Refusal to issue essential travel documents without which a person can lose his right of sojourn in a foreign country, his right to return to his own country, and - in practice - the right to leave his own country, may be on the basis of discrimination (racial, sexual, religious, political) within the country issuing the passport or on the part of the authorities of a foreign country issuing a visa. Refusal may also be based on the criteria of national security, national interest, public order abroad, misconduct of the applicant either at home or abroad, legal or mental incapacity, lack of supporting health documents.
The inability of citizens to receive passports is associated with countries charged with human rights violations and where political instability exists. Other conditions include national poverty and economic crisis, where both citizens and their capital are controlled as to movement. The inability of non-political civilians to receive visas is often based on fear that temporary visitors will seek to reside illegally in the country, seek welfare benefits, and take jobs away from the nationals. In socialist Europe Prior to the dissolution of the USSR, travel and emigration visas were denied East Germans, Jews in the USSR, and other nationals who may take their skills outside the region. In Africa, South African blacks may not be permitted to travel for political reasons. In west Europe, North Africans and Asians encounter high obstacles to their entry. In the USA, Mexican nationals are discriminated against due to labour protectionism, Philippine and Korean nationals are denied visas because of a high number who illegally immigrate, and others may be denied visas to the USA based on past or current political beliefs.