Everything You Need To Know About The “New” Lebanese Passport Rules

  
4 days prior to a deadline that was suddenly imposed on every single Lebanese, it turns out that the passports we paid hundreds of thousands of Lebanese liras to renew recently are turning obsolete.

The Why:

Our passports are ancient. They lack biometric data that have become standard all around the world. Moreover, renewal with handwritten notes is also against international regulations.

Over the past year, Lebanon’s General Security stopped renewing passports and started issuing new ones instead. Of course, unless you knew someone doing a passport within the last year, there would have been no way for you to know of such regulation.

The How:

Starting January 10th, no Lebanese will be allowed to travel out of the country using a passport with handwritten renewal dates. That is to say if you paid 60,000 last year for renewal or 300,000 for a 5 year extension, you are out of luck: you will be stopped at the airport, your passport confiscated and you will be sent back home to get a new passport.

If you’re abroad and coming to Lebanon, your passport will be confiscated the moment you arrive at the airport and then your Lebanese stay will become a bureaucratic mess of you trying to get a new passport in time.

The Details:

If you’re Lebanese in Lebanon, just go and apply for a new passport. The money you paid for a renewal will be lost, as would happen when you try to renew and the officer at the General Security thinks your picture is too young or too different.

If you’re a Lebanese coming from abroad, get your family here to ready passport papers for you at the nearest Mokhtar in order to have an easy path. You will need new passport sized pictures and a recent ID card.

If your ID card is not new (it still has your childhood picture), you will need an Ekhraj Eid in order to get the passport procedure rolling. Yay!

If you are one of those lucky people with long duration visas, your old passport will be attached to your current one meaning the visas will remain functional. 

It Will Get Worse:

The passport you’ll be getting is the same as the one you currently have, except it doesn’t have handwritten notes. In a few years, when they start using passports with biometric chips and data, they’ll force you to give up your old passport and pay another fee for a new one, a fee that promises to be higher than the exorbitant one we already pay. 

Why This Is Unacceptable:

It’s not my fault as a Lebanese citizen that my government is so inadequate that they couldn’t even properly inform its citizens of such regulations until 4 days prior to the deadline.

They said that they issued statements before. But those statements have not been picked up by media outlets and as such we had no way to know and were also issued on Christmas. Maybe we should have asked for new passports for Christmas instead?

You’d think an institution that makes sure to bombard you with their birthday propaganda or with any form of self-indulgent material would actually bother informing you about such an important event. But no, as it stands: the average Lebanese citizen is getting the short end of the stick, as usual.

Why do I have to pay again for a passport that I already paid for when it’s not even my fault that my passport is useless to begin with?

Till when do we, as Lebanese people, have to constantly be screwed by our government just because they have no idea what they’re doing?

Mabrouk people. In case you have travel plans, start panicking about actually being allowed to leave the country because your perfectly decent passports will become obsolete in 4 days. 

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142 thoughts on “Everything You Need To Know About The “New” Lebanese Passport Rules

  1. If they are looking to follow the world rules and terms, so why not getting the passport renewed for 10 YEARS instead of 5 years,like everywhere in the world? And start now with the biometric system? One answer: money money money, ……….

    Reply
    • To be honest Liliane, nochkor alla its not a 10-year document. The reason biometric passports get a longer validity is because the materials used in them is superior to the conventional pulp paper used in our current passports. Our golden cedar on the cover fades in less than 2 years, and the interior pages are less than 10 microns thick… bahdale.

      With a biometric one, there is usually an option to get 2 versions: a slim one with 20-30 pages, and a thicker passport with 96 pages. The machines that embed the biometric chip are not only expensive, but tightly controlled by agencies.

      Reply
  2. You can get a new passport in one day, but you have to apply in the general security head office near the court of justice (3adliya). It is unfortunate and unfair that some people have to pay twice, they paid for passport renewal and now for a new passport.

    Reply
    • It is not unfair, it is daylight robbery Gaby.
      Withholding/confiscation of official identification of a citizen is a criminal offence punishable by the Lebanese Criminal Code, Section I, Sub.1, Article 42.1 of Accessory Penalties, loss of civil rights. The penalty ranges from 2 years up to 8 years imprisonment. We have some decent laws. Our executive branch is the joke.

