What are Passport Tattoos Really?

What is a visa? What is a passport? Is a visa a passport? Is a passport a visa? What are those stamps in the passport for? You probably have no idea, but like the idea of a “tatted passport”. Wow. Y’all wild. I’m going to drop some knowledge on y’all today so you can stunt with your stamps and tats. Go ahead and show Instagram what you’re working with, but before you go out there flossing, know what you’re talking about.


A passport is a lovely book that your residential government issues that gives you the ability to travel to foreign countries. (Don’t know how to get one? Click here!) There are also passport cards, but those only allow you to re-enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Basically not worth it. Stick to the passport book. This book is the U.S. government saying to you “look yo, go ahead and explore, check those other places out”.

This is that small blue book that has all your information on the inside of it. Foreign governments use this book to acknowledge that you belong to a plot of land, aren’t some crazy alien, and to ensure they have a place to send your tail back to should you decide to act up. This book is nonetheless important. You can’t get in or out of a country without it.

Pro Tip: Before travelling overseas, take a picture of the inside of your passport and email it to yourself; that way, if you lose it, you’ll always have some sort of identification.


Now, just because you got permission to go doesn’t mean that you have permission to enter. This is where the visa comes into place. A visa is a stamp or a sticker that officials of a foreign country place on your passport that grants you access to their country. You can get this visa from the embassy or consulate of the foreign country within your residential country.

That might have been confusing, so let me break it down:

I am a U.S. citizen and I’m interested in going to India. I have a passport, but I now also need a visa. I take my passport to the Indian embassy (located in the United States) to get a visa. I do this prior to travelling. Now, when I fly to India, I can pass through customs and passport control, because I have been granted access to their country from their embassy in my residential country (the U.S.).


I was about to skrrt skrrt to Bollywood. Needed a visa, so I handed old boy my passport. Homie was like “YOOOOO, you good bruv”. He gave me the passport tat, and homies didn’t give me no problems at the border.

I hope that helped.


There are certain things that you should know before taking your passport and visa knowledge into the world:

  1. Not all countries require visas to enter, but all countries require a passport of some kind. What countries can Americans enter without a visa? Click here.

  2. Certain countries allow for you to obtain visas in the airport so you don’t need to go to a consulate or embassy. What are those countries? Click here.

  3. Visas have an expiration date, so make sure that you are in and out of the country before your visa expires. How long will your visa last? Ask Google.

  4. Some countries don’t necessarily want Americans tourists. Shock. (I don’t blame them) As such, they’ll give you a hard time getting into the country, so have some patience and all your required documents.

**NOTE: This info is primarily for those with AMERICAN (U.S.A.) passports 

Now that you'r aware of the nature of "passport tats" go ahead and start flexing. I really do want y'all to prosper, but you really have to have the receipts to back up your flossing. FEEL ME?


What's your next "passport tat" going to be? Let me know in the comments below!


Happy Wandering...