On Sunday, President Bashar al-Assad enacted Law No. 19, aimed at revising the fees associated with consular work and services across all categories. The stated rationale behind this move is to consolidate and standardize all legislation and legal provisions pertaining to consular fees and services.
This legislation comprises 24 articles outlining the processes, guidelines, and prerequisites for the collection of these fees. It also includes tables specifying the fees incurred for various consular services. Some of these fees are collected in both local and foreign currencies, with the proceeds being deposited into the State Treasury account, held at the Central System Bank, under the category of consular fee revenues.
The law further addresses instances in which certain cases are exempt from visa fees through a decision made by the Council of Ministers. This is done to promote tourism, visits, or contributions to economic, social, cultural, or sports activities, subject to specific conditions.
It’s worth noting that consular fees represent a crucial source of foreign currency revenue for the Syrian government . The fees are often denominated in US dollars, euros, and various other currencies, rather than the Syrian pound,
Notably, some of the most expensive consular services relate to the acquisition of Syrian passports, which are known to be among the costliest worldwide. As a result, consulates and embassies associated with the Assad regime, particularly in Turkey, often experience significant congestion. This situation compels citizens to pay additional fees to intermediaries in order to expedite their applications. Furthermore, substantial amounts are also paid for the authentication and issuance of official documents, passports, and other consular services.
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.