PASSPORT applicants who for months have been eagerly waiting for new passports will in late August or early September get their passports, Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration has announced.
According to the ministry’s spokesperson, Sakeus Kadhikwa, people applying for new national passports can only get them late in a month’s time instead of the usual five to seven days waiting period.
In May, the ministry announced that it is experiencing a shortage in the supply of green passport booklets and that only travel documents will be issued using brown passport, which are not internationally recognised.
At the moment, he said, priority is given only to persons requiring medical operations abroad, persons representing Namibia at national level, persons whose work requires them to travel abroad and students with acceptance letters from the relevant universities.
Last week, cabinet also approved the extension of the three passports, namely national passports, official passports and diplomatic passports, to a period of ten years from the year 5 years validity.
Meanwhile, people whose passports are nearing expiry will have to wait until the old ones have phased out in order to reapply for new ones.
Kadhikwa denied that funding is the contributing factor to a lack of passports in the country, saying that there is a “contract issue” with the booklet suppliers in Germany and Russia.
“We have the money. The problem is that processing the money is a lengthy process. This is the first time that we experience such a backlog, but the situation is under control,” Kadhikwa maintained.
Kadhikwa also explained that there is currently agreements between Namibia and some European countries by means of telephonic interventions to allow access to Namibian travelers using brown passports.