Venezuelan passport

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Venezuelan passport
Pasaporte Venezolano Mercosur.jpeg
The current front cover of the Venezuelan biometric passport.
Date first issued July 2007 (biometric passport booklet)
Issued by  Venezuela
Type of document Passport
Purpose Identification
Eligibility requirements Venezuelan citizenship

Venezuelan passports are issued to citizens of Venezuela to travel outside the country. Biometric passports have been issued since July 2007, with a RFID chip containing a picture and fingerprints; passports issued earlier remain valid until they expire.

As of 2015 passports were 34 pages long and displayed a biometric symbol on the bottom of the cover. The cover is deep blue and shows the name Mercosur followed by "República Bolivariana de Venezuela" on the top.

The holder's personal information is written in a digital format on a plastic card which also bears a machine-readable zone on the bottom, and a picture of the holder on the left.

Controversies[edit]

On February 8th, 2017, a joint CNN and CNN en Español investigation - based on the information provided by a whistleblower and subsequent investigations, reported that employees of the Venezuelan embassy in Baghdad, Iraq has been selling passports and visas to persons from Middle Eastern countries with dubious backgrounds for profits, including to members of the Lebanese group Hezbollah. The Venezuelan immigration department, SAIME, confirmed the sold passports' genuineness as each passport came with an assigned national identification number, although the names of these individuals were altered when checking against the national database. At least one individual's place of birth was also changed from Iraq to Venezuela. The Venezuelan foreign minister, Delcy Rodriguez, denied the government's involvement when questioned by the reporters during the Seventy-first session of the United Nations General Assembly and accused the network of performing what she described as an "imperialistic media operation" against Venezuela for airing the year-long fraud investigation.[1] On 14 February 2017, Venezuelan authorities ceased the broadcasting of CNN en Español two days after the Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, ordered CNN to "(get) well away from here".[2][3] In addition, CNN has been also accused of instigating religious, racial and political hatred, violence and other themes, according to the Venezuelan National Commission of Telecommunications director Andres Eloy Mendez.[4][5]

In March 2017, it was reported that SAIME lacks enough "materials" to cope with demands for passports. As a result, only approximately 300,000 passports were issued in 2016 while between 1.8 million and 3 million Venezuelans applied for passports. SAIME launched an online platform for applications while guaranteeing 72-hour delivery with doubled fees. The site has crashed numerous times since its launch.[6][7] Those outside Venezuela were solicited bribes usually many times of the cost of the passport.[8][9]

See also[edit]

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