      Reply
  3. I read somewhere that the biometric passport will start by June 1, 2016. I don’t trusted them making it by that date though. I am sure they will start to increase the fees. If i issue a new passport and throw my supposed to be valid passport. even though it was renewed but the part it says place, they decide to have it handwritten. I am disappointed. So I should pay again, since it is their fault anyway. Maybe later in June 2016, they will inform that I must issue again. The old passport is not accepted. Do they know what planning means? Or they just try to inform when it is too late.

    Reply
    • Issuing a new biometric passport is not mandatory. It will make life easier and merrier in most other countries, its fancy, secure, stylish, modern, durable, convenient 10-yr validity, and, most importantly, extremely useful to renew online in the future. But not mandatory. They cannot discontinue the blue passport abruptly for a huge number of reasons.

      Reply
  4. That’s actually sh*t. Nah, I’m not planning on wasting another sh*t load of money renewing my passport, and extending my ticket cause they never say the truth about how long it should take. I was planning to go for a holiday this summer and spend two weeks with my friends and family and actually go out with them. Not rush from a place to another trying to get all my papers together and then waiting for the new passport and waiting for my visa to get stamped back on there.

    Are they trying to improve Lebanon? Do it the right way. And a bit quicker, cause this is actually bare slow.

    In the UK now an eye sensor can allow you to come in. You don’t even need to show your passport anymore. Id rather stay here for the remaining 3 years to get my British passport and then go back for a half decent and peaceful holiday.

    Reply
  5. That’s actually sh*t. Nah, I’m not planning on wasting another sh*t load of money renewing my passport, and extending my ticket cause they never say the truth about how long it should take. I was planning to go for a holiday this summer and spend two weeks with my friends and family and actually go out with them. Not rush from a place to another trying to get all my papers together and then waiting for the new passport and waiting for my visa to get stamped back on there.

    Are they trying to improve Lebanon? Do it the right way. And a bit quicker, cause this is actually bare slow.

    In the UK now an eye sensor can allow you to come in. You don’t even need to show your passport anymore. Id rather stay here for the remaining 3 years to get my British passport and then go back for a half decent and peaceful holiday.

    Reply
    • Mario, if the eye sensor at Heathrow fails for any reason whatsoever, you will be redirected to a manned immigration desk. Showing up there without a valid travel document isn’t exactly fun. You’ll get in if you’re a resident. If you’re on a work permit or visa, you’re asking for trouble.

      Reply
  6. The article says Lebanese passports of those living abroad will be confiscated upon arrival at Beirut airport . If this is true it will cause a lot of trouble for people who have their residency visa printed on their passports . It can be a nightmare for us and to obtain a new residency visa to the UAE , for example , will be a real problem . We will not be allowed on the plane back to the UAE from Beirut if we have no residency visa !! Can the (Amn Aa’am ) General Security stamp our current passports as expired or null but give them back to us so we attach the new ones together ? Where can we inquire about this ?

    Reply
    • Yes of course, Salam. On the application for a new passport, there is a box where it says “salahiyyet el jawaz”. When you visit the DGSG (amn el 3am) to apply, this box is where they handwrite in red ink “damm el qadeem” (attach old passport). They will attach both passports with a golden ribbon and a nice, aztec-age shiny gold stamp.

      The application is WHITE if you’re applying for a 5-year validity, and BLUE if you’re applying for 1 year.

      Your residency will be unaffected, don’t worry. The officer in AD (or DXB) will handwrite “onzor al qadeem” next to his entry stamp. What you WILL have a issue with is your e-gate card. It’s because your new passport biometrics aren’t linked to your Unified Number (al raqm al muwahhad) shown on your “Iqama”.

      Reply
  7. the people that had their passport renewed should be waived the fee to issue a new passport to honour what they gave them in the first place.

    Reply
  8. Will the government take a passport of a lebanese person coming abroad next week , the minute he lands in Lebanon ?

    Reply
    • Yes, unfortunately. So if you have a foreign residency or valid visas on it, guard that receipt very well so you can reunite with your old passport at the DGSG.

      Reply
  9. The only freedom left for us is to enjoy procreation and in abundance. They allows us only what they need for themselves.
    Do you still feel you need to be on the same planet as them? Them i mean those inferior specimens that need to take hold over our humanity, freedom and civility.

