Sri Lanka plans to expedite passport issuance

COLOMBO, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka will introduce a new program in June to streamline the issuance of new passports, allowing applicants to receive their passports within three working days, a minister said on Monday.

File photo: CGTN

Public Security Minister Tiran Alles, who also oversees the Immigration and Emigration Department, told media that the decision aims to prevent innocent individuals from falling victim to unauthorized brokers operating outside the department.

"As an immediate measure, the department has decided to restrict access to applicants only during working hours, thereby minimizing the presence of unauthorized parties," Alles said.

Recent incidents involving the arrest of 16 brokers in connection with passport racket prompted these measures, said the minister, emphasizing that only the individual in need of a passport will be permitted to enter the premises.

The minister said 50 new centers would be established by the end of June to issue passports, and these centers will facilitate the collection of photos and fingerprints, streamlining the passport acquisition process and reducing delays.