ABOUT 36,000 travel documents have been issued by the Immigration Department in Arusha Region between January and November this year.
That was said yesterday here by Deputy Commissioner for Immigration, Abdallah Towo, adding that out of the number, 6, 231 were the new electronic passports.
He said that translates as 3,000 passports per month to the citizens in the area, making it one of the most regions with many people processing the government document.
Equally, Mr Towo described the released 6, 231 new electronic passports as for the East Africa community, and 29,472 being temporary travelling documents (paper passports).
“We have also issued 1,402 Visas and Passes to foreigners, who arrived into the country for various reasons but mostly for tourism purposes,” he said.
In his explanation, visitors who entered into the country through the Namanga border post were 124,106 and those who left the country were 125,681. Further, according to him, the department also issued
236 business visas, 517 resident permits mostly to investors in the Mining and Trade industries.
On her part, the Commissioner of Immigration, incharge of Residence Permits, Passes and Visas, Mary Palmer said the ongoing meeting between Immigration and its stakeholders will help to create harmonious relations between the local residents and Immigration Officers.
“We do not want people to see Immigration Officers as enemies, because everything is now transparent, fast and straight forward as far as passports, permits and visas applications are concerned,” said Ms Palmer.
In a related development, she said that from now onwards, the Department will start issuing residential digitised smart cards to replace the paper permits in order to remove forgery and as well as speed up periodical checkups.
At the moment new passports are applied Online and the same case applies to Visas, a move which has helped to speed up processing and minimize corruption in acquiring the documents.