Korean Passports are Changing Colors for the First Time in 33 Years! Next-Generation Electronic Passport 2021

What is the one thing you must never forget when travelling overseas? Your passport! Some travelers collect immigration stamps from various countries on their passport.

The Korean passport will be changing its color for the first time in 33 years. Its color is changing from green, which is the color that comes to mind when you hear the word “passport,” to navy. The quality of the paper, personal information page, and other details of the passport are also being changed completely.

Now, let’s take a look at the next-generation electronic passport, which will be available starting from December 2021.

The Citizens’ Choice! Traditional Beauty in Refined Navy

The first thing you notice is the change in color! It will be changing to navy, which is more visible than its previous color dark green. The design of this next-generation passport was decided through a vote by the citizens. Maybe because it reflects the preferences of many, but it feels more refined than the previous passport. Unlike the regular navy passport, the official passport will be dark grey while the diplomatic passport will be red.

It is not just the color that has changed. The cover features an embossed Taegeuk pattern on the bottom left color and the national emblem and passport name on the top right color. The three-dimensional Taegeuk pattern represents the sound of Korea resonating across the world. It is much more dynamic than the previous passport design.

▲ Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The pages on the inside (visa pages) where you receive immigration stamps have also changed. Each visa page contains artifacts of Korea, from the prehistoric period to the Joseon period, with different designs. You can see from the detailed patterns and symbols that a lot of effort was put into making them. Opening this new electronic passport, which captures traditional beauty, makes you feel like a Korean ambassador.

As Strong as a Suitcase! Secure and Durable Personal Information Pages

This next-generation electronic passport has changed not just in design, but also in many other ways including the personal information page. Let’s take a look at the personal information page that you have to show when entering another country.

▲ Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Now you cannot see the resident registration number! To protect sensitive personal information, the next-generation passport does not feature your resident registration number. Instead, it shows only your date of birth. The way the date of birth is written also changed from English only to both Korean and English.

In addition, the passport numbering system has also changed. The previous version used numbers such as M12345678. The next-generation passport adds a letter of the alphabet in the middle and uses numbers like M123A4567. In line with the growing population, this allows more people to register their electronic passports.

The quality of the paper used for personal information pages has also changed. Polycarbonate, which is also used on suitcases, has been applied. It is not easily bendable, making it durable for any trip. Additionally, pictures and other information are engraved by laser. The new passport is a high-tech, next-generation passport with both durability and security.

Ranked #3 in Passport Power in the World, Taking a Leap with the Next-generation Electronic Passport

Any idea how Korea’s passport power ranks in the world in 2021? Passport power is an indicator that ranks a country’s passport based on the number of countries to which the holder can visit without a visa. Korea ranks 3rd in the world. How excited are you about this next-generation electronic passport with which you will be able to see the entire world?

This new passport was originally scheduled to be introduced at the end of last year. However, due to COVID-19, its release date has been pushed to December 2021. Incheon Airport will continue making efforts until we get back to normal and can enjoy traveling overseas with this next-generation electronic passport!

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