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Waiting times for Portuguese passport renewal could get easier

In a bid to trim six-month delays, measures have been introduced to prevent people from booking multiple appointment slots, while some services are now available online.

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In a bid to trim six-month delays, measures have been introduced to prevent people from booking multiple appointment slots, while some services are now available online.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:31 pm

Alexandre Leitão, the Portuguese consul general, has told local media that “several measures” have been taken to prevent agents from making multiple online bookings at the consulate for Portuguese passport renewal. 

Without elaborating, Leitão said in a written statement to the Macau Daily Times, that “technical changes are being introduced in the scheduling system to reduce possible inappropriate uses”.

He also said that a new service, called Virtual Consulate, was being introduced to allow locally resident Portuguese citizens to access some services without the need for an in-person appointment. These will initially include renewal of the cartão do cidadão (citizenship cards), the issue of the cartão do cidadão to newborns, and certain birth registrations.

[See more: Portuguese diplomatic staff call off a planned strike]

The moves come after the regional chapter of the Council of the Portuguese Communities (CCP) announced that it would raise in Lisbon local complaints about massive delays affecting passport renewals.

Currently,  it can take more than six months to renew a cartão do cidadão or passport in Macao, compared to five days in Portugal. Many applicants are reportedly unable to secure appointments for the reissuing of their documents. 

Earlier this month, the local backlog reportedly reached 15,000 cases. Leitão admitted “We don’t have the capacity to respond to the thousands – because there are thousands – of requests that are on the waiting list”. 

 

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:31 pm

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