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Sri Lanka: Biometric Passports Become Standard

(Aug. 12, 2015) Based on a rule effective August 10, 2015, all passports newly issued by Sri Lanka will contain fingerprints as biometric markers. Existing passports will remain usable, however. The goal is to meet international standards and, according to Immigration and Emigration Controller, General Nihal Ranasinghe, the inclusion of fingerprints will increase the efficacy of passports for purposes of identification. (Sri Lanka to Begin Issuing Biometric Passports from Monday, COLOMBO PAGE (Aug. 9, 2015).)

Because the documents have to include fingerprints that must be captured in person, passport applicants must appear in person at the central or regional offices of the passport agency. In addition, applicants have to have photographs that conform to standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization, taken by authorized studios; printed photographs produced elsewhere will no longer be acceptable. (Id.) Sri Lankans residing abroad must go for fingerprinting upon their return to the country. Normally, Sri Lankan passports are valid for ten years. (Application for a Passport (If Validity of the Current Passport Expired), Embassy of Sri Lanka, Washington D.C. website (Apr. 1, 2015).)