One-week wait for brand spanking new passports by yr finish, says ICA, Latest Singapore News
Singaporeans who apply for a brand new passport can count on a processing time of 1 week by the yr finish, much like earlier than the Covid-19 pandemic, mentioned the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
This goal is predicated on the variety of passport functions the authority receives every day and what number of it might course of because it launched stepped-up measures to take care of the surge in functions, mentioned Senior Assistant Commissioner(SAC) Dominic Chua, director of ICA’s citizen providers centre.
The ready time is not less than six weeks for brand spanking new passports now.
Passport functions surged to more than 7,000 a day in May, in contrast with 2,000 earlier than the pandemic, after Covid-19 border restrictions had been considerably eased on April 1. This month, ICA acquired about 4,500 functions each day.
SAC Chua advised The Sunday Times that almost 300 officers from different work items throughout ICA have been step by step deployed since May to assist about 100 officers from the passport unit course of and produce passports.
These officers work 24/7, and plenty of have put their journey plans on maintain.
ICA officers have been working in eight-hour shifts to examine on the candidates’ eligibility and make sure that all passports printed meet high quality and safety requirements.
The officers additionally pack the passports, prepare for them to be collected on the 29 SingPost branches islandwide, and man the gathering counters on the ICA Building in Kallang Road.
With the extra manpower, ICA is now capable of produce 6,500 new passports each day, up from 2,000 in 2019, SAC Chua mentioned.
He added: “Never in the history of ICA have we issued such a huge number of passports at one go.”
Also, extra Singaporeans at the moment are gathering their passports at put up places of work, with SingPost rising the variety of counters and shops for assortment. It has raised the variety of assortment counters to 46, from 39 in October final yr, and added the Novena and Killiney Road branches to the record of shops for passport assortment, bringing the whole to 29.
Some 85,000 passports had been collected at put up places of work final month, virtually double the 43,500 in May, in response to ICA.
The authority had on June 13 accepted walk-ins at the ICA Building only for passport applicants with appointments or passports to be collected.
Eligible candidates had been inspired to gather their passports at put up places of work to keep away from the queues that had fashioned outdoors the ICA Building in June.
People queueing outdoors the ICA Building in Kallang Road on June 13, 2022. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
“Compared to October 2021, SingPost today has three times the capacity for passport collection services,” SingPost chief govt for Singapore Neo Su Yin mentioned in a written reply.
SingPost mentioned there may very well be longer wait instances at some shops. A spokesman suggested folks to keep away from making appointments at Ang Mo Kio Post Office, General Post Office (SingPost Centre), Hougang Central Post Office, Marine Parade Post Office, Tampines Post Office and Toa Payoh Post Office.
The spokesman mentioned: “We seek the understanding of customers that wait times may be longer than usual, up to 60 minutes at certain times of the day. We are working with ICA to reduce wait times for customers.”
SingPost suggested these gathering their passports to reach punctually for his or her appointments, so that every one clients may be served in a well timed method.
Officers issuing passports on the ICA constructing. PHOTO: ICA