Home Ministry backpedals on new passport requirement
-signals longer processing time
The Ministry of Home Affairs yesterday lifted the recently-imposed two-year birth certificate requirement for first time passport applicants but announced that it may now take longer for the travel document to be issued since “a more robust verification process” will be needed.
The ministry advisory was released to the media via email about half an hour after the Central Immigration and Passport Office was served with the final ruling of acting Chief Justice Ian Chang to quash the six-month birth certificate requirement imposed in June.
Attorney Saphier Husain had filed a legal challenge to the requirement a month ago after an immigration official refused to accept his application for a new passport because his birth certificate did not satisfy the new criteria.