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. 

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

  1. You mentioned the lack of biometric data in the current passports. You have any idea if the newly issued passports will have them? or should we expect to pay for a new passport in a year or so? Also what about the old passport? do we get it back? (people with residencies and visas issued to that old passport number)

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  2. Hi, since last year they would not renew your passport and it was circulated since January 2015. It was mentioned on the lebanese consulate website and to all the govermental channels, mkhatir and general security. I personally had to issue a new passport as it wasn’t allowed for me to renew.it didn’t affect my visas as they have attached to my old one and I use it to travel to Europe.

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    • Where was it circulated? Where could I have know as a citizen that didn’t need to renew his passport last year.

      I left and re-entered Lebanon 15 times last year, not once did an employee of the general security bother to mention to me that I needed to change my passport after he had checked the renewal page!

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    • When did you issue the new passport? Did they give you the new passport according to the new rules/terms? Or was it still signed by hand? My cousin made a passport few weeks ago and traveled to Turkey last week, nothing was mentioned about that.

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    • No you won’t be able to travel after the 10th with your old passport.

      And I said this was announced before but it was not publicized as they would with everything else.

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    • Yes you would be able to travel after the 10th with your manually-renewed passport. But as soon as you are back, it will be confiscated. This has been confirmed from several authorities today.

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    • You can still travel if your passport not renewed or newly issued, this announcement concerned only the renewed passports with handwriting renewal dates.

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      • 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?

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        • To all who are living abroad I renewed my Blue passport in Canada in 2014 I still have till 2019 but I still have to renew my passport.
          I canceled a trip to The States because it is an international trip do not take the risk you can probably take off if the officer is not aware of the situation but if he knows he will refuse to let you go on the plane.
          I spoke already with the Lebanese embassy and they said the same thing.
          You have to apply for a new one through the embassy.
          Stop confusing one to another call the embassy any where you are they will let you know.
          Good luck.

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  3. Will it be for the same price (60.000 & 300.000)? I didn’t renew my passport for 5 years this summer only thanks to our ‘mokhtar’ who was kind enough to point this issue out.

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  4. Ugh don’t remind me. I had an urgent business trip last year and I thought that I could just renew my passport as usual in liban post. Turned out they have to issue a new one and I kept bouncing around for a week doing paperwork with one thing leading to another. Had I been notified that the process changed ahead of time, I could have been better prepared. Man I was shitting myself and thinking of what to tell my client if I don’t make it there for the release.

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    • My complaint is that this is not pro-active. I shouldn’t have to find out while I’m at LibanPost that they are no longer renewing visas.

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  5. Another correction, they won’t allow for the very old RED passports (not the blue ones) as the Red passports are not readable by machines, and WON’T be accepted overseas.

    My Blue passport dates from 2006, meaning 9 years old already, and still has a few years after (the rather very expensive) renewal (which is simply a signature on the second page of the passport – No joke).

    But hey, for those who renewed their red passports in the past few months, well, you got screwed. But don’t worry, it’s something we are all used to in this country

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    • What are you talking about. The ref passport is obsolete since years. If you live abroad, they advise you at the consulate that they can only renew it for a year, and they stress the need to obtIn a new passport upon your arrival to Lebanon.

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  6. As per the ICAO recommendation, the General Directorate of General Security in Lebanon annouces that all new passports that have been renewed or having accompanying children should be replaced by a new passport and will be taken and cancelled at the Lebanese borders as of 10/01/2016.
    Old specimen passports (burgundy color) are considered as cancelled as per the ICAO recommendation, Lebanese citizens are urged to apply for a new passport .

    so this is only for old passports (burgundy color)

    get your info straight!!

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    • Yes Joelle, you have to make a new ikhraj eid too it must be less than 6 months, and I guess you will stuck in Leb until you make a new passport. Still they will attach the old passport with the new one.

