Responses to Information Requests

​​Responses to Information Requests (RIR) are research reports on country conditions. They are requested by IRB decision makers.

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23 February 2018

ZZZ106057.E

Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the United States: Requirements and procedures for Somali citizens to obtain identity documents, including passports, at Somali embassies in Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Washington D.C. (2016-March 2018)

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Embassy of Somalia in Addis Ababa

Information on the requirements and procedures for Somali citizens to obtain identity documents at the Embassy of Somalia in Addis Ababa could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

2. Embassy of Somalia in Nairobi

Information on the requirements and procedures for Somali citizens to obtain identity documents at the Embassy of Somalia in Nairobi was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a representative of the Protection Unit of the UNHCR Representation in Kenya stated that

Somali nationals – including refugees – are able to access the Somali Embassy [in Nairobi]. They can obtain national passports. For those willing to go back to Somalia on their own (not requiring to be assisted by UNHCR), they can get a one-way travel document to go back to Somalia.

The [Somali] Embassy in Nairobi does not register weddings or issue marriage certificates. It does not seem to record weddings of Somali nationals once registered with the Kenyan Registrar of Marriages.

The [Somali] Embassy in Nairobi can issue a birth record of any Somali child born in Kenya, whether as a refugee in a refugee camp/elsewhere or as a visiting Somali who happens to give birth [in Kenya]. (UN 19 Feb. 2018)  

Corroborating information on obtaining identity documents at the Embassy of Somalia in Nairobi could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

3. Embassy of Somalia in Washington D.C.

Information on the requirements and procedures for Somali citizens to obtain identity documents at the Embassy of Somalia in Washington D.C. was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

According to the website of the Embassy of Somalia in Washington D.C., the requirements to renew a passport issued after 2013 include:

  • Proof of a VALID United States citizenship and/or residency: passport, citizenship certificate, or Green-Card as well as a VALID government issued ID.
  • OR proof of VALID legal stay document: immigration documents to the United States of America. (Somalia n.d., emphasis in original)

The same source also provides the following information:

Applicant(s)/Guardians of minors must make an appointment prior to arriving at the embassy.

Applicant(s) and minors along with guardians/parents must apply and interview at the embassy in person.

Passport processing days and times are:

  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 11:00am to 2:00pm Eastern Standard Time.

Passport Pick up days and times are:

  • Mondays and Wednesdays from 11am - 2:00pm Eastern Standard Time.

Passport application fees:

  • Adults: $150 per passport.
  • Child (under 15 years old): $95 per passport.
  • ONLY money order and/or cashier check accepted.

Estimated Processing time:

  • New Passports 4 - 6 weeks. (Somalia n.d., emphasis in original)

The website of the Embassy of Somalia in Washington D.C. also states that "all passport renewals and 'NEW' passports are processed in Somalia and not at the Embassy," and that an expedited service is not available (Somalia n.d., emphasis in original). The same source adds that "[t]he process and steps for applying for a passport at the Embassy does not guarantee the applicant a passport from The Federal Republic of Somalia" (Somalia n.d.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Somalia. N.d. Embassy in Washington D.C. "Passport Information." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2018]

United Nations (UN). 19 February 2018. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Correspondence from a representative to the Research Directorate.

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Danish Refugee Council; International Organization for Migration – Office in Addis Ababa, Office in Nairobi; International Rescue Committee; Jesuit Refugee Service; Norwegian Refugee Council – Office in Nairobi, Office in Addis Ababa, Office in Washington D.C.; Refugee Consortium of Kenya; Somali Development Center; Somalia – Embassy in Addis Ababa, Embassy in Nairobi, Embassy in Washington D.C., Immigration and Naturalization Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Internet sites, including: Al Jazeera; Australia – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dalsan Radio; Danish Refugee Council; ecoi.net; International Organization for Migration; Jesuit Refugee Service; Mogadishu Law Office; Norwegian Refugee Council; Quartz Africa; Refugee Consortium of Kenya; Somali Development Center; Somalia – Embassy in Addis Ababa, Embassy in Nairobi, Immigration and Naturalization Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; UN – High Commissioner for Refugees, Refworld, Reliefweb; Unrepresented Nations and People Organization.