News

Over 234 K travel docs issued this year

BY Dinitha Rathnayake

During the period from 1 January 2021 to 28 October 2021, a total of 234,605 travel documents have been issued by the Immigration and Emigration Department according to the yearly analysis of the issued travel documents, thus showing an increase from the figure for the same during the same period last year (2020).

Of the travel documents issued for the said period during this year, 233,601 had been travel documents to all countries, 723 had been official travel documents, 280 had been diplomatic travel documents, and there had been one emergency certificate. The majority had been obtained under the normal service while the rest were under the one-day service.

Meanwhile, according to the yearly analysis of issued travel documents for last year (2020) during the same period, 207,697 travel documents had been issued by the department. Of these, 202,741 had been travel documents to all countries. 4,375 had been emergency certificates, 404 had been official travel documents, 175 had been diplomatic travel documents, and two had been travel documents to the Middle East. The majority had been obtained under the normal service while the rest were under the one-day service.

A trend of Sri Lankans choosing to migrate with the hope of obtaining permanent residency (PR) in western nations has been identified, with Canada and Australia being their most preferred destinations, according to immigration and emigration consultant companies in Sri Lanka.

It is also learnt from informed sources that most of the Sri Lankans are migrating due to the current economic situation in the country.

Meanwhile, speaking to The Morning recently, Immigration and Emigration Department Deputy Controller – Legal and Information Officer Milinda Kumarasinghe said that around 1,500 passports are issued daily by the department under the one-day service. “Previously, it was around 1,000 under the one-day service, but the number has increased post Covid-19.”

Around 1,000 persons visited the department on a daily basis for their visa and passport requirements despite the spread of Covid-19 and during the recent nationwide quarantine curfew.