The issuing of biometric passports which was launched today, faced a technical snag resulting in long queues seen outside the passport office in Colombo.
Several people were unaware of the decision by the Government to issue biometric passports from today and that together with some technical issues resulted in delays to accept applications.
The Immigration and Emigration Department today began the process to issue biometric passports according to international standards.
The Government Information Department quoted the Immigration and Emigration Controller General Nihal Ranasinghe as saying that all applicants have to come in person to the Head Office of the Department or regional Offices to submit their passport applications as the fingerprints have to be captured.
He further said that all applicants should obtain their photographs conforming to standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization only from studios authorized by the Department located island-wide or from studios established at the Head Office and Regional Offices of the Department.
Sri Lankans living overseas should submit their fingerprints to the Head Office or a Regional Office in the first instance they return to Sri Lanka.
He stressed that the old passport will not be cancelled although issuing of new passports will commence today. (Colombo Gazette)