In view of Sri Lanka introducing the e-passport service to its citizens, the issuance of passports valid 'Only For Middle East Countries' would no longer be issued from December 31 this year, the Immigration and Emigration Department said today.
Immigration and Emigration Controller General M.N. Ranasinghe said only passports valid for 'All Countries' will be issued from January 1, 2019.
He said the department was hoping to implement the e-passport project soon with an electronic chip that carries the owner's biodata.
“Most Sri Lankans who have passports valid only for 'Middle East Countries' have to obtain another passport when they need to travel for jobs in countries like South Korea and Cyprus. We have placed orders for only 'all countries passports' to be issued until the implementation of the e-passport project,” Mr. Ranasinghe said.
However, the department had earlier reported a shortage of new passports because of the delay in implementing e-passports scheduled for early this year. (Darshana Sanjeewa)