visa outlines the period you are allowed to stay in a certain country, the reason for your visit, and the activities you can engage in during that period. 

Hence, don’t be surprised if you can enter only some of the world countries with your passport alone.

Before planning your next trip, double-check whether you’ll need to apply for a visa beforehand. In such cases, the border officers will request to see your visa and your passport before letting you in.

How to Get a Visa

How to Get a Visa

You can apply for a visa at the embassy of the country you intend to travel to. For the United States, the US citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) decide who can come into the country. There are different types of visas depending on the reason for your visit.

Therefore, if you are going on vacation, you get a tourist visa, while people going abroad to work need a worker visa.

As for the visa application process, it starts with a standard interview designed to gauge your eligibility. There are also costs included in the application process. However, note that waiting for a visa is often lengthy and involves numerous steps.

You can find a visa application online at the respective department. The application requires a photo, passport, fee, and form. There are further inquiries into the reasons for your travel and whether you have the finances to support yourself during the trip.

The visa interview will inquire questions about your life, such as education and finances. They then proceeded to take your fingerprints; this happens digitally nowadays. Also, if you must provide extra information, they’ll let you know upon your first visit.

Does a Visa Have a Travel Document Number?

Visas do have travel document numbers, and they are in different colors for every country. A visa travel number contains eight digits, often composed of one letter and seven numbers. American visas have the travel document number at the bottom of the document in red color.


Greencards give you permanent residence abroad. You can get a green card from the US citizenship and immigration services (USCIS). However, you can only get a green card after showing eligibility using a visa. 

Why Do You Need a Green Card?

A green card grants permanent residence to a certain country; however, that doesn’t make you a citizen of that country. Therefore, even after obtaining a green card, you’ll still need a passport from your native country. 

How to Obtain a Green Card

You need to prove eligibility for a green card before applying for a green card. To get into the United States, you’ll probably require a visa. Once you enter the country, you’ll need a Form 1-94 traveling document. You should also fill in the 1-485 form.

These immigration records help increase your suitability for a green card. Also, to become eligible for a green card, you have to attend several interviews, just like a visa application.

Does a Green Card have a Travel Document Number?

You’ll find the green card’s travel number printed on its back. Another name for a green card travel number is a receipt number. This number has 13 characters; ten numbers and three letters. 

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Do all my documents have the same travel document number?

Each travel document has a different number, with a different total number of characters and structure. For instance, a passport has nine digits while a green card has 13 characters, three of them being letters.

Is the passport number the same as a travel document number?

Yes, the passport number is also the travel document’s number.

How much does it cost to get travel documents in the US?

Passport prices vary depending on the reason for your travel. In the US, the cheapest passport is around $110 for an adult and $80 for a minor. Additionally, there’s an application fee of $35.

You can take advantage of passport services that make the application for you and considerably reduce your waiting time. The services are in high demand and come at a price.

On the other hand, non-immigrant visas cost around $160. Similarly, these costs depend on the reason you are applying.

Lastly, a US green card is $1225 for a grown-up and $750 for minors up to 13 years. There are also additional application fees.


Typically, a travel document number is prominent on all types of travel documents. So, it stands out and is often at the top or bottom corners. As such, it’s one of the key elements of a valid travel document.

The passport’s travel document number consists of nine numbers; a visa has nine digits which may include a letter, while a green card has thirteen characters, of which the first three are letters. 

Also, you cannot use an expired passport or a visa to enter a foreign state. Therefore, you’ll need to apply for such a document or renew its validity. The same goes for tracking how long you can stay before returning home.

For instance, while passports and visas grant temporary stays, a green card has a permanent nature. Therefore, each of them contains various travel document numbers, so the officials can quickly check your status at all times.

Hermillis Haden
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