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Points for information of consular service seekers
Like all Bangladesh Embassies abroad, this High Commission also provides various types of consular services, among which passport, power of attorney, NVR seal and Visa, Birth Registration Certificate etc. are particularly notable. The Mission acts as front office for mandated Bangladesh authorities, follow their requirements and conditions and depend on them for extending such services. As most of these services are now automated, the Mission cannot proceed with processing a service unless those requirements, built in the system, are met. Flexibility often applied by the Consular officials in the past while delivering services manually is thus reduced significantly.
Size of the Bangladesh diaspora in Australia has increased at least four times in the last two decades. However, strength of officials of the High Commