Long Queues for passports: Sri Lankans opting to leave the country?

Long Queues for passports: Sri Lankans opting to leave the country?

Written by Amani Nilar

23 Oct, 2021 | 9:24 am

COLOMBO (News 1st); Long queues have been observed at the Passport Office and the Department of Immigration and Emigration which are longer than queues for essential items.

At present, the opportunity to book passports online has been temporarily suspended due to all the appointments in October being fully booked.

Those who are at the queues say that suitable persons do not receive suitable jobs, and another says that the best option at present is to leave the country as the people have not received anything from the Government.

Another youth said that Sri Lanka is a really good country, however the problem lies with those who are ruling it at present.

Meanwhile, News 1st correspondent Manoj Buddhika noted that many people have queued up in front of the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Battaramulla from 07:00 a.m. in the morning today (22), and a majority of them were not leaving the country for education, but for other purposes, which could mean a possible brain drain emerging for Sri Lanka.

The Controller of Immigration and Emigration (Passport) at the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Priyantha Hapuarachchi said that people were unable to obtain passports due to the travel restrictions which were in place for a long time, and that is the reason for long queues in front of the passport offices.

He further stated that a large number of people were seen obtaining new passports to apply for the Green Card Lottery system implemented by the United States of America, and also because most other countries have removed their travel restrictions.

Hapuarachchi also noted that foreign job opportunities have seen a surge in the past few months as well.

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