Government will soon move to expand the passport services to Berbice and Essequibo, as soon at the issue of venues could be sorted out.
Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix told INews that the unavailability of venues is the only reason why offices in Berbice and Essequibo could not be opened on the same day as Linden.
“The others have not been opened because of venue problems, either [the] venue[s] have not been available or like in the case of new Amsterdam the venue is available but we have to do some work on [it]and that is the reason why all was not opened together”, Felix said.
On Tuesday, Government opened a passport office in the mining town of Linden.
Persons applying for services such as the renewal of passports, or the replacement of lost, damaged or filled passports will be able to make their applications on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and will be able to uplift them the following week Thursday.
However, persons applying for passports for the first time will still need to visit the Immigration Office in Georgetown to access the equipment required to generate first-time machine-readable passports.
Since the current location in Linden is a temporary one, the move to have first-time passport applicants acquire this service would not be possible until the ministry acquires permanent premises, the minister said.
Efforts are ongoing to obtain a permanent location.
Minister Felix said that as the roll-out of these services continues countrywide the ministry is working with the E-Government Agency to provide other services such as online passport and visa applications. This however will take some time due to the need for capacity development with regards to connectivity in far outlying areas.
The decentralising of passport application services will be expanded to other areas including: Mabaruma, Barima-Waini Region, Anna Regina, Pomeroon-Supenaam Region, and Corriverton, Bartica, Cuyuni–Mazaruni Region, Mahdia, Potaro-Siparuni Region and Lethem, Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo Region.