In This Chapter


Authored by: Lily Cho

The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415667715
eBook ISBN: 9781315857572
Adobe ISBN: 9781317934134


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In 2007, the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal rejected Eliyahu Veffer’s claim to list ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ as the place of birth on his Canadian passport. Veffer was born in the western part of Jerusalem and then later became a Canadian citizen. When Passport Canada, the office responsible for issuing Canadian passports, refused to designate both the city and the country of his birth under the place of birth line on his passport, Veffer claimed that his rights to freedom of religion and equality as protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedomshad been violated. 1 While the court decided against Veffer, his case points to one way in which the place of birth designation on the contemporary passport is not merely an issue of identity and identification, but also one that is freighted with political issues. What is the importance and relevance of place of birth information on the contemporary passport? What does its purpose and place on the passport reveal about the relationship between culture and citizenship? In considering these questions, this chapter argues that the use of the place of birth reveals a problematic relationship between culture and citizenship, and a privileging of jus solicitizenship.

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