Three ways for Syrians abroad to obtain a passport

Syrian passport (Enab Baladi)

Syrian passport (Enab Baladi)


Enab Baladi – Maria al-Shaaban

Syrians abroad do not have easy options for renewing or issuing passports, which are considered the worst globally.

While the role of embassies and consulates around the world is to assist nationals in issuing various documents such as passports and birth and death registrations and other official documents, Syrian diplomatic missions offer services to expatriate Syrians in a limited framework and over an unclear and relatively long period.

The expatriate Syrian, whatever their legal designation and manner of departure from Syria, resorts to one of three available options to renew or issue a passport.

The options share the cost and the varied and imprecise time required to complete the transaction by the Syrian immigration and passport administration or the Syrian embassies around the world.

Immigration and Passports Department in Syria

A segment of Syrians abroad relies on sending the required documents to a relative who can prove kinship through a family record extract, or by a power of attorney authenticated by the Syrian diplomatic missions accredited outside Syria and authenticated by the Syrian Foreign Ministry and civil status records in the absence of a kinship relationship.

In July 2022, the Syrian Ministry of Interior announced the addition of a service that allows citizens to book appointments to issue a passport in the regular, urgent, or expedited queue on the Citizen Service Center website.

However, these appointments are made unofficially through a “mediator,” and the commission is not fixed but can reach 1.5 million Syrian pounds, roughly $100 (according to the exchange rate on the S-P Today website) per appointment, according to public and unofficial advertisements spotted by Enab Baladi in local pages and groups on social networking sites.

Two different costs for citizens and expatriates

The cost of issuing a passport for Syrian citizens residing inside Syria under the regular queue system is 312,700 Syrian pounds, about 21 US dollars. The regular passport transaction is one of the longest passport transactions, with the immigration and passport administration fixing it at 45 days after the appointment. However, the waiting period varies according to the province and may sometimes reach about nine months.

Next is the urgent passport, which costs 432,700 pounds, about 29 dollars, and according to cases monitored by Enab Baladi, the passport delivery period ranges from 20 to 25 days.

The immediate passport is the fastest among the passports issued inside Syria; the passport transaction takes place within five to seven days, with fees reaching over two million pounds (135 dollars) according to the latest update on the price list.

Regarding consular fees for Syrians residing abroad, when sending the required documents to renew and issue a passport to Syria to complete the transaction, the price list determined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates applies to the passport transaction.

The consular fee for granting or renewing a passport according to the regular queue system is 300 US dollars, while the fees for issuing the passport through the urgent or immediate system are 800 dollars for a single passport.

Citizens attempt to book appointments on the platform without resorting to intermediaries, but the website operates after 12 AM, with registration based on daily quotas. Enab Baladi has noted complaints about the rapid exhaustion of these quotas within the first minutes of the registration opening.

The Ministry of Interior has also set the period for confirming the transaction of renewing or issuing the passport between one and four hours, depending on the type of transaction. However, these are merely cosmetic improvements given the difficulties transaction owners face securing an appointment at the immigration department.

Syrian passports - December 28, 2023 (Enab Baladi)

Syrian passports – December 28, 2023 (Enab Baladi)

The Electronic Consular Office

The Electronic Consular Office began operating in September 2023, in cooperation between the Ministries of Telecommunications and Technology, Defense, Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Syrian government.

The virtual office provides services for renewing and issuing the Syrian passport (normal, urgent, or immediate), birth, marriage, divorce, death certificates, and other services, in addition to services for paying financial substitutes of the mandatory military service and deferrals with residency excuse and other services for Syrians outside Syria.

Some Syrian expatriates around the world rely on sending the required documents to renew or issue the passport to the address of the Syrian Embassy in the Sultanate of Oman.

The cost of renewing or granting a passport according to the regular queue system is 300 US dollars, and the renewal or granting of the passport according to the regular queue takes 15 working days from the date of receiving the required documents, according to the Electronic Consular Office website. However, according to Enab Baladi, the duration of the process reaches 40 days from the date of arrival of the documents.

As for renewing and granting the Syrian passport according to the urgent system, it costs 800 US dollars, and according to the website, the completion of the transaction is two working days from the date of receipt of the documents.

In addition to the cost of issuing the passport in both regular and urgent types, there is also the cost of sending the passport to and from the Syrian Embassy in Muscat, which the consular office has set to be sent via DHL.

