7 December 2012

Liberia: Govt Announces New Passport Regulation

Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafaun has stressed the importance of the revised regulation governing the administration and issuance of Liberian Passports and revised regulations on Honorary Consuls.

Speaking yesterday at the Ministry of Information weekly press briefing, Ngafaun said the two revised documents are part of the ministry's reform process.

Ngafaun said the issuance of the Revised Regulations Governing the Administration & Issuance of Liberian Passports is in line with the Ministry of Foreign Affair's statutory responsibility to facilitate the fundamental rights of freedom of movement for all Liberian citizens in keeping with Chapter 20.3 (f) of the Executive Law, and also an attempt to clarify the confusion that exists among the public as to who is eligible for various categories of Liberian passports.

The Foreign Minister said the revised regulations on passports provide for four categories of Liberian Passport which includes, Ordinary, Service, Official, and Diplomatic Passports. He explained that the Ordinary Passports will be issued only to natural born or naturalized Liberians in compliance with the Constitution of Liberia as well as the Alien and Nationality Law.

Diplomatic and Official Passports, he said, are privileged Passports and are given to certain categories of individuals as spelled out in the Regulations.

Minister Ngafuan: "Requests for Diplomatic, Official and Service Passports for individuals that are in Government will emanate from the Head of the Institution. Additionally, payment for Diplomatic, Official and Service passports shall be made by the institution of Government applying for such passports on behalf of an employee or Government official. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will not accept any application and payment for these categories of passports directly from employees or officials of Government."

He said that because the present family of ECOWAS Passports in circulation does not include Service Passports, all those that would have ordinarily been issued Service Passports will be issued Official Passports until this problem is solved.

"With the exception of Ordinary Passports that will be issued for a period of five (5) years, all other categories of passports will be issued for a period of two years.

Laissez Passer shall be issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Liberia's Embassies and Consulates on a case by case basis for emergency travels to Liberians and foreigners who were born in Liberia and desire to travel to their countries of nationality for the purpose of obtaining proper travel documents.

Minister Ngafaun asserted.

A fee of US$23.00 has been prescribed for any category of passport obtained at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia while a fee of US$200.00 or its equivalent is being charged for passports issued outside of the country. Laissez Passer will cost US$10.00.

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