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  7. A55 ya khaye ma3ash twaje3le albe .. ana bsara7a seret 2ekrah shi esmo nizam arabe w dawle 3arabeye . Aymta beseer 3ena “actual Lebanese leaders” le behemon lebnen, hayda jaweb sa3b nle2ee

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  8. I have applied for a new passport the past summer after I was informed that they’ve stopped renewing passports.
    I admit that the information was a bit hard to find: the general security website had removed all references to passport renewals, and a little bit of googling took me to several consulate websites clearly stating that the Lebanese government is no longer issuing passport renewals.
    Apparently the idea was to gradually switch to the new passports with “biometric data”, which are still nonexistent.

    The sad part is having to reapply once again for a passport when the new passports are out… waste of time and money.

    On a relevant note, I must state that obtaining my new passport was way faster/easier than expected. The whole process took less than a couple of hours including going to the mukhtar for an “ekhraj ayd” application, doing a new “Ekhraj ayd”, going again to the mukhtar for obtaining a passport application, and finally applying for the passport at the general security.
    Picked up my passport five days later without any problems at all 🙂

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  9. I am currently studying in Germany just renewed my passport for five years on the 24th of December. Would my passport become void after January 10th or would it still be valid, since the next time I’ll be going back to Lebanon would in the Summer.

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  10. To renew our passport or made new one here in us or any other country is too complicated they ask me to have Lebanese I d or ikraj kayd from Lebanon and I have to sent passport photo to lebanon .now my expire I could not found way to have new to visit lebanon I have to wait some years to have usa passport .To visit .can anyone explained to me why so hard .are we hold the best passport .with Hezbollah .

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  11. I got my passport 4 years ago for 5 years and obviously 1 year is remaining! With no handwriting renewal! So am i able to use it for the next few months until it expires!!!?

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  12. Add to the above if you are outside Lebanon you can’t get a new passport from the Embassy, you have to wait for 2 month for them to get to a new one … واحلى شي الموظف لما قلتلو شغلي كلو سفر ومضطر في اي طريقة خلص الباسبور بسرعة قلي ايه بسيطة حُجوز تذكرة سفر ونزال على لبنان بيخلصولك ياه بيوم واحد….

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  13. Actually I’m not a big fan of official administrations but this is not new, they stopped renewing passports over a year ago. Plus they published it on their website.
    So no one could’ve renewed his passport last year. They certainly did a new one.
    I donno why some people that don’t even travel are overreacting now (not talking about the author).
    So if your passport is not renewed, you’re fine. If it’s renewed, you should do another one. And if your visa is on your old passport, they attach it to the new one.
    And I think it’s normal not to accept old pictures. All the embassies don’t accept old pics when you apply for a visa.
    As for the 10th of January deadline, they should’ve informed people earlier than the 24th of december 2015 (publication date on their website). Especially that between the 24th of December and the 10th of Jan, they close a lot for holidays.

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  14. the ikhraj did need to be three months old before they accept it. I had to do that. Thankfully they are not hard to get. Any family member can take care of it before you come. Just need 2 pictures.

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  15. I live in Europe, with a work permit.

    If I understand correctly, we can still travel around and pass customs checks with the hand-written renewed passport as long as I do not get back to Lebanon? is that correct?

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  16. Hello,
    How come i can’t find anything online mentioning this change except for this site? I’m traveling soon to Lebanon and I want to make sure i get this fixed before I get there.

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  17. Dear .
    Another question what if i live outside lebanon and i want to travel to another country in europe is it acceptable with passport renewed by written? Thanks for answer

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  18. Hello,

    Please give us a reference of these news as I cannot see any news posted regarding this matter on the lebanese general security site

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  19. Will you stop bullshitting people to get hits and likes for God’s sake.
    Biometric in Lebanon is due for Feb 2015. One change once and for all.

    That’s the real reason you morons never get anywhere. You love to blame and nag.

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  20. Man, your situation is much better than Lebanese traveling document for Palestinian refugees. I live in Dubai, I called the Lebanese consulate to get some information. It turned out that there is no plan to update the traveling document, which is all manual btw, so you can imagine where it stands against international standards. My job includes frequent travel, and my life was already a nightmare to get a visa. I’m in freakout mode, and dunno what to do!!

