Malawians in US urged to switch to new passport

Malawians resident in the United States of America have been urged to undertake to switch to new passports.

According to statement released by the Embassy of the Republic of Malawi in Washington DC made available to Nyasa Times, further to the notice entitled “Procedure for Replacement of Malawi  Passports” the Embassy informs all Malawians resident there that the  process to replace passports commenced on July 25, 2011, at the Malawi Embassy in Washington D.C.

“The Embassy is appealing to all Malawians to travel to Washington DC with members of their families as soon as possible to complete the passport replacement process as plans for the Immigration Officer to visit selected centers in the United States may not be carried out immediately as the Embassy had initially anticipated due to circumstances beyond its control,” the statement reads in part.

Malawian showing off her new passport

The Embassy informs Malawians that the outreach program  contemplated by the Malawi Embassy is meant merely to facilitate the Malawi Passport replacement programme and not intended to replace the applicant’s responsibility to report to the Embassy in person to complete the application process.

It pledges to provide “same day service” to those travelling long distances provided the Immigration Officer is notified in advance of the applicant’s itinerary.

“Applicants are again reminded to bring to the Malawi Embassy the following with them current or expired Malawi passport; wo passport size photographs taken on a white background with 4.5 x
3.5 centimetres size; prescribed $200 fee; Police report or certificate for lost passports; and marriage certificate in the case of married women,” said the statement.

Applicants are also requested to bring birth certificates and copies of parents’ Malawi passports for children born in the US and  divorce or husband’s death certificate in the case of women who would like to change surname.

Applicants are also reminded that children, regardless of age, are  required to have their own Passports and should report in person to  the Immigration Officer accompanied by their parents and legal  guardians to have their fingerprints taken. Legal guardians must  provide authenticated proof of adoption or legal guardianship.

The Embassy informed that the  prescribed fee of U$200 must be paid by bank certified check or money order payable to the “Embassy of Malawi to the United States”.

It is recommended that the money orders be purchased from the US postal service. Payment in cash is not acceptable, the Embassy advises.

“Applicants are asked to retain photocopies of their Passports and the US visas for their own security; remove from their Passport and retain in a safe place, copies of their US I-94 forms or similar forms for placement in the new Passport upon receipt,” the statement reads.

The Embassy says it will process all applications for the replacement of the Malawi Passport regardless of the Immigration Status of applicants in the United States and that all old Passports
shall be returned to the applicants.

“For further enquiries and information, please contact Mr. George Lamya, Consular Officer at the Malawi Embassy on 202 721 0270 or  e-mail us at [email protected],” the statement concludes.

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