Passport processing time needs to be improved
Kaieteur News – I remember the good old days of filling in a form at the Guyanese Consulate’s office in New York in the morning to either renew my passport or get a new passport and then return in the afternoon, the same day as collect.
Shortly afterwards, again; before 2016, I remember being told I had to go to Guyana in person, to renew my passport. Confirming this policy with a subsequent call to the consul was surprising indeed. Imagine, having to travel all the way to Guyana, just to renew a passport. Even trying to understand the logic of that decision was too much to consider.
However, I must say that renewing my passport at Georgetown is a very professional and easy process.
The current online process (New York Consulate) states; completed applications are sent to Georgetown with a processing time of 4-6 weeks or 2-3 months. It’s fair to ask, in the age of Zoom and Webex that replaced direct person-to-person contacts, and online e-signatures for documents etc: (1) What part of this process is so unique that must be made in Georgetown ?, (2) However, in this age of sophisticated online digital systems, what information cannot be collected / validated and incorporated online to be shared globally or is it (3) that passports cannot be kept secure or accounted for outside Guyana?
Change gears; the foreign minister recently suggested a Guyanese come back home and invest, not just send money. It is difficult to justify how citizens from one of the least populated countries in the world, in the age of extremely fast, sophisticated online systems, have to wait 4-6 weeks / 2-3 months for a passport.
The international process needs to be streamlined, into a more efficient and realistic waiting time, to fit in with the times we live in.