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Identity documents, forms: General Security clarifies certain procedures for obtaining passports

The agency is attempting to tighten up its procedures after discovering and seizing passports obtained by foreigners who had presented false identity documents.

Identity documents, forms: General Security clarifies certain procedures for obtaining passports

A Lebanese passport. (Credit: Mohammad Yassin/L'Orient-Le Jour)

General Security clarified on its website the types of identity documents that must be attached to applications for biometric passports, as well as the place where the application must be submitted. The clarification comes as the agency seeks to strengthen its procedures following the discovery and seizure of passports obtained by foreigners who had presented false identity documents.

As of Thursday, the General Security website provides the following details:

If the applicant's identity card is more than ten years old:

- It must be attached in the file to an individual civil status extract (ekhraj eid fardeh, in Arabic) dated after Sept. 12, 2023 (the date on which a new format of this document was put into circulation) and issued or renewed less than a year before the date of application.

- The passport application form must be completed and signed by a mukhtar (local elected official in charge of administrative matters relating to civil status) in the applicant's place of origin, not residence.

- Passport applications can be submitted at the General Security center closest to the applicant's home, or at the institution's headquarters in Beirut, in the Palais de Justice area.

 If the applicant's identity card is less than ten years old, and his or her features as they appear on the passport photo have not changed:

- It is not necessary to enclose a personal civil status certificate with the application.

- The passport application form must be completed and signed by a mukhtar in the applicant's place of origin, not residence.

- Passport applications can be submitted at the General Security center nearest to the applicant's home, or at the General Security headquarters in Beirut, in Adlieh.

If the applicant's identity card is less than ten years old and no longer resembles his or her passport photo:

- It must be attached to an individual civil status certificate dated no more than three months before the application is submitted.

- The passport application form must be completed and signed by a mukhtar in the applicant's place of origin, not in his or her place of residence.

- Passport applications can be submitted at the General Security center nearest to the applicant's place of residence, or at the General Security headquarters in Beirut, in Adlieh.

If the applicant does not have an identity card:

- The application must be accompanied by an extract from the applicant's personal civil status record, dated no more than three months before the application is submitted.

- The passport application form must be completed and signed by a mukhtar from the applicant's place of origin, not his or her place of residence.

- Passport applications can be submitted at the General Security center nearest to the applicant's home, or at the General Security headquarters in Beirut, in Adlieh. However, if this is the first application for a biometric passport, the application must be accompanied by another official document proving the applicant's identity (a valid birth certificate, a family civil status extract, a biometric driving license). If there is any doubt about the applicant's identity, an investigation may be requested by the head of the General Security center where the application was submitted. 

When applying for a replacement biometric passport:

- The applicant may present a valid identity card, the details of which are identical to those appearing on the old biometric passport; an individual civil status certificate dated less than one year before the passport application, the details of which are identical to those appearing on the old passport; or at least two identity documents, even expired ones, at least one of which must include a passport photo (individual or family civil status certificate, birth certificate, identity card).

- The passport application form must be completed and signed by a mukhtar in the applicant's place of origin, not in his or her place of residence.

- Passport applications can be submitted at the General Security center closest to the applicant's place of residence, in the applicant's hometown, or at the General Security headquarters in Beirut, in Adlieh.

As a reminder, in addition to these identity documents and passport application form, Lebanese citizens must enclose :

- Their old passport if renewing, or a clear copy of the page containing their contact details from the old passport.

- A 4.5 x 3.5 cm full-face color passport photo on a white background, certified by a local mukhtar, who will have indicated the applicant's name and civil registry number on the back.

General Security also stresses that applications must be submitted in person.

On Tuesday, General Security explained that it had seized falsified passports in early 2024, obtained on the basis of civil status extracts containing data corresponding to Lebanese citizens, but with the photo of another person. The application forms for these passports had been signed and certified by mukhtars, as is customary. As a result of this case, since March 15, passport applications can only be obtained from a local mukhtar who, according to the authorities, is in a better position to verify the applicant's identity and authenticate the documents.

This article originally appeared in French in L'Orient-Le Jour. 

General Security clarified on its website the types of identity documents that must be attached to applications for biometric passports, as well as the place where the application must be submitted. The clarification comes as the agency seeks to strengthen its procedures following the discovery and seizure of passports obtained by foreigners who had presented false identity documents. As of...