The new centre is located at the Gordon's Industrial Zone.
Over the years, the country has had only one place for lodgment and collection of passport for its citizens.
Given the value of passports similar are to that of having money and a sense of identity when one travels abroad, Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha said there must be integrity in the processing of a passport.
“And we have noticed over the past couple of years that with the growing number and demand for PNG passports and only one place for issuance, this has resulted in long queues, delayed turnaround time for processing, overworked staff and an opportunity for fraud and extortion as well,” Kantha said.
The Immigration and Citizenship Authority today opened a new client service centre that will operate as a passport lodgment and collection point site to meet the demand for passports.
“I must stress that this process of obtaining a passport starts from the birth registry process that is with the Civil Registry and NID office. And that process is really critical for other countries to have confidence in our most treasured document – our passport – so that they can allow us right of entry with ease to their country.”
ICA’s theme this year is about improving client service, and they have done so with the addition of products like the electronic visa lodgment on its website, the passport verifier system at the airport and this new office.
“This will be the first service center in NCD and we also plan to have similar service centers set up in other regional centres in the country.”
Immigration Minister, Petrus Thomas, said: “Going forward into the 2020s we are trying to digitalise our system. We have already done the e-visa, now we are looking at getting e-passport for our citizens so we digitalise our system and be more convenient to our people.”
(Immigration Minister Petrus Thomas, right, and Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha in the new centre)