Mission braces for 750 MRPs daily

  • Handwritten passport phase-out
Kuala Lumpur
Mission braces for 750 MRPs daily

Jul 31, 2014-

As the deadline of the International Civil Aviation Organization to phase out handwritten passports by 24 November, 2015 draws near, the Nepali Embassy in Malaysia has intensified the distribution of machine readable passports (MRP).

Embassy officials said that the number of Nepali migrants visiting the embassy for MRP is on rise. The embassy receives 300 applications each day on an average. Fearing that they could lose their legal status in the failure to acquire the MRP and to extend their visa period, Nepali workers are flocking the embassy.

“My visa expires in December, when my handwritten passport will be invalid too. So I am here to apply for the MRP,” said Sudarshan Bhat, who works at a furniture company in Meru, last week.

According to the embassy, around 20,000 MRPs have been issued so far while an estimated 400,000 Nepali migrants own handwritten passports. Embassy officials say 750 MRPs need to be issued on a daily basis to replace all the passports before the deadline.

Officials say they are understaffed. “The problem may worsen if additional staffs are not hired on time,” said Nepali Ambassador to Malaysia Niranjanman Singh Basnyat. He added that the inability of many to fill out the application form correctly has added to the trouble.

Although the Nepal government has reportedly promised additional human resource for its missions in the Gulf and Malaysia, the team is yet to reach Malaysia. In order to manage the workload, the embassy will open on Sundays too from August.

Published: 01-08-2014 09:29

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