The National Identification Registry (NIR) has launched a biometric Foreign Residence Identification Card for non-Liberians residing within the borders of the country. The Foreign Residence Identification Card has the same technical features of the National Citizen’s Identification Card but the color and status are different.
The launch of the biometric Foreign Residence Identification Card is the first of its kind in Liberia and the occasion was graced by officials of the immigrant communities in the country including the ECOWAS Community, Lebanese Community and Indian Community.
Announcing the official launch of the program, the Executive Director of the National Identification Registry, Hon. J. Tiah Nagbe said the biometric registration of citizens of Liberia is a means of modernizing the national system and that government was pleased to include non-Liberians residing in the country.
Mr. Nagbe said Liberia was moving in modernizing its system and the most credible means of properly identifying people residing in the country, be it citizens or immigrants, was through the establishment of a biometric data-bank.
The Executive Director also explained to the immigrant communities the enormous benefits associated with the biometric card which include providing foreign residents with a convenient ID credential to be used for travel and the conduct of business throughout the country.
Director Nagbe said the cost of the biometric Foreign Residence Identification Cards varies with ECOWAS citizens paying ten United States Dollars (US10.00) while nationals from outside the ECOWAS region will pay twenty United States Dollars (US20.00).
Also speaking at the launch, the Acting Commissioner of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Hon. Moses Yebleh described the Foreign Residence Identification Card as an important venture and urged the immigrant communities to take it serious.
Acting Commissioner Yebleh informed the immigrant communities that naturalized citizens of Liberia are not included in the group to obtain the biometric Foreign Residence Identification Card. According to him, residents who had met all legal requirements under the laws of Liberia and are considered naturalized citizens will obtain the same general citizen’s card.
For their part, the immigrant communities appealed to the National Identification Registry and the Liberia Immigration Service to put the duration of the card at five years with the same annual fees inclusive instead of annual registration.