Saturday 21 April 2018

EU suspends visa on semi-biometric DR Congolese passports

EU suspends visa on semi-biometric DR Congolese passports
(APA 10/04/17)

APA Kinshasa (DR Congo) - The delegation of the European Union (EU) to the DR Congo announced in a statement issued Friday in Kinshasa the suspension until further notice of the visa stickers on Congolese semi-biometric passports.

This bid follows the decision of the Congolese government to withdraw semi-biometric passports from October 16, 2017.

The EU delegation explained that a "visa can only be issued on a passport with at least three months validity, and since the semi-biometric passports of DRC expire on 16 October, any issue of visa on these passports becomes legally impossible.”

However, according to the communiqué, visas already issued on these same passports will remain valid, under European legislation, if they are accompanied by a valid travel document.

“The EU Delegation and the embassies of the Schengen member countries in the DRC regret the inconvenience this may cause to Congolese visa applicants, but wishes to emphasize that this measure is the consequence of the new Congolese regulations announced on 15 September,” the statement said.

The delegation also recalled that Congolese semi-biometric passports have always been accepted in the Schengen area, as have biometric passports since the end of 2015.

There has never been any questioning of the validity of a Congolese passport, except of course, in cases when it was forged, the statement added.

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