Malawi passport applications suffocate Immigration Department

The Department of Immigration has admitted having a backlog of passport applications due to an increase in applicants it receives on daily basis.

Chief immigration officer Hudson Mankhwala said in an interview on Thursday the department currently prints passports in Blantyre only.

“We face a big challenge to process passport applications for both old and new ones on time because we receive a lot of applications on a daily basis and as such, we are not able to timely process and print them,” Mankhwala said.

He said the department is working on minimising challenges people face when they apply for a passport such as waiting for too long before the passport is processed.

Passport seekers at Immigration Department
Passport seekers at Immigration Department

Mankhwala said the department intends to open a printing centre in Lilongwe to ease the workload in Blantyre.

“Plans are in the pipeline to open another printing centre in Lilongwe should funds be available. Depending on demand and finances, we may think of opening another centre in Mzuzu.

At present, people collect passports in designated collection centres such as Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Zomba, Mangochi, Karonga and Nkhata Bay.

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