Somali passport

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Somali ePassport
Somali ePassport.jpg
Front cover of a contemporary Somali ePassport
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.


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, "but with a new dry seal that cannot be duplicated or faked[...] we have advised Somali businessmen in Mogadishu to bring in their old passports so they can be stamped with the new seal."[2]

Since 2007, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia has issued an e-passport to comply with stricter international rules.[3]

In November 2010, the TFG opened a new passport-making facility in Mogadishu, the nation's capital. Printing of the travel documents had previously been conducted in the United Arab Emirates, 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.[4]

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]

As the Deputy Director-General of Somali Immigration and Naturalization Mr. Abdullahi Hagi Bashir Ismail announce, in December 2013, the Federal Government officially launched Somalia's new e-passport. Part of a broader initiative to strengthen security, the passport will be 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.[5]

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