Online passport application to start in 2017 – Minister

Ghanaians will no longer have to wake up at dawn to queue for passports but may soon be able to apply and secure a passport by applying online.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hanna Tetteh, says her outfit has put measures in place to ensure that all online applicants receive their passports by the end of the second quarter of 2017.

Speaking at the launch of the online biometric passport application service, Hanna Tetteh said the new system can also provide prospective applicants with their passports within an average period of ten days.

The Passport Office has been struggling to print passport booklets to meet the high demands due to faulty machines.

That situation reportedly caused a stampede at the entrance of the office sometime ago as applicants who were given dates to come for their passports were disappointed when they were asked to return on other dates because passports could not be printed.

The Office had to rely on just two machines to print passport booklets. Many Ghanaians have also complained about unnecessary bureaucratic practices and corruption at the office making the acquisition and renewal of passports very difficult.

But speaking at the launch of the online passport application service, Hanna Tetteh said Ghanaians will soon acquire their passports within the shortest possible time with the launch of the new service.

“A series of tests have been carried out by the Ministry with a view to identify and address any initial drawbacks of the project. We are pleased to note that majority of online applicants, providing all documentations without any queries on the documentations can receive their passports within an average of ten days.”

“If you have all the correct documentation that you are supposed to have ready and you upload your information on the online passport application and you have paid your processing fees and there is nothing wrong with your supporting documentation, we have been able to establish that you will have your passport in ten days… It is my hope that indeed within the first half of 2017 we should be able to phase out paper and deal more with online applications.”

By: Marian Ansah/ /Ghana