Somali passport

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Somali ePassport
Date first issued 28-FEB-2007
Issued by  Somalia
Type of document Passport
Purpose Identification
Eligibility requirements Somali citizenship

The Somali passport is a passport issued to citizens of Somalia for international travel. Blue Passports were formerly used, which have since been replaced with biometric passports to ensure authenticity. The passports are regulated by the federal government.

Overview[edit]

The front cover of the old non-biometric Green Passport.

Somalia's former socialist government originally used to issue a non-biometric Green Passport. This travel document still remained in use after the collapse of former President Siad Barre's regime.[1]

In response to widespread counterfeit Somali passports that subsequently flooded the black market, the Transitional National Government opened a new office in the 2000s to issue official state-approved passports. According to then Foreign Affairs Minister Muhammad Mahmud Shiil, the government would continue issuing old Somali passports with a new dry seal to prevent forgery or duplication, and passports already in circulation would a stamp with the new seal.[2] The government announced in 2006 that it would issue a new machine-readable document to further ensure authenticity.[3]

Since 2007, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia has issued an e-passport to comply with stricter international rules.[4] In November 2010, the TFG opened a new passport-making facility in Mogadishu, the nation's capital.[5] Printing of the travel documents had previously been conducted in the United Arab Emirates,[6] which reportedly engendered a backlog in passport issuance. The repatriated printing facilities are believed to offer a more responsive passport delivery process. Officially issued by the Somali Immigration Department, the passports now contain built-in security features comparable with other countries.[7]

In September 2011, the Transitional Federal Government officially banned use of Somalia's old Green Passport. According to Somali Immigration Officer, General Abdulaahi Gaafow Mohamoud, the identification document would no longer be accepted for business trips or travel by the end of the month. He added that the Green Passport would be replaced with a new blue model of e-passports that are particularly difficult to forge.[1]

In December 2013, the Deputy Director-General of Somali Immigration and Naturalization Abdullahi Hagi Bashir Ismail announced that the Federal Government officially launched Somalia's new e-passport. Part of a broader initiative to strengthen security, the passport is issued by the Ministry of Interior's Department of Immigration. Citizens are eligible for the e-passport upon production of government-issued national identity documents and birth certificates.[8]

Visa requirements[edit]

Visa requirements for Somali citizens
  Somalia
  Visa-free access for Somali citizens
  Visa may be issued on arrival

As of 1 January 2017, Somali citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 30 countries and territories, ranking the Somali passport 100th in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley visa restrictions index.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Deperani, Jama (17 September 2011). "TFG Bans Use of Old Somali Passport". Somalia Report. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Passport office opened". IRIN. 4 September 2002. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "Somalia's new passport sparks row". BBC News. 9 November 2006. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "Somalia introduces new e-passport". People's Daily. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Somali Immigration Department Established New Passport Making Facility in Mogadishu". Somaliweyn.org. 22 November 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Somali govt starts issuing new e-passports". Afrol News. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Somalia Introduces New Secure National ID and E-Passport with HID Global and Their Partners". HID Global. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "New epassport will help secure somalias borders". Midnimo. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Global Ranking - Visa Restriction Index 2017" (PDF). Henley & Partners. Retrieved 14 March 2017. 

External links[edit]