Photo: Caraota Digital
When my husband renewed his passport, in December 2015, he said it was a piece of cake. When I renewed mine, November 2013, it took the whole morning and major confusion. Last month we got our daughter’s, after an investment of Bs. 122,400 and weeks of fighting SAIME’s web page. Needless to say, we were lucky: El Nacional is now reporting that appointments for the renewal of passports for adults are suspended until further notice.
Sources claim that the suspension is due to the lack of materials meant to come in from Germany. I’m gonna go on a limb and say that there might be a problem with our payments and, if so, the low inflow of foreign currency is actually playing against our national identity. Go figure!
Luis Florido, national deputy and a known spokesman for Voluntad Popular, estimates the deficit of passports at 3 million.
And this is not a new problem. Back in March, Bloomberg reported that out of 1.8 million passports requested in 2016, as few as 300,000 were supplied due to… drumroll, please… lack of materials.
This explains why the so-called “express” option, activated in March to get a passport in 72 hours, didn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t matter if you have enough bolívares to accelerate your request if the government doesn’t have enough dollars at hand to acquire the materials.
Bloomberg also reported that Luis Florido, national deputy and a known spokesman for Voluntad Popular, estimates the deficit of passports at 3 million.
SAIME is currently allowing for an extension of passports for adults, but only for those expired from 2015 and onward. Those expired before cannot complete the process. They must request a new passport.