Immigration ministry expects 2000 passports


The Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) is expecting 2000 new passports next week to allow students and seasonal workers to travel overseas.

This came after the Passport Unit in the ministry ran out of passports following high demand from seasonal workers.

Minister of MCILI) Frederick Kologeto confirmed this when asked by Member of Parliament for Small Malaita, Rick Hou during the committee of supply of the 2023 budget, in Parliament yesterday.

Kologeto said the ministry has applied to the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to purchase the new passports.

He said next week, hopefully 2000 passports will arrive for students preparing to go overseas and the seasonal labourers.

Initially, a total of 13,300 Solomon Islands passports were issued in the period from 2021 to 2022 raking in $10.7-million into government coffers and the national economy.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Labour and Immigration, Riley Mesepitu, earlier told media that 90 percent of the 13,300 passports were issued to seasonal workers.

Ten percent accounts for other Solomon Islanders travelling on businesses, conferences and or training.

He said in 2021 alone a total of 8,804 passports were issued raking in $6 million.

In January to July of 2022 alone some 4,500 passports were issued, earning the state coffers some SBD$4.7-Million.

Mr Mesepitu said these figures show an increased demand for passport and his Ministry is looking at ways to address the high demand.

One of the ways being considered is the creation of mobile passport units, with bases in provincial capitals such as Gizo in Western Province and Auki on Malaita because of its high population.

The MCILI purchased the passports from IRIS, a Malaysian technology company.

Discover more from Theislandsun

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading