17 April 2017

Liberia: Foreign Ministry Issues Procedures

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Bureau of Passports and Visas has issued its latest guidelines to Liberians whose passports are reported lost or stolen (missing) and are desirous of applying for new Liberian ECOWAS Biometric Passports.

Liberians facing this situation are strongly advised to visit the Bureau of Passports and Visas to get acquainted with the procedures associated with obtaining a new passport.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, some of the steps involved in applying to be re-issued a new Liberian ECOWAS Biometric passport after one's passport had gotten missing are as follows:

First, the passport holder shall, report the lost or stolen passport to the Liberian National Police (INTERPOL SECTION) and to the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS). The passport holder shall complete the required forms, stating with specificity the passport details and the circumstance surrounding the loss.

The passport holder shall obtain receipts from both the LNP and INS indicating that the required reports were made. The LNP and INS shall complete its investigation within five business days of the report and either issue a clearance in the approved form or issue a notice of rejection stating the reasons why a clearance cannot be issued. The clearance or notice of rejection shall be submitted directly to the Division of Passports and Visas by the LNP and INS. Any clearance or notice of rejection not submitted in accordance with this regulation shall be considered invalid.

Secondly, the passport holder shall obtain an affidavit of lost passport that includes a detailed explanation of the facts and circumstances of the lost / stolen passport and submit to the Division of Passport and Visas as part of the application for a replacement passport.

In addition, the passport holder shall put out a public service announcement in a daily newspaper alerting the public to the lost or stolen passport for at least three consecutive weeks.

Then the passport holder shall then report to the Bureau of Passports and Visas to commence the process of obtaining a replacement passport only after having completed all of the above listed requirements. Failure to observe all requirements shall result in a denial of the application for a replacement passport.

The passport holder shall complete an application for a replacement passport, pay the regular passport fee of US$50.00 and pay an additional nonrefundable fee of US$150.00 as service charge. The total fee to be paid shall be US$200.00 This fee is subject to change.

The passport holder shall submit the application form along with required supporting documentation to the Director of Passports and Visas and retain a receipt for the submission.

If a passport holder reports a lost passport within two years of receiving a replacement passport, the passport holder shall be required to complete all requirements listed above and additionally must:

a.Be reported to the National Security Agency (NSA) for investigation; while NSA must issue a clearance of the passport holder directly to the Passport Division.

b.The passport holder shall be required to pay the passport fee of US$50.00 and a service charge of US$350.00. The total fee to be paid shall be US$400.00. This fee is subject to change.

Meanwhile, once all the requirements are certified, the Bureau of Passports and Visas will issue the applicant a payment bill, following which said person shall be requested to make payment at any of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) payment windows at the Ministries of Finance and Development Planning, Commerce and Industry, Lands Mines and Energy, Temple of Justice or LRA headquarters at the ELWA Junction in Paynesville.

The applicant should note that after the payment, the LRA or Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) shall issue a Treasury Receipt to the applicant as evidence of payment and that person will submit the original Treasury Receipt to the appropriate authorities at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as evidence of payment, before receiving authorization to process another passport.

This new procedure governing missing passports will come into effect on Monday, April 17, 2017. Before this time the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will no longer be receiving applications for missing passports. For further information please check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: www.mofa.gov.lr.

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