The residents of Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region 10), within the next month, will receive the services of being able to renew their passports, without having to travel to Georgetown.
According to a GINA report, this is part of government’s aim to decentralise passport related services. Minister of Citizenship, Mr. Winston Felix made this announcement during the Meet the Public Day Initiative held at the McKenzie Sports Club Ground in Linden, yesterday.
Minister Felix stated that the Department of Citizenship has, over the past few months, been endeavouring to decentralise the receipt of passport applications and the delivery of passports within the regions. Linden will be the third town to have this service available, as this service is being made available in Berbice and Essequibo as well.
The Minister stated that when applying for passports for the first time, applicants will still need to go to Georgetown to complete the process but that persons applying for a renewal of their old passport will be able to access the service in Linden.
The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) Building, located in McKenzie, has been identified as the location at which this service will be provided. Immigration Officers will visit the location twice weekly and receive applications for renewal from residents. The applications will be processed in Georgetown and the residents will receive their renewed passports upon the officers’ return the following week “This is for two purposes; we realise the need to bring government services in the region and we need to reduce the unnecessary crowds that we have at the passport office at Georgetown,” Minister Felix said.
Assistant National Director, Community Development Councils, Ms. Sandra Adams, who was responsible for coordinating the setup of the service, stated that it is a very important move that will alleviate the hassle of having to go to Georgetown for many residents. “There are a lot of seniors in Linden who cannot make it to Georgetown and I have received a lot of complaints recently, that by time they get to Georgetown, the numbers are finished and they have to return without getting their passport. So we are happy for this service to begin,” she said.