The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) plans to process more passport applications to reduce the long queue of people waiting to travel abroad.
The Consular Department’s Deputy Director General, Mr. Sisouphanh Manivanh, said during an interview with Lao National Radio that the department saw an increased number of people applying for passport applications after the country’s reopening.
The number of people applying for passports surged beginning on May 9 as many countries relaxed their entry and exit restrictions.
In response to this issue, the ministry encourages officials to process applications after and before working hours, as it expects to receive 500 applications, up from 300 in the past year.
The ministry is developing an online interview appointment platform and has completed a draft passport law that will be presented to the National Assembly for consideration at the end of this year.
Mr. Sisouphanh, who represented the department, apologized to the people for slow services, and encouraged applicants from the provinces of Oudomxay, Xieng Khouang, Xayaboury, and Khammouane to apply at provincial consular departments.
He said that people should be wary of brokers who claim to be able to work to assist with personal documents, and to expedite passport or issuance processes in Vientiane Capital.
Officials will consider emergency expediting of passports only in extreme cases, such as patients with a hospital certificate who urgently need to travel for treatment abroad.