Top Non Biometric Passport Countries

Top Non Biometric Passport Countries

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While Biometric Passports are looking to be the future of traveling due to their security and flexibility, there is still a handful list of countries in almost every continent that don’t support or issue these passports.

In this article, we’ll be taking a deep look at these countries in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa.

Are there countries that’d decline Biometric Passports?

Before we get to the list, let’s approach this topic with a question.

Can having a biometric passport cause a country’s visa rejection?

On the surface, it seems strange for a country to decline a visa application solely because the applicant holds a biometric passport.

After all, these passports are touted as the gold standard of security, ensuring the identity of the holder beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the relationship between countries, their visa policies, and biometric passports can be more complex than one might assume.

To clarify, it’s important to understand that visa decisions aren’t solely based on the type of passport an individual holds.

They’re largely influenced by a host of factors, including the purpose of travel, the applicant’s financial stability, their travel history, and the political relationship between the respective countries.

Thus, the type of passport, whether biometric or non-biometric, isn’t usually a deciding factor.

However, in a hypothetical situation where a country doesn’t recognize or trust biometric technology, the use of a biometric passport could theoretically lead to complications.

This situation is highly unlikely, considering that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which sets global travel document standards, has endorsed biometric passports. Yet, diplomatic tensions or technological skepticism could lead to an anomaly.

In essence, if there are Non-Biometric Passport Countries, it’d only be due the fact they don’t issue a biometric passport and not that they don’t accept one.

Before getting into the list, we also have an article that takes a good look at Countries that require biometric passports as a standard.

South American Non-Biometric Passports Countries

South American countries in the list of Non Biometric Passport Countries


Bolivia, a land of vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history, has not yet transitioned to biometric passports.

The nation’s focus has largely been on addressing more pressing domestic issues, such as economic development, healthcare, and education. While Bolivian authorities are open to technological advancements, the country’s resources are currently directed toward these more immediate needs.


Guyana is another country not prioritizing biometric passports. Guyana’s political focus is currently centered on managing its newfound oil wealth and environmental conservation.

Read also: Are Indian passports Biometric?

While the country does acknowledge the security advantages of biometric passports, it’s still evaluating the balance between cost, benefit, and more pressing national concerns.


In Paraguay biometric passports aren’t at the top of the agenda.

Paraguay’s government has been more invested in tackling economic challenges, improving public services, and promoting tourism. The shift to e-passports is recognized as important, but it has taken a backseat to these immediate issues.


Suriname also hasn’t fully adopted biometric passports.

Given Suriname’s diverse challenges, including balancing economic development with environmental preservation, the government has more immediate concerns. While the merits of biometric passports aren’t denied, they’re not considered an urgent requirement.


Ecuador, the gateway to the incredible Galapagos Islands, isn’t currently prioritizing biometric passports.

The country has been more focused on social and economic reforms, alongside efforts to boost tourism and manage environmental conservation. While there’s an understanding of the benefits biometric passports offer, Ecuador is still gauging the necessity against other critical national objectives.

European Countries That Issue Non Biometric Passports Countries

Aeriel view of Europe on the list with non biometric passports


Wedged between Spain and France, Andorra, a small but majestic principality, is one of the few European nations that don’t issue biometric passports.

Related: Are the US Passports Biometric?

As Andorra is not a member of the European Union, the transition to e-passports isn’t enforced, and the country continues to issue traditional non-biometric ones. Issues like the nation’s size, population, and the lack of international airport contribute to this preference.


Monaco, the second smallest country in the world, famous for its casinos and luxurious lifestyle, doesn’t issue biometric passports either.

The lack of this technology could be linked to the nation’s size and limited population. The privileged status of many Monacan citizens, along with the country’s rigorous security measures, could contribute to the lack of urgency for biometric passports.

San Marino

San Marino, one of the world’s oldest republics and a UNESCO World Heritage site, doesn’t emphasize biometric passports.

