Acquisition of Gambian Passport
As part of its statutory mandate the immigration department continues to play its traditional role of facilitating the process of acquisition of the Gambian passport as a travel document for Gambian citizens. The director of immigration is the sole authority entrusted by the Immigration Act of the Gambia through the ministry of interior for its issuance. However, it is important to note that acquisition of passport is not a right but a privilege and therefore remains the property of the government of the Gambia and may be withdrawn any time the government deems it necessary.
Passport application form can be purchased from approved point of sale; (ECO BANK GAMBIA LTD AND AT THE IMMIGRATION HQ)
Upon completion of the passport application form, the applicant submits the form together with the relevant supporting documents to a passport application centre. The applicant will be scheduled for an interview.
Required supporting documents
Applicant must produce at least two of the following:
Birth certificate (accompanied by parents’ supporting document)
National identity card
Seyfo’s /Alkalo’s attestation
Naturalization/Registration certificate (at any given time he/she applies if applicant obtained citizenship by naturalization or registration).
Authentication-section 15 of the application requires authentication which can only be done by the following category of persons:
Member of parliament
Justice of Peace
Commissioner of Oaths
Imam or minster of religion
Seyfos / Alkalos
Major or Area Councilors
Civil servants of grade 10 and above who has been personally acquainted with the applicant for a period of at least two years.
Legible applicants will be enrolled by capturing the Iris and fingerprints together with the applicant’s instant digital photo.
NB: In the case of minors of 12 years and below, the biological or legal guardian’s iris and the finger print will be captured, while the minor’s digital photo will be taken.
Not less than seven days notice should be given to every application. The issuance of a passport cannot be guaranteed in less than this period. However, exceptions will be made in respect of genuine urgent cases but proof must be provided to that effect.
Recieving of passports can only be done by applicants themselves except in the case of minors under the age of 12 years that their parents or legal guardian’s fingerprints were used during enrollment process. Receipts that were issued after enrollment process must be presented.
The issuance of Diplomatic and Service passports is handled by the Ministry of Foreign affairs.
NB. As clearly stated in the passport form, the passport fee is non-refundable.
Passport Renewal / Replacement
A passport can be replaced when it exceeds it validity period of five years or exhausted. In case of lost or destroyed passport, the fact and circumstances should be reported at once to the passport office in Banjul or to the nearest Gambian diplomatic consular or other representative and the local police. A new passport can only be issued in such cases after exhaustive enquiries and such applications must be accompanied by a sworn affidavit and a police report or fire report in case of fire incidents.
NB: The procedure for replacement of passport is the same as fresh application. Applicants must appear in person.
Change of Details
Change of details may only be allowed under the following circumstances:
Inclusion of husband’s surname
Change of name due to conversion in religion
Where an applicant wishes to include a husband’s family name, a marriage certificate should be attached to that effect and divorce certificate when one wishes to drop such a name. Similarly, a declaration prepared by a Commissioner of Oaths or a Baptismal certificate will be required in case of change of names due to change in religion. Authentic legal Adoption documents must be presented in case of change in name due to adoption.
No renewals or bio data inclusions, be it locally or at the consulate level in the form of endorsement is allowed in the passport as it is not in conformity with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
Applicants outside the Gambia may process their passports through the Gambian consulate/Embassy.
Emergency Travel Certificate
A person of Gambian nationality shall be issued with an emergency certificate by a Gambian consul or Diplomatic officer where such person becomes a destitute or lost his/her passport to enable him/her travel back to the Gambia. Such emergency certificate expires upon arrival at the entry border and must be surrendered to the immigration officer.
NOTE: Applicants that are on sickbed may put up a request for enrollment process to be conducted either at the hospital or their residence through the passport commissioner.
OFFENCES AND PENALITIES
Where a valid passport is obtain
Through the false declaration pertaining to the applicant’s nationally;
Through a false statutory declaration; or
Through the use of a false seyfo’s certificate, or birth certificate the informant who gave the information is liable on conviction.