Canada on Thursday became the first country in the Americas to allow its citizens to use a gender neutral “X” category on their passports. “All Canadians should feel safe to be themselves, live according to their gender identity and express their gender as they choose,” immigration minister Ahmed Hussen had said in a statement.

Countries like Australia, Denmark, Germany, Malta, New Zealand and Pakistan have already taken this step. India, Ireland and Nepal are among the countries that provide various options for the third gender.

Rights campaigners have welcomed the move. “Canada is taking an important and positive first step by acknowledging the challenges faced by non-binary, intersex and trans individuals,” Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale that promotes rights of the LGBT community, told The Guardian. Kennedy, however, said that it was not the ultimate solution, and it does not address many underlying issues.

There are speculations that those who identify as “X” gender may face trouble while entering other countries. “I’m really worried that in countries like Uganda and Jamaica, where being LGBT is illegal, this could leave people open to arbitrary detention,” Adrienne Smith, a Toronto immigration lawyer who specialises in transgender legal issues, told Global News. “It could leave them open to scrutiny at airports, degrading treatment.”