The Passport Application Reservation System of the Department of Immigration and Emigration malfunctioned yesterday (1).
Passport applicants are required to obtain prior appointments and fill in an online application form before visiting the Passport Office to avoid congestion and long queues.
As part of this process, the applicant needs to submit a Photo Acknowledgement Number from an approved photo studio. However, many photo studio owners told Ceylon Today that they were unable to access the Immigration and Emigration Department portal to generate the Photo Acknowledgement Number.
This malfunction threatens to throw the whole process out of sync, as the online application form cannot be submitted without a Photo Acknowledgement Number.
This also comes as bad news for hundreds of expatriate workers hoping to provide a better standard of living to their families.
According to the Foreign Employment Bureau, Sri Lanka’s outward labour migration has topped the 100,000 mark in 2022, with many persons taking up foreign employment to escape the worsening economic and political crisis in the country.
By Adnan Ali Cassim