FOR the first time, the Immigration Department which comes under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) has recorded between 3000 to 4000 passport applicants within the first quarter of the year.
The department highlighted this as applications for new blank e-passport books continue to flood in.
“This year, our office for the first time enrolled almost 3000 – 4000 passport applicants just in three months,” the department said in a statement.
Since January, the office continued to receive daily applications.
“Our printing of passports continues for February, March and April 2023. If (your) passport (is) not printed, please check (the) pending applications.
“We have number of printed passports not collected from 2018 – 2023 in the office. If your names for collection, please let us know,” the department said yesterday.
The department also highlighted that passport books are now running low and they have already issued 2,000 plus books out of 7 000 e-passport books procured this year.
“Our team is on track to procure anther 5 000 e-passport books for the month of June 2023 and onwards.”
The department said it is encouraging to see an increasing number of applicants coming forward to lodge their passport applications.
“It is pleasure and wonderful opportunity meeting different people from all works of life. We are blessed to serve to our people’s expectations and trying our best to meet our people’s demand for better Immigration services,” it added.
The department said its new refurbished office space for passport is undergoing the final touches in renovation work and should be back in operation at the end of this month.
All that needs to be procured now is the passport equipment and the office will reopen for service.
“At our new office, we will set up a Customer Service counter for passport enquiries to assist our applicants when we relocate office.
“Currently, we don’t have an Inquiry Counter and this is not helpful to assist you as our clients,” the department said.
The department assured the public that they are trying their best to provide normal services to the public.
“Our good citizens, our services will be as normal but we need to manage emergency within our normal process.
“We are looking forward to serving all of you in a conducive work environment at the end of this month April 2023.”
By MOFFAT MAMU