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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.
Some countries and international organisations issue travel documents which are not standard passports, but enable the holder to travel internationally to countries that recognise the documents.
For example, stateless persons are not normally issued a national passport, but may be able to obtain a refugee travel document or the earlier "Nansen passport" which enables them to travel to countries which recognise the document, and sometimes to return to the issuing country.
Only people who paid their zakah (for Muslims) or jizya (for dhimmis) taxes were permitted to travel to different regions of the Caliphate; thus, the bara'a receipt was a "basic passport." In medieval Europe, such documents were issued to foreign travellers by local authorities (as opposed to local citizens, as is the modern practice) and generally contained a list of towns and cities the document holder was permitted to enter or pass through.
On the whole, documents were not required for travel to sea ports, which were considered open trading points, but documents were required to travel inland from sea ports.
King Henry V of England is credited with having invented what some consider the first passport in the modern sense, as a means of helping his subjects prove who they were in foreign lands.