Yangon, February (28)

The military council issued a statement saying that the online passport application was suddenly suspended on February 27, and that the issuance of passports to those who had appointments was also postponed until the end of the year.

It came three days after announcing that the people could apply for passports online starting February 24.

The military council’s Myanmar Passport Issuing Team has suspended the online system and website for the reason that it is preparing and updating the system for new applicants who want to make an appointment for a passport.

The military council has suspended the online passport application system, and those who have already made an appointment will have to wait until the end of 2023.

A passport applicant said, “Since the appointment has been postponed for another 10 months, it is not convenient for me to go and work abroad”.

Under the pretext that the passport issuing office will upgrade the system, passport issuance has been suspended since December 26, 2022, and the online application system has now been suspended again.

The online passport application system is a one-time payment system that connects with the bank and pays the fee in accordance with the kind of passport. It is only available at Yangon passport issuing office.

A passport applicant who intends to work abroad said, “The situation has become chaotic as the appointment has been postponed to another 10 months. Since there are no job opportunities in the country, when we are trying to go abroad, now the office won’t issue us passports, so what kind of work are we going to do for a living?”

The passport fee was only around 40,000 Kyats before the coup, but after it, the cost of issuing passport online with the QR Code system has risen to around 500,000 Kyats. Passport applicants face various difficulties and restrictions under the military regime.

The International Organization for Migrant Workers (IOM) announced last January that over 40,000 Myanmar workers are leaving the country every month due to the country’s instability and multi-faceted deterioration, as a result of the coup d’├ętat.

News-Than Lwin Times

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