This microstate is embedded within Italy and, despite its European location, it isn’t a part of the European Union. This independence, combined with its small size and limited population, means less pressure to adapt to the biometric passport trend.

Vatican City

The world’s smallest state, Vatican City, holds a monumental position in the global religious sphere but hasn’t adopted biometric passports.

Due to its unique political and religious status, the Holy See issues a special type of passport for its citizens, most of whom are clergy.

The limited number of passports needed and the specificity of its international travel lend to the maintenance of traditional passport forms.

Faroe Islands

A self-governing archipelago that’s part of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands, while not a country, offer a fascinating case.

They issue their own passports, distinct from Denmark’s biometric versions. Faroese passports, boasting beautiful illustrations but no biometric features, reflect the islands’ distinct culture and semi-independent political status.

Asian Countries That Don’t Prioritize Biometric Passports


Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is renowned for its stunning landscapes and Buddhist culture. Despite being a tourism magnet, Bhutan is yet to issue biometric passports.

The Bhutanese government maintains traditional paper passports, citing cost and infrastructure as the main hindrances.

They prioritize maintaining their unique identity, cultural preservation, and national security, and are cautious about sharing biometric data.


Myanmar, once known as Burma, is a country filled with rich history, traditions, and beautiful pagodas. However, it’s also a country that doesn’t prioritize biometric passports.

Due to long-standing political instability and economic challenges, the focus remains on more pressing domestic issues. The adoption of e-passports isn’t a priority, though it’s not completely off the table for future consideration.

North Korea

North Korea, a highly secretive and controversial nation, doesn’t issue biometric passports either. The country’s strict control over its citizens and isolation from the world could explain this.

Despite advancements in technology, North Korea’s policies remain centered around maintaining control and limiting exposure to the outside world. Consequently, the issuance of e-passports is not on their agenda.


Turkmenistan, a country with a wealth of natural gas resources, sticks to conventional passport types.

The absence of biometric passports can be linked to the government’s general resistance to technology and limited international relations.

Moreover, with a low rate of international travel among citizens, there’s little push from the populace for such advancements.


Known for the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat, Cambodia is a country with a rich past and vibrant culture. However, when it comes to biometric passports, it lags. Challenges include cost, necessary technical knowledge, and infrastructure.

Additionally, the Cambodian government has prioritized more pressing matters, like poverty reduction and rural development.

African Countries That Don’t Issue Biometric Passports

African Countries That Don't Issue Biometric Passports

Central African Republic

The Central African Republic, a land with a rich history and natural resources, hasn’t yet prioritized biometric passports.

Amid ongoing political instability and socio-economic challenges, the government’s focus is directed towards maintaining peace and improving living conditions for its citizens. The drive for technological advancements like biometric passports takes a back seat in this context.


Chad is also not on the biometric passport bandwagon. The Chadian government’s attention is currently tied up with pressing national issues like economic development, managing climate change impacts, and ensuring social stability. Thus, transitioning to biometric passports isn’t seen as an immediate need.


Mauritania is not prioritizing the shift to biometric passports.

With various challenges ranging from economic development to managing a delicate demographic balance, Mauritania’s resources are more focused on immediate domestic concerns.


The Comoros, an archipelago known for its scenic beauty and aromatic ylang-ylang, has also not fully adopted biometric passports.

The government’s priorities lie in developing the local economy, managing the impact of climate change on their islands, and improving public services. Biometric passports, while recognized as valuable, don’t top the list of immediate concerns.


Liberia hasn’t fully prioritized the issuance of biometric passports.

The nation is more intent on rebuilding and developing its infrastructure, economy, and healthcare systems after decades of civil war. While the merits of biometric passports aren’t dismissed, they are currently seen as less urgent.


While biometric passports might seem like a global standard, the reality is nuanced. Countries might have legitimate reasons to decline the adoption of such a system, as we’ve seen above.

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