Lebanon to introduce biometric passports

BEIRUT: Lebanon will introduce biometric passports in August, a statement issued Thursday by the Lebanese General Security said .

A biometric passport, also known as an electronic passport, contains embedded information that can be used to identify a traveler such as his fingerprints, retinal scan and signatures.

Lebanese citizens can apply for a biometric passport starting August 1 at all General Security centers across the country with the exception of centers in the following area: Eklim Kharroub, Deir-El Ahmar, Shmastar, Rashaya Valley and Mashghara in Baalbek; Minyeh, Bibnine and Meshmesh in north Lebanon; Zahrani, Jbaa and Shebaa in south Lebanon since these centers have not yet been linked to the General Security Directorate.

Citizens who wish to apply for a biometric passport will need to submit a request signed by the Mukhtar of their area of residence, an ID card or an individual status record issued in the past three months, along with a photo of the applicant measuring 3.5cm by 4.5cm to be authenticated by the Mukhtar.

Current passports will remain valid until they reach their expiration date while Lebanese expatriates who apply to renew their passport will continue to receive the current paper version.

A new biometric passport will cost $40 if valid for one year and $200 for five years.