THE Immigration Division under the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) is optimistic that the ongoing delay in printing passports will no longer be the case once a new office is up and running.
In a statement over the weekend, the Immigration Unit said they will also be working hard to print all outstanding passports for the months of August to October of last year.
The unit will also do away with booking next month, April 2023, the statement added.
“This will happen when we complete refurbishing our new office.
“Saturday enrolment will be reviewed and the decision to cancel Saturdays will come up next week and continue with weekly applications.
“We ensure that August 2022, September 2022, October 2022 are printed this week. The printing has a backlog because we enrolled more than what we scanned applications daily.
“We tried to improve daily work flow but equipment and machines are not operational for mass printing of passports,” the statement said.
The statement added, that for the three months (Aug to Oct) there are still more applications to be processed and they face challenges with lack of resources.
“The months mentioned about 2,000 to 3,000 applicants waiting to be processed. To be frank, we have challenges with resources,” the statement said.
However, they are working on plans to improve their system by using technology to back up their work.
The Immigration Unit apologized for the delay.
“We do sincerely apologize to our good customers affected by inability to provide expected service on time. We will continue to upload passport collections and bookings, trying to reach out to you.
“Pressure on travelling is different from normal services, and commitment to deliver expected services. We assure you that we will try our best to assist.
“We are working at two separate counters for passport and visa. Our office tries to improve our counters to be more customer friendly.
“We are closely monitoring our ministry email and responding to emails. Thank you very much all good citizens,” the statement concluded.
By MOFFAT MAMU