A judicial source has revealed that about 30 agencies have received applications from expatriates for their families pertaining to personal status issues, such as marriage, divorce and others, adding some are returned uncertified by the Foreign Ministry and thus are not accepted and are returned to their owners to be certified.
The Minister of Justice, Hisham al-Shaer, has issued a circular exempting agencies for marriage, divorce, inheritance and registering births from security approval, adding that the exemptions also included administrative agencies pertaining to conscription, consulting official departments to normalize statuses, or issuing passports, obtaining official papers, and paying fees.
The circular also stipulated that agencies for establishing ownership were exempted but did not specify their nature, such as buying, selling or other matters related to this issue.
In a statement to Al-Watan, the source said that this circular would ease many procedures for expatriates, especially those related to state-related matters and establishing ownership, as there are many citizens who have property which has not be registered with the real estate department.
The source added that expatriates contact the agencies, who in turn communicates with the families. If it is through a private office, the agent will contact the Foreign Ministry for certification. Certification is a routine procedure to check for fraud and to check that the embassy or consulate seal matches what the Foreign Ministry has.
The source said that there were many auditors to facilitate matters for expatriate families, especially with regards to personal status laws, as these are related to issues of daily life, especially marriage, divorce and births. The decision came to ease expatriate matters, which shows the keen interest taken in expatriates.
Expatriate agencies have increased throughout the crisis as a result of a large number of Syrian families and young people departing the country because of the current circumstances, especially with regards to personal status, with some marriages even done over WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger and other similar platforms.
The crisis has seen a notable increase in agency fraud, which has pushed the Ministry of Justice to implement a project to automate agencies to decrease incidents of fraud.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.