    Reply
  10. So2al ana sawet pasport jded. B 22/12/2015 jadadto bass mech 3ala adim jadadoli yah b pasport jded heyda cho melghi kamen

    Reply
    • Hassan, tijdeed passport bi lebnen ma ba2a fi, la jdid wala adim.
      Inta shtaret passport jdid. Ya btekhdo metel ma houwwi, ya amma bi doummoulak yeh ma3 el adim. (el adim byikhtmoulak 3leh “moulgha” bas el viyaz yalle fi bi dallo salheen ta yinteho)

      Reply
  11. Hello. My current passport expires in 2018, but it does have a blank renewal page (not used). I didn’t need to have any handwritten renewal on this page.
    Since I am going to visit Lebanon end of February, Do I have to get a new passeport?? 😞

    Reply
    • No.
      Forget that there is a renewal page, it’s useless now. No more renewals.
      When your passport expires, get a new one.
      Then decide if you want to attach the new one to the old one.

      Reply
        • So Eli, I’m coming this weekend, my passport ends by aug 2017, they won’t stop me in the airport or take my passport right ?, because it doesn’t have any hand writing in it, help ?

          Reply
  12. This is not the Lebanese govenment’s fault in any way. Don’t blame them. Why should we be forced to handle our passports the way the the US wants us to? We have have been using our passports internationally for years without any problems. If the US and UK bully their citizens into enforcing Orwellian features into their passports then why do they think they can bully the rest of the world into doing it too? Let them go suck eggs..

    Reply
    • Bashir afandi, Lebanon is a member of the ICAO. This organization is not American. It is a UN agency with offices around the globe. No, it does not police or bully foreign governments into signing up to become members. Nobody is forcing you to do anything…you can lay down your rifle now.

      One of the many reasons governments join is so that they can receive aeronautical publications, as well as training in infrastructure management (like surveillance and the latest air traffic management techniques). Biometric passports are optional everywhere. Besides being trackable and reminiscent of scary Orwellian features that seem to worry/bully you so much, a much more crucial role they play is their ability to integrate that travel document data into other machine readable documents like boarding passes, enhanced driver’s licenses, social security cards, nexus, etc.

      So when a specialized agency that governs much of the world’s principles of air travel (and that which employs 76,000+ employees with educational degrees your entire ancestry cannot muster) asks its member states to update/rectify a travel issue, you can either say “thank you, will do” or you can go wear your bandana and throw a one-man strike in front of your local grocery store. It’s time you hop onto the train with the majority of your ignorant brethren min el day3a and learn a thing or two about what’s happening beyond your window before you spit out your cluelessness. ahbal.

      Reply
  13. Woodz asked an important question What about Lebanese citizens living abroad and traveling to other countries not Lebanon?
    Anyone ?
    Lebanese embassy never pickup the phone, and I wasn’t surprised

    Reply
    • If you live abroad and are carrying a valid passport (even by manual renewal) it will serve you until it expires. But once you use it to enter Lebanon, immigration will confiscate it and hand you a receipt on your way in. You use this receipt at the DGSG to issue your new passport.

      The problem is this: An increasing number of airports around the world are now refusing manually renewed passports. Word is that the Gulf countries will probably be one of the first to adopt this system (due to fraud) but that’s still speculation. In my experience, the most intolerant authorities to manual renewal i have dealt with is throughout the Far East.

      Reply
  14. Does Anyone knows if we are allowed to travel to Lebanon from abroad with a passport renewal with handwritten notes and after the 10th of January.
    I asked the Lebanese embassy and they don’t know and the only way to have a new passport without waiting 3 months for the embassy to issue the passport is do it in Lebanon.

    Please advice
    Charbel

    Reply
    • Charbel, you can travel to Lebanon. They will take your passport away on arrival and hand you a receipt. If you are abroad, you can still issue a new passport at the embassy using your Lebanese ID (hawiyyi).

      If you do not possess a Lebanese ID (hawiyyi) it’s going to be a little tough because you will have to request “ikhraj kayd” and you need someone in Lebanon to do that for you.

      Reply
  15. Urgent my son is traveling on Monday to canada on a student visa . He is in dubai now . He doesn’t have time to apply for a new passport .
    What will happen in this case .