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  21. How about people living abroad and having their passports still valid?
    I didn’t get any notification from the lebanese embassy whatsoever. Any idea?

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  22. this country is a joke ! and has the MOST EXPENSIVE PASSPORT on earth . The Only thing to do is laugh .WAHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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  23. “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.”

    Well at least they informed us 4 days prior to the deadline.
    I have a new assignment for you: did you know that the taxes we pay the treasury for the properties we own, increased from 6.5 to 11% without us knowing?
    Exemption from tax that applied to properties, under a certain value, is now cancelled without even informing us, and now penalties are piling up without us even knowing.

    Keep up the good work.

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  24. The Lebanese passports were not being renewed for the past two and a half years in Lebanon, at diplomatic missions abroad or in the case of emergency I do not have information, nevertheless if you needed a renewal or you passport had expired they just issued a new passport for you even if you still had the opportunity of renewal in your already expired passport. In case you didn’t want to lose valid visas in your old passport, they attached the old passport with the new one by their official seal. It is written in the article that any renewal will be void, that is not true, if you have paid 300000 LP for a five year passport you’ll see on the from page the 5 year validity period PRINTED as of the date the passport was issued, but if there is anything HANDWRITTEN about any renewal it regardless when you have got it it will be void.

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    • Passports were still being renewed last year abroad. At least in my case, I renewed my passport in the Lebanese Embassy in Ottawa, Canada for 5 years in March 2014. No problems whatsoever. I actually got there, gave them my passport, paid 200$. I went to have lunch and came back in less than 2 hours to get it renewed for 5 years until 2019!!!

      What’s funnier is that I entered Lebanon on December 26 and the “amn 3am” guy checked the “handwritten” renewal and didn’t tell me anything. I’m sure they had no idea these new rules were in place!

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  25. Bravo ya dawlai shou Hal ekhter3
    Lak wahad bayate mehlai la Hal shaab matar hata yedaber Halou
    And I have a question what are those embassies are doing they are not suppose to notify all the Lebanese so they know this strang laws
    Lak Haida dawlai wela shaglet awlaid
    Lak t3alamou men Zembabway sarou ahsan mna
    Alah el3angon wa ye3an kararatkon a3waj

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  26. What if I’m Lebanese but come in on an American passport? Will I need a new Lebanese passport on my person to enter the country/will I be turned away? And once in the country, if I’m leaving on my American passport, will I also need a Lebanese one to get out?

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    • No, you can come and go with your American passport, and your expired Lebanese passport will serve a a visa. I just went for Christmas and came back to the US.

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  27. Ok guys can someone plz clarify what does handwritten renewals mean exactly cz on my newly renewed passport only the renewal Number is handwritten while the place is not! I am asking this cz on my very old cancelled passport all renewal info were actually handwritten not like the new one! I will be traveling mid this month this is insane I just read about it here!

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    • People..please read when someone posts an answer. They mean the burgundy colored passports and not the blue ones. The burgundy color passports have handwritten bio information on the first page; this is what they mean. The blue passports are machine readable even if they are renewed on the second page. Some people still have the burgundy color passports and these will be forced to have new passports

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  28. Lebanon is a country That was born a handicap country in the intensive care unit and the suffering continue, as Lebanon won’t die nor it will recover. So if you think that Lebanon will recover one day, your are definitely an optimistic sucker or a masochist.

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  29. If the Lebanese people were not stupid enough to follow, support and applause such useless leaders, the country would be in a much better shape. Shame on you all, if you are not happy, get out and leave Lebanon for the people who appreciate it.

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  30. Couldn’t have said it any better.

    We are screwed to pay 200$ twice, and when u ask general security they will say “those people might get a discount Iza l wezara jtama3o to make such a law” LOL as if that’s even possible, they will be more than happy to put the money in their pockets.

    What’s more ridiculous, is that people who have 4 year visas will basically have their old passports attached to the new ones for the entire 4 years. So whats the point behind all this shit!!!!!

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