Egyptians told to get machine readable passports by Nov 1

The move comes against the backdrop of a looming deadline set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to phase out all non-MRPs in member countries, including Egypt.



Dubai — Egyptians staying abroad in general and the UAE in particular have been urged to apply for a new passport if they are not machine-readable to avoid any inconvenience in obtaining valid visa or international travel.

Sherif El Bedewy, Consul-General of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Sherif El Bedewy,
Consul-General of the
Arab Republic of Egypt

The ministry of foreign affairs in Egypt, in a recent statement, has set November 1 as the deadline for all handwritten passports to be turned into Machine Readable Passports (MRPs).

The move comes against the backdrop of a looming deadline set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to phase out all non-MRPs in member countries, including Egypt.

Sherif El Bedewy, Consul-General of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, on Thursday told Khaleej Times that holders of handwritten passports with pasted photographs shall not be able to use them anywhere as of November this year, even if still valid.

“From November 1 (earlier was November 24), all member states of the International Civil Aviation Organisation shall deny visa or entry to any person travelling on a non-Machine Readable Passport at all land, air, and sea ports.”

The bodies concerned started issuing MRPs since 2008 to ease, expedite and secure checking in and out procedures at the all ports of the country, he added. “The MRP, only printed in Egypt, has been well secured to avoid counterfeit, and no handwritten passport has been issued since 2010.”

The Consulate General of Egypt in Dubai receives the MRP application form from the Egyptian citizen in person, his wife or children, and then sends it to the passports, immigration and nationality department in Cairo where it is printed and sent back, El Bedewy elaborated.

Egyptians told to get machine readable passports by Nov 1

(L-R) Handwritten passports; new machine readable passport

“The documents required to issue a machine readable passport include the handwritten passport, a copy of pages 1-9 of the old passport, the national ID card and birth certificate for those over 16 years, and the academic study certificate.”

Female applicants need to attach their marital status certificate whereas male residents born on March 18, 1941 and onwards need to submit their military service certificates, except those aged below 19 years old, he noted.

“The degree certificate, along with three passport-sized photographs (4x6) with a white background must also be attached.”

For more details related to passport services, Egyptian expatriates in the UAE may contact the consulate on phone: (04-3971122), fax: (04-3971033), or emergency line - 4pm onwards: (0567799141). “The Consulate is also accessible online via email: (egyptconsulatedubai@gmail.com), and on Facebook at (https://ar-ar.facebook.com/EgyconDubai).”

Khalid Al Wakeel, a 40-year-old Egyptian resident said immigration authorities at the Alexandria International Airport advised him to get an MRP as soon as possible.  “I did not expect the rule to be enforced this year, thus I have applied for a new passport.”

Abu Mohammed said it would have been better if the people were warned about this move early enough, as there is a big rush and long queues of applicants these days.

Umm Maria, an Egyptian teacher, said she wanted to change her handwritten passport into an MRP but could not due to her morning duty. “I would very much appreciate if the consulate extends the working hours or accepts applications on another shift, or on weekends.”

ahmedshaaban@khaleejtimes.com


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