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In the later part of the nineteenth century and up to World War I, passports were not required, on the whole, for travel within Europe, and crossing a border was a relatively straightforward procedure.
Consequently, comparatively few people held passports. During World War I, European governments introduced border passport requirements for security reasons, and to control the emigration of people with useful skills.
While the United Nations held a travel conference in 1963, no passport guidelines resulted from it.
Passport standardization came about in 1980, under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Many countries normally allow entry to holders of passports of other countries, sometimes requiring a visa also to be obtained, but this is not an automatic right.
In 1540, granting travel documents in England became a role of the Privy Council of England, and it was around this time that the term "passport" was used.In 1794, issuing British passports became the job of the Office of the Secretary of State.A rapid expansion of railway infrastructure and wealth in Europe beginning in the mid-nineteenth century led to large increases in the volume of international travel and a consequent unique dilution of the passport system for approximately thirty years prior to World War I.This enables border controllers and other law enforcement agents to process these passports more quickly, without having to input the information manually into a computer.ICAO publishes Doc 9303 Machine Readable Travel Documents, the technical standard for machine-readable passports. These contain biometrics to authenticate the identity of travellers.