Major General Khaled Salim Hadid, the director of the Department of Immigration and Passports, revealed that raw materials that are required to print passports will arrive in Syria soon. The materials’ arrival will help double the number of passports issued to citizens.
“As a result of the increased demand for passports and the number of reviewers to the immigration and passport branches, new action plans have been put in place to deal with the passport backlog caused by the lack of raw materials available,” Hadid told SANA.
Hadid indicated that—in order to control the process of obtaining passports and prevent brokers from exploiting citizens and blackmailing them financially—patrols are being conducted by investigation branches from both Damascus and its Countryside and the central administration. He pointed out that, as a result of the investigation branches’ constant monitoring and rigorous follow-up policies, they have arrested people trying to exploit others on a daily basis.
Hadid said that up to 2,000 people have passport applications approved every day, while the number of passports issued monthly is approximately 40,000.
Hadid said that several people had registered on the platform and attempted to assign them to others for the financial gain of up to 300,000 Syrian pounds per application. Four perpetrators have been arrested and brought to justice.
Hadid pointed out that the cost of materials needed for a regular passport amounts to 50 thousand Syrian pounds for those applying from inside the country. In addition, commercial banks impose extra fees. For an urgent passport application, the cost is 75 thousand Syrian pounds, in addition to the extra bank fees. People applying from outside Syria must pay 300 US dollars for a regular passport application and $800 for an urgent application.
In 2021, the government issued 888,274 passports. This year, up until March 31, 140,900 passports have been issued.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.