What does this sticker mean

What does this sticker on the back of my passport mean?

I can answer that because it happens to me very regularly, and for good reason.

Typically, U.S. / UK / European / Australian / New Zealand passport holders in a variety of countries do not need a visa upfront or often issue one on arrival. If you are traveling within North America or Europe where these visa requirements are known, an airline will simply check you in.

The security clearance sticker is used whenever the airline is required to return you to your origin in the event that you are denied entry. In many countries, you must go through passport control both on leaving and on entry. However, in the UK and Europe, passport control at many airports is only yours entry and not when you leave.

I have an Indian passport which means I need a visa for most destinations. If I ever get into a situation where I go to a country and I am denied entry, the airline has an obligation to fly me back. It is for this reason that airlines carry out their visa checks for passport holders of whom they are knowledge, that they need a visa and stick this sticker on after validation. Do not remove this sticker until you have reached your destination, because if you have any questions - for example, employees at the gate may want to confirm your visa status - the airline staff will check whether this sticker has been released for you.

ICTS International (that's the company name; I've seen employees at airports wearing IDs that read "i-Sec") is one of those companies that many airlines hire out this job to. Another company that airlines outsource this task to is CheckPoint. Some airlines do their own checks and use the same sticker system.


I'm not sure. I have 2 passports: one EU and one Canadian. I got a new Canadian passport in the EU and when I boarded an Air Canada (direct) flight from Venice to Toronto they put the sticker on. With a Canadian passport, I didn't risk getting rejected in any way (that was my outbound flight)

Aditya Somani

I swear to god, Mr. Banerjee, if I hadn't read this today, I would have died without knowing this beautiful piece of information. Also, I hate these stickers, so I keep removing them. I think I have to be more careful! +1 thanks!

David Richerby

It has nothing to do with needing or not needing a visa. I get these stickers on my passport every time I fly to North America from the UK, even though as a UK citizen I don't need a visa. I don't remember if I get them when flying within the EU.


Don't forget about Securitas.


@DavidRicherby It may be confirmed that you have been screened against entry requirements, regardless of the requirements in your case. I have two passports and recently when I got on a plane I showed the one I hadn't checked in with. The guy was very worried until I fished the other pass out of the bottom of my pocket.