The National ID Number Authority (NIDNA) has announced that it has completed the new online passport application system which it handed over to the Passports Authority last Sunday. The system should start operating on 8 August.
The NIDNA said that the system has been ready since June, the date it hadpromised it would be ready.
With regards to progress on the new passport application system at Libya’s embassies, NIDNA said that it too is ready, but that it is awaiting Ministry of Planning Audit Bureau approval.
The matter of the issuing of new biometric passports has caused much uproar in Libya as queues at passport issuing offices have formed partly due to lack of capacity in human resource as well as raw material and equipment.
But the blockages are also caused by corruption as new passports are made available at prices of LD 1,500 and as high as LD 3,000 – as opposed to the official LD 55 cost.
The right and access to a new electronic passport in Libya is beyond just the principle of the right to having a passport, but is more of a practical necessity.
Beyond holidays and business trips, a valid passport is a necessity for healthcare abroad in countries like Tunisia and Jordan for most ordinary Libyans and Europe for the better off.
The details on the old Qaddafi-era Libyan passports were written by hand.