Burundi: The format of the date of birth on a passport and whether it ever varies
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Publication Date||14 November 2011|
|Citation / Document Symbol||BDI103895.E|
|Related Document||Burundi : information sur le format de la date de naissance inscrite sur le passeport et information indiquant si ce format varie|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Burundi: The format of the date of birth on a passport and whether it ever varies , 14 November 2011, BDI103895.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4f968a642.html [accessed 23 April 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
During a 28 October 2011 telephone interview with the Research Directorate, an official from the Embassy of the Republic of Burundi in Ottawa indicated that there is no standard format in which a passport holder's date of birth is represented in the passport (Burundi 28 Oct. 2011). Some passports might only indicate the year of birth, while others will carry the complete date of birth (ibid.). According to the embassy official, the letter "x" is sometimes used instead of the day and month of birth; the presence of the "x" is not an indication that the passport is fraudulent (ibid.).
In correspondence with the Research Directorate, the Secretary General of the Central Africa Media Organization (Organisation des médias de l'Afrique Centrale, OMAC), who is also the Director of Communication of the Burundi Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that, according to the Burundi Immigration Service, the use of "x" instead of the day and month of birth "existed in the old passport for those who did not know their birth date" (OMAC 4 Nov. 2011). However, the new passports, issued from 1 September 2011, will have to contain the complete date of birth because the new system of recording of information will reject the letter "x" (ibid.).
According to the embassy official, there are many reasons why the letter "x" is used in the passport instead of the day and month of birth (Burundi 28 Oct. 2011). For example, an individual's parents might not remember his or her day and month of birth at the time they obtain a birth certificate from the local municipal office, or the administrative official issuing the passport might decide not to include the day and month of birth in the passport (ibid.). According to the embassy official, administrative officials consider the year of birth to be more important than the day and month (ibid.).
As a general rule, an individual needs to provide his or her birth certificate in order to obtain a passport (ibid.). However, a citizen might not have a birth certificate if he or she was born in a refugee camp or at home (ibid.). In those cases, parents may obtain the child's birth certificate later on in life and sometimes they do not recall the exact day and month of birth (ibid.).
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.
Burundi. 28 October 2011. Embassy of the Republic of Burundi, Ottawa. Telephone interview with an official.
Organisation des médias de l'Afrique Centrale (OMAC). 4 November 2011. Correspondence from the Secretary General to the Research Directorate.
Additional Sources Consulted
Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; Association de réflexion et d'information sur le Burundi; Burundi - Embassy of the Republic of Burundi in Ottawa, Embassy of the Republic of Burundi in Washington; Centre d'alerte et de prévention des conflits; Factiva; Freedom House; Human Rights Watch; Institute for War and Peace Reporting; International Crisis Group; International Federation for Human Rights; Ligue burundaise des droits de l'homme; Ligue des droits de la personne dans la région des Grands Lacs; Organisation des médias de l'Afrique Centrale; Réseau Grands Lacs Africains; United Nations - Development Programme, Integrated Regional Information Networks, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Refworld; United States Department of State.