    Reply
  16. Pingback: Another set of short-term “New” Lebanese Passport Rules? New rules every semester? | Adonis Diaries

  17. So just to be clear…
    If I arrive in Lebanon and I have a visa in my passport, will they let me keep it and just make me get a new passport? Because how will they be able to attach the 2 passports if they plan on confiscating it at the airport? I’m just worried about losing my visa if they actually confiscate my passport.

    Reply
    • They will take it away and hand you a receipt. Keep it in a safe place until you get to a DGSG office to issue your new passport. When submitting your application, ask them to bind the 2 passports together.

      Suggestions:
      – Check your info on the receipt before you leave the immigration desk.
      – Make a copy of it (or snap a photo)
      – DGSG 3adliye for urgent processing (+105,000 L.L.) and Sodeco for normal processing.

      Reply
  18. People, I’m sorry this might sound dumb, but I’m wondering because I don’t know what the hell exactly is going on, but if I have the passport and it expires in aug 2016, no hand writing though, at all, will they still take it from me ?!, because I’m coming on the 14th this fu*king month !?

    Reply
  19. What about Lebanese living abroad, and not coming to Lebanon any time soon. Do we need to still get new passports? In other words, is this a strictly internal decision by Lebanese authorities, or will we be denied travelling between other expatriate countries?

    Reply
  20. my brother went back to Lebanon few days ago, last Monday. He had the blue passport with renewal one. He had no problem and no body asked him anything and they didnt take his passport as some said. When he asked, they said that some countries may deny you entry.

    Reply
  21. Dear,
    My passport is renewed by printing till 2019.
    Do I need to change it for the biometric one when they announce it(And what happens to residence permits and visas in this case) or I can apply for the new biometric passport after the expiration?

    Thank you!

    Reply
  22. Anyone with manually renewed passport travelled to Lebanon after Jan 10?
    Had to submit it at the airport at arrival ?

    thanks

    Reply
  23. Hey, does this mean someone won’t be able to travel to anywhere in the world with a handwritten renewal, even if it’s still valid. My wife and are already booked to Cuba for next week, would this mean she won’t be able to travel because of her Lebanese passport having a handwritten renewal? Or does the handwritten renewal passport only apply to traveling to Lebanon as a concern?

    Reply
  24. Can we still travel to places (other than Lebanon) and use the hand written renewal passport?i heard they cancelled this while non sense. Does anyone have an answer?

    Reply
  25. Went to the embassy and renewed my passport. Any passport renewed (handwritten) will not be acceptable effective immediately. My passport expires in 2017 and i had to renew early because of such new regulation.

    If you are renewing from a foreign country it will take 1 month to 2 months. In my case (UAE) it will take 1.5 months till i get my passport. However if you are renewing in Lebanon, there is two options, you can either get it the same day (extra fees applies) or wait for 5-7 days for it to be ready.

    Visas will remain effective. Old passport will be attached to the new passport.

    Source: Lebanese Embassy in Abu Dhabi (went in person).

    Reply
  26. I have a Lebanese passport that is renewed by hand and since January 2016 till now, I travelled 3 times and used it in and out and noticed nothing about this. I had my European second passport in my bag but had no need to use it during entering or leaving.
    It looks like these measures are getting less strict lately.

    Reply
  27. Hey guys,
    I’m in Milan, and I wanna go to Georgia with my old passport, will that be an issue? Will they confiscate it from me?
    I’m hoping I can just travel to and from Georgia to Italy without any issues still using my old passport.

    Reply
  28. what if you born from a lebanese mother and your father was palestinian then you have a travel document and if you lost it the lebanese embassy needs more than 6 months to get you new one , can you imagine if you mother is sick and you want to travel to see her and then you have to wait for 6 months , can you imagine if your mother is dying in the hospital and you have to wait for six months to travel to see her and your only fault that you born as a palestinian refugee in lebanon , thanks

    Reply
  29. i am travelling to the states in july and i just renewed my passport before 2 month to the new passport
    will i be able to visit the states as i have a valid us visa ???

    Reply
  30. ana 3melet l passport min shi 3 months 3melto 3ala 5 years ya3ne awal sint jei khala lal kab l passport? tab iza bado ywa2fo passports l2edem le bi khaluna na3emlo 3ala 5 snin w hinei badun yghayrou ba3ed kem chaher

    Reply
  31. Do I have to leave both passports bound together with the yellow ribbon or can I get rid of the old one after I don’t need the Visas in the old one any longer.

    Reply

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