The number of Sri Lankans hoping to go abroad has increased significantly, making the Department of Immigration and Emigration a very busy body, following the declining of the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
An online system has been introduced to expedite the process of issuing passports, but the process itself has fallen into congestion due to the increased number of applications, making the applicants wait for a considerable period of time. The online system issues about 1000 passports a day, booking a date and time in advance.
The facility of booking in advance has been suspended. This is mainly because all the days ahead of October have already been booked. The facility will be made available again on November, the Dept officials said.
Over 4000 applications for passports are received on a daily basis and on October 18 alone 4700 applications were received. The situation has driven the dept officials to be faced with many difficulties. Hence the crisis, recent media reports claimed that young people are queuing for hours near the Department of Immigration and Emigration to collect their passports.
Controller of the Department H.P. Chandralal commented that the congestion will ease by the end of November.