Sri Lanka to issue Passports in three days from June 1, 2023

Officials prepare the passports of the applicants at the Sri Lanka's Immigration and Emigration Department

Officials prepare the passports of the applicants at the Sri Lanka’s Immigration and Emigration Department, amid the country’s economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 8, 2022. (REUTERS / Dinuka Liyanawatte)

The Department of Immigration and Emigration under a novel programme decided to issue all passports under a new system from June 1 in order to stop people having to wait for long hours at Department premises in Battaramulla.

Commissioner General of the Department Harsha Ilukpitiya told the Daily News that this decision was taken following several complaints made by people that an organised group is in the habit of extorting money from people visiting the Department premises at Battaramulla promising that they would be able to get the duly completed passports during the course of the day.

According to various complaints received, this unscrupulous group charges between Rs.15,000 to Rs.20,000 from each person to get their fully completed genuine passport without any difficulties during the day.

The Commissioner General further said under the new online system that would be effective from June 1, 2023 applicants will be able to receive their passports to their homes by Registered Post within three days.

He said what applicants should do is to first visit the authorised Divisional Secretariat in their respective areas and obtain the necessary applications to apply for the new passport.

It is said that only 50 Divisional Secretariats in the country have so far been given the authority to accept passport applications.

The Commissioner said after filing the necessary details, the applications along with the applicant’s thumb impression should be handed over to the relevant official with his/her recently taken photograph and also with a copy of the relevant payment,” he said. “The payments could be made to any Bank of Ceylon branch in the country,” he said.

Commissioner General Ilukpitiya also said the relevant officials who are handling the passport issue subject in Divisional Secretariats have already been trained in this regard.

He also said that until this new system is implemented from June 1, 2023 applicants could apply for their passports without any difficulties from the Department’s Head Office at Battaramulla.

(Source: Daily News – By Ananda Kannangara)