No more Georgetown trips with Lethem Passport office

DPI, Guyana, Friday, December 7, 2018

In the near future residents in Lethem, Region Nine will no longer have to travel to Georgetown to process their passports as efforts are underway to construct a passport office in the Region.

Speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI) Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix said some $50Million from his budgeted $1.6B will go towards the construction of the Lethem office. He noted that as soon as the 2019 budget is approved work will commence in pursuing the requisite procurement process leading to the construction.

Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix.

“The situation we inherited with the long lines at Eve Leary has somewhat diminished now and that is because we found ways to take the service to the people rather than keeping it in Georgetown. Space has been identified in New Amsterdam, Linden, Anna Regina, Bartica and Lethem for offices and we are working on them,” Minister Felix explained.

The offices in New Amsterdam and Linden have been completed but the Ministry of Citizenship is sorting out connectivity issues with the Guyana Telephone Telegraph. Once completed, by December 15 and January 1 the ministry should occupy the buildings.

In other locations, the ministry is accepting the applications in Georgetown and “then on particular dates refers them to a certain office and on that date, we turn up with the passports for them,” Minister Felix said.

So far for this year the Central Immigration and Passport office of Guyana has issued over 80,000 passports. From 30 countries within the diaspora, another 17,310 travel documents were issued to Guyanese there. According to the Citizenship Minister, at the passport office in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), 6,143 residents were able to uplift their passports.

In the future, Guyanese can expect a new 48-page biometric or “e-passport” with a ten-year lifespan. This will be available particularly to members of the judiciary, businessmen, parliamentarians and senior public servants. There will also be a system to accommodate people who wish to have the processing of the passport applications expedited online, at a cost of $20,000.

Ranetta la Fleur.

Image: Department of Public Information.

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