Ministry of Home Affairs receives 6 065 new passports

The Ministry of Home Affairs has received a total of 6 065 passport after they were out of stock for the past six month.

In the meantime, the ministry has been issuing 'brown passports', which were issued as an alternative, and fully compliant with normal international standards. But some countries, especially in Europe, refuse to recognise them.

Speaking at a media briefing, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Maureen Hinda-Mbuende said the Ministry received 2 064 ordinary and 4,001 brown passports.

She noted that the validity of the new passports will be for ten years period however for those under 21-years old will remain five years because of changes of initial features at that age.

In the meantime measures are in place to ensure that running out of passports will be something of the past, she stated.

She encouraged the people with brown passports to continue using them to travel to destinations where they are recognised as legitimate travel documents.

We intend to clear pending applications, and additional resources have been deployed to ensure clear pending applications within four to six weeks, Deputy Minister added.

Mbuende additionally noted that the system put in place will ensure that people who need passports to travel will get them on time.

We envisage reverting back to the initial turnaround time of three to five days by 01 December 2019, Mbuende said.

She also stated that expedite delivery passport applicants will be notified through sms once their passports are ready.

Mbuende added that it is important to underscore that a passports is a travel document and not simply an identification document.

She further reiterated that demands for passports have been inflated by people who apply for passports without any intention of travelling.

Mbuende also said during the period of shortage, 160 passports remained uncollected and over 5 000 passports expired in the shelves.

She further added that the Ministry is appeals for members of the public's cooperation to enable them to deliver good service with scarce resources at their disposal.

Our philosophy is to do more with less, she said.

Source: Namibia Press Agency