The National Identification Registry (NIR) has begun the registration and provision of biometric identification (ID) cards to non-Liberians living in the country.
The Executive Director of NIR, J. Nagbe Tiah told the Daily Observer yesterday that the launch of the NIR for all foreign residents, including those from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) nations, was done on April 1, 2019 at the Registry’s head office in Congo Town, Montserrado County.
It may be recalled that NIR, in a joint press conference with the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) on March 21, 2019 announced that on April 1, 2019 foreign residents in the country could begin receiving NIR ID cards.
True to their word, the government’s national identification cards registry and deliverer began the process on Monday April 1.
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 and Indian Communities.
At the official launch of the program, the Executive Director of the National Identification Registry (NIR), J. Tiah Nagbe said the biometric registration of citizens of Liberia is a means of modernizing the national system and that government is pleased to include non-Liberians residing in the country.
“Liberia is moving in modernizing its system and the most credible means of properly identifying people residing in the country, be it citizens or immigrants, is through the establishment of a biometric data-bank,” NIR executive director, Nagbe said.
Nagbe said he informed foreign nationals of the enormous benefits associated with the biometric card, which include providing foreign residents with a convenient ID credential to be used for travels and the conduct of business throughout the country.
He said the cost of the biometric ID cards for foreign resident varies on the basis of the person’s nationality.
“All ECOWAS citizens will pay US$10.00 (ten United States Dollars) while nationals from outside the ECOWAS region will pay US$20.00 (twenty United States Dollars.),” he added.
Nagbe said every NIR card, including those received by Liberian citizens, has a valid period of one year and is renewable after its expiration.
Also speaking at the launch of the foreign nationals NIR process, the Acting Commissioner of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Moses Yebleh, described the Foreign Residence Identification Card as an important venture and urged the immigrants to take it serious.
Acting Commissioner Yebleh informed the immigrant communities in Liberia 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 citizens’ card.
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 immigrant communities appealed to the National Identification Registry and the Liberia Immigration Service to put the duration of the card at five years, instead of the stipulated one year, with the same annual fees to be paid instead of annual registration.