HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

Created 06 July 2022
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Hundreds began waiting outside immigration offices in HCMC as early as 4 a.m. Tuesday and braved the later day sun for hours to submit applications for new passports.
HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

Among those waiting outside the Immigration Department on Nguyen Trai Street in HCMC's District 1 was 22-year-old Nguyen Quoc Danh (R). He said he was there before daybreak because he needed a passport so he could study abroad. He had tried to submit his application three times already, but failed because there were simply too many people ahead of him.

HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

Some people brought along a snack to munch as they waited.

HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

About two kilometers away, at 5:30 a.m., around 50 people were waiting in front of an immigration office on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street.

Demand for passports has soared after the application process was temporarily suspended for one month for "non-urgent" purposes. Since the beginning of this month, people have been flocking to immigration offices to apply for new passports or get old ones renewed. The rush has prompted many residents to arrive at the offices hours before they open.

HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

One man dozes as people wait outside the gates of the immigration office.

HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

Others find places to rest their backs as they wait.

HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

At 6 a.m., about an hour and a half before working hours begin, hundreds are thronging outside the gates.

HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

After the gates opened at around 6:30 a.m., people crowd the stairs that lead to the office.

Chau, 45, has one of his family members throw a bottle of water as he waits on the stairs.

HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

Huynh Thi Thanh Van, unable to join the bustle, sits outside on the sidewalk. She has traveled all the way from Can Gio District, around 40 km away, to get a new passport to go to Thailand.

"There are too many people. I'm already 80, I can't compete with them, so I just sit here and wait for my turn. I brought with me a bag of food because I know I will need to wait for a long time," she said.

HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

The 300-square-meter hall has been constantly full for the past couple of days.

HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

Some fall asleep while waiting.

HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

The immigration office has had to deploy extra personnel to guide people on how to complete necessary documents to apply for a passport. The office receives around 1,000 submissions every day.

HCMC residents line up before daybreak for passports

Even at noon, people still crowd the office's entrance.

Since July 1, a new passport form, with new decorations on its pages and covers, is in use.

People who complete the needed procedures can expect to get their new passports in one or two weeks.

Passports issued with the old form will continue to be valid till they expire.


Source: VNE

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