WINDHOEK - The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration is experiencing a low stock of passports hence it will be rationing and issuing them according to crucial travel needs.
The ministry’s executive director Etienne Maritz said passports were ordered well in advance last year , but due to complex negotiations the process took longer than expected.
“The stock is now fast depleting due to increased demand, and as part of the risk management strategy this requires us to ration them according to crucial travel needs,” stated Maritz during the launch of visa and permit stickers last week.
Maritz apologised to the public who may have been inconvenienced by the slow pace of processing passports but assured that the situation will be back to normal in a short while.
Asked how they will be rationing the issuing of passports, acting chief of immigration Allison Hishekwa told New Era they will be talking to individual’ applicants, listen to their travel plans and negotiate and see if they can’t put their travel on hold.
However, Hishekwa pointed out that matters such as people travelling to receive medical treatment outside the country would be given priority as life can’t be compromised.
Hishekwa said he couldn’t give a list of matters they will consider as it will differ from case to case.
Maritz further stated it will take the next two months until the ministry gets a new stock of passports and it will be business as usual, but in the meantime they have to ration passports as part of a risk management strategy to carry them through.
2019-05-14 09:25:30 4 months ago