Namibia: Govt curtails passport access

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THE Ministry of Home Affairs has issued strict new rules with regard to passport applications.
 

The ministry no longer accepts applications for passports from anyone not travelling within 30 to 60 days of such applicatio


In addition, all applications will now have to be accompanied by photocopies of air or bus tickets, invitation letters, acceptance of admission to study letters, doctors' letters, approved visas, employment permits, or any other relevant proof of their travel plans.

Permanent Secretary Samuel Goagoseb says these new measures are meant to reduce pressure on the Ministry's systems and facilities, and also to reduce unnecessary queues.

A passport or any other travel document is mainly meant to enable you to travel outside the country and is not a national identity card, Goagoseb emphasised.

Children below the age of 16 will only be required to show a birth certificate together with certified copies of birth certificates and proof of legal guardians, as is currently the case.

Hospital patients who need medical treatment abroad should apply for passports through the hospital authorities. Family members may also apply on their behalf, but the application must be accompanied by a letter signed by the doctor treating the patient.

The Ministry has also reminded people that all Namibian passports with manual entries will be phased out by February 28.

This measure was first announced in July last year.

Official notices have already been sent throughout the world, Goagoseb said, requesting countries not to honour any Namibian passports that are not machine-readable from the end of February.

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