The shipping rates of documents vary depending on the country of residence and range between 60 and 100 US dollars.

Applicants for a Syrian passport through the consular office are requested to fill out a form and sign it, send it by mail along with two personal photos and the old passport.

The most significant service the site offers to the Syrian user is the ability to switch the transaction from a regular queue system to an urgent queue system, if the available waiting time is tight for the passport holder or if the completion of the transaction is delayed beyond the time specified on the website.

Syrian passport application form from the Syrian Embassy in Muscat - December 28, 2023 (Enab Baladi)

Syrian passport application form from the Syrian Embassy in Muscat – December 28, 2023 (Enab Baladi)

Syrian consulates and embassies

Syria has approximately 60 diplomatic missions around the world, comprising embassies and consulates. Some of these missions suspended services with the outbreak of the war in Syria, while others continue to provide their services.

Syrian Embassy in Prague

The Syrian Embassy in Prague (the capital of the Czech Republic) provides consular services to Syrian nationals residing in it, as well as to Syrians living in Germany.

According to an explanatory guide issued by the embassy on November 23, 2023, appointments at the embassy can be made via the website, and the site only offers regular queue system appointments at a fee of 275 euros.

Personal attendance is required for those aged between 15 and 70 years, to receive their documents and undergo electronic fingerprinting procedures.

Passport issuance takes an approximate period of three months, and must be received personally by fingerprint.

The guide also highlighted the necessity for the old passport to bear the holder’s national number; if the national number is not on the passport, another official document carrying the national number, such as a personal identification card or a civil registry extract, must be attached.

The embassy does not provide a replacement service for damaged passports, and Syrians residing in Germany must exclusively apply for a lost passport at the Syrian Embassy in Berlin.

Germany ranks fourth among the countries hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees, with nearly 523,000 Syrian refugees.

Syrian Embassy in Berlin

The Syrian Embassy in Berlin offers passport issuance services to Syrians residing in Germany, through sending an email to their email address.

However, the response time from the embassy to emails is unspecified and inaccurate, typically taking about two to three months, with appointments sometimes scheduled up to a year in advance.

For passports issued in Syria or via the e-consular office in Muscat, the embassy does not require advance appointments, and authentication procedures can be completed after varying waiting hours within one day.

Syrian Consulate in Istanbul

The situation of the Syrian Consulate in Istanbul is similar to the embassy in Berlin regarding passport issuance, but they differ regarding passport authentication and the attestation of official documents in general.

The consulate in Istanbul has opened appointment booking for passport authentication and certain consular transactions, which can be done through a single text message exclusively on the social communication app “WhatsApp,” noting that a request will be rejected if additional details are sent or if the request is repeated.

According to observations by Enab Baladi, waiting periods for appointments reached eight months without an official response from the consulate regarding the scheduling of an appointment or clarifying the current unavailability of appointments.

Passport authentication, for those who obtained it through the aforementioned methods, can be done by scheduling an appointment through a text message to the same WhatsApp number. According to Enab Baladi‘s monitoring, some registrants have waited up to eight months for their appointment.

The price of passport authentication transactions through brokers is 425 US dollars, and offices also offered passport authentication from Lebanon for $275, as observed by Enab Baladi.

Turkey hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees in the world, with their number exceeding three million Syrians.

Syrian Embassy in Brussels

The Syrian Embassy in Brussels offers a regular queue system for passport requests to the Syrian community in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, and an immediate queue system for those residing outside those countries.

Applying for a passport requires personal attendance for those aged 15 to 70 years to submit documents and undergo fingerprinting both at the time of application and when receiving the passport.

Syrian passport (Enab Baladi)

Syrian passport (Enab Baladi)

Syrian electronic passport

The new Syrian electronic passport is still cast in doubt regarding the holder’s ability to travel or obtain visas in many countries worldwide, amidst conditions published by intermediary agencies dealing with governments to issue visas.

In August 2023, the German Foreign Office granted electronic passports a temporary recognition until January 15, 2024, following their authentication by the Syrian consulate in Germany.

The temporary recognition was intended for discussion of the final recognition at the European Union level, according to a statement displayed by the Federal Police Administration in several German provinces, of which Enab Baladi obtained a copy.

In France, following issues faced by Syrians wishing to obtain a visa after signing their passport, there is no available official information or announcements from French authorities about accepting or rejecting the passport.


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