Djibouti: Requirements and procedures to obtain a passport, including circumstances under which consent is required by another adult; information indicated by the field marked "domicile"; appearance of regular passports (2015-April 2017) [DJI105789.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Overview

Sources state that an official ceremony marking the implementation of the Djiboutian biometric passport took place on 9 February 2017 (La Nation 12 Feb. 2017; Imprimerie Nationale 9 Feb. 2017). The biometric passport is produced by the Paris-based Imprimerie Nationale Group (Imprimerie Nationale 9 Feb. 2017). In an interview with the Djiboutian national newspaper La Nation, the National Police Director General stated that biometric passports are introduced as replacements to the electronic ones that have been in effect since 2009 (La Nation 2 Mar. 2017). In the same interview, the National Police Director General further stated that Djiboutians have until the end of 2017 to replace their electronic passports with biometric ones (La Nation 2 Mar. 2017). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

2. Requirements and Procedures to Obtain a Djiboutian Passport

Information on the requirements and procedures to obtain a passport within Djibouti could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

The website of the Embassy of Djibouti in Brussels lists the following requirements to obtain a Djiboutian national passport through the embassy:

[translation]

downloaded form
national ID card
restitution of the old passport in case its validity is not extended
residence card of the host country
two identity pictures (passport format)
fees: 74.50 euros [C$105] (Djibouti N.d.).

In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, an official of the Embassy of Djibouti in Washington, DC stated that the [translation] "indispensable" document to provide is the national identity card, which "cannot be requested or obtained outside of Djibouti" (Djibouti 3 Apr. 2017). The same source further indicated that, though all citizens of Djibouti must obtain the new identity card [a digital ID card introduced by a presidential decree dated 8 December 2009 (La Nation 18 Aug. 2014; Identity-Cards.net 31 Aug. 2016)], the previous version is still accepted for passport requests (Djibouti 3 Apr. 2017). For information on Djibouti's national identity card, see Response to Information Request DJI105552 of August 2016.

The official from the Embassy of Djibouti in Washington, DC stated that Djibouti has introduced biometric passports and that it will [translation] "eventually" be possible to request [one] in person from the embassy (Djibouti 3 Apr. 2017). The source further stated that once requests are accepted at the embassy, requestors will need to apply in-person at the embassy with their national identity card, their residence card and pictures (Djibouti 3 Apr. 2017). Required documents will then be scanned and securely sent to Djibouti, where requests will be treated, after which the passports will be delivered through mail back to the embassy (Djibouti 3 Apr. 2017).

For more information on the requirements and procedures necessary to obtain non-biometric passports, please see Response to Information Request DJI103931 from December 2011.

3. Whether Consent is Required for a Woman to Obtain a Passport

In its 2011 report, MENA Gender Equality Profile on Djibouti, UNICEF indicates that "[a] woman does not need the permission of her husband or guardian in order to obtain a passport" (UN Oct. 2011, 2). The official from the Embassy of Djibouti in Washington, DC similarly stated that women do not need to obtain the consent of a family member in order to apply for a passport (Djibouti 3 Apr. 2017). In reference to the passport application procedure, the same source further stated that [translation] "the situation is the same for women and men" (Djibouti 3 Apr. 2017).

4. Appearance of Passports

According to La Nation, an electronic chip containing personal data on the passport's holder is integrated into the biometric passport (La Nation 12 Feb. 2017). Further and corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

5. "Domicile" Field on the Passport's Biographical Page

The official from the Embassy of Djibouti in Washington, DC said that the "domicile" field on the passport's biographical page indicates the passport holder's city and country of residence when the holder lives outside of Djibouti (Djibouti 3 Apr. 2017). As an example, the representative said that "Ottawa, Canada" would be included in the passport's "domicile" field of a Djiboutian residing in Ottawa (Djibouti 3 Apr. 2017). The representative added that, since all passports in Djibouti are delivered in the city of Djibouti, only "Djibouti" would be contained in the passport's "domicile" field of a Djiboutian residing in the Republic of Djibouti, for [translation] "reasons of convenience" (Djibouti 3 Apr. 2017).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Djibouti. 3 April 2017. Embassy of Djibouti in Washington, DC. Telephone interview with an official.

Djibouti. N.d. Embassy of Djibouti in Brussels. "Service Consulaire." [Accessed 28 Mar. 2017]

Identity-Cards.net. 31 August 2016. "Djibouti." [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017]

Imprimerie Nationale. 9 February 2017. "The Imprimerie Nationale Group to Support the Republic of Djibouti in the Modernization of Their ID Documents and Their Issuance Process." [Accessed 28 Mar. 2017]

La Nation. 2 March 2017. "En aparté avec… Le colonel Abdillahi Abdi Farah Directeur général de la police nationale." [Accessed 28 Mar. 2017]

La Nation. 12 February 2017. "Police Nationale: Le président de la République parraine la mise en service du nouveau passeport biométrique djiboutien." [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]

La Nation. 18 August 2014. "Lancement de la carte d'identité numérique: Entretien avec… Idriss Miguil Bouh Directeur de la Population et de la Famille au Ministère de l'Intérieur." [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017]

United Nations (UN). October 2011. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). "Djibouti." MENA Gender Equality Profile. Status of Girls and Women in the Middle East and North Africa. [Accessed 28 Mar. 2017]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Djibouti – Embassy of Djibouti in Washington, DC.

Internet sites, including: Africatime.com; Djibouti – Embassy of Djibouti in Switzerland, Présidence de la République; European Union – Public Register of Authentic Identity and Travel Documents Online; Factiva; Freedom House; Keesing Reference Systems; United Nations – Refworld; United States – Department of State.