Cameroon: New Biometric Passport - Procedure Takes Off Hitch-Free

The National Centre for the Production of Passports in Yaounde is already invaded by Cameroonians in search of the vital travel document.

The National Centre for the Production of Passports, belonging to the General Delegation for National Security (GDNS) in Yaounde, went operational hitch-free yesterday July 1, 2021. Cameroon Tribune reporters witnessed scores of Cameroonians going through a physical enrolment procedure prelude to obtaining a passport within 48 hours.

It was around 7:30 am when hundreds of Cameroonians who had already undertaken an online pre-enrolment for a passport, began making their way into the Centre. Most of the applicants said they had already carried out an online pre-registration on the website-https: www.passcam.cm, and picked an appointment date at the National Centre for the Production of Passport. At the entrance of the building, one could see police officers welcoming them, cross-checking their documents and orientating them on where to go. Inside the hall, there are 16 counters with police officers ready to receive at least 16 persons at a time. Immediately the applicant's temperature is taken, he or she is given a ticket with a number and a place to sit. Worthy to note is that before the person comfortably sits down; his number is already being called at one of the counters. There is no time to waste and no intermediary to see before going through the physical enrolment.

In front of any of the counters, the police officer involved goes through the task of verifying the information the applicant had registered online. As such, they scan the code on the pre-enrolment sheet; verify if physical data match with what had been registered online. They also take the photograph, fingerprints, signature and height of the applicant as well as digitalising all support documents from the applicant. At this stage, the complete identification sheet is printed and handed to the applicant for verification and approval. All applicants who passed through the counters for physical enrolment did not take up to 20 minutes to go through the process. Thereafter, the applicant is given a receipt which will be used on the day of retrieving the passport after production which is supposed to be ready within 48 hours. In case of rejection, the applicant is notified via email or text message with details on what to do next.

Applicants are called to know that they have the right to change the physical enrolment date only once. Also, six months after production, the passport is returned to the Border Police Department if it is not collected. Enrolment locations are found in all the Emi-Immigration Police Stations in the 10 regions, the National Passport Production Centre in Yaounde, department of frontier Police and all Embassies and Consulates abroad.

By yesterday morning, the production operating system for passport had already received some 1,000 application files from Cameroonians at home and abroad. The National Centre for the Production of Passport in Yaounde has the capacity to produce some 10,000 passports per day.

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