President Sirleaf officially launched the new Liberian Biometric e-Passports at the Bureau of Passports and Visas, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Liberian President also performed the official launch of the Expedited Application Service Center at the Bureau of Passports and Visas, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Liberia has become the latest upgraded member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) based on the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Agreement with the official launch of the of Liberian Bio-metric e-Passport, the official Liberian travel document printed and issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Liberian Foreign Minister, Marjon Kamara stated that there is now a mobile center in the United States, and disclosed that plans are underway that by the end of this year to also have passport centers in South Africa and Ethiopia. She added that a passport center is to shortly open in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China. Kamara noted that a very important aspect of this interaction is that this is going to bring the government through the Foreign Ministry much closer to its Diaspora citizens. “Once you have this kind of service to offer them, it opens the doors to talk about other things with them,” the Minister emphasized.
The Expedited Application Service Center will provide applicants who are urgently in need of a passport to process their applications and pay an expedited service charge of US$50 in addition to the passport fee and be guaranteed same day delivery. Applicants for the new e-Passport can also apply online. It will take 3-5 working days for applicants to get their passports using the regular service.
The new e-Passport booklet comes with advanced technology, and will no longer have a 2D bar-code, but rather a RFID microprocessor chip implanted into the book without the ability to detect it physically with the eyes or touch of the hand. The e-Passport will hold all ten fingerprints in addition to the facial image of the holder on the RFID microprocessor chip. In addition to all the modern electronic security, the physical security features of the new Liberian e-Passport have been upgraded.
Unlike the previous Liberian Bio-metric Passport, the RFID microprocessor chip implanted into the book makes it difficult to be altered or duplicated as the chip cannot be decrypted.