Malawians in US cry foul over passport fee hike

Malawians in United States of America (USA) are discontented with passport fees, Nyasa Times can reveal.

According to an email sent to Nyasa Times, signed by Emmanuel Mwachande, Chairperson of the Malawi Association group in Indiana, the passport fee has been hiked in the United States.

“Our counterparts in the United Kingdom (UK),  South Africa and Botswana are paying $100 per application and why should we pay $200 for the same passport”, reads part of the email.

According to figures obtained from  the normal cost of the new passport is MK15,100, an express passport to be produced within 2 days costs MK35,100 whilst an urgent passport to be produced within 5 days cost MK25,100.

In a telephone interview, Mwacahnde disclosed that his association has already been in contact with George Lamnya, the immigration attaché at the Malawi Embassy in Washington DC and the immigration office in Malawi but to no avail.

The email further inform Malawians resident in USA that the association intends to open a Facebook page so that a unison voice comes out: “We intend to create a face book page so that you can share your voice on this unfair fee cap for Malawians in USA”.

In random telephone interviews with a cross section of Malawians in USA they all had different views on the issue.

“This is unfair to us, is it because this is America”, lamented Carol Makani.

“I will wait for the Embassy to tell me the truth” argued Mzati Mbewe.

The department of immigration announced last year that it was going to recall Malawian passports currently in circulation to have them replaced with new ones.

And it also stated that for Malawians resident abroad, separate arrangement were to be made to facilitate the passport replacement exercise. The announcement further said that appropriate communication was to be made through Malawian missions abroad once all arrangements were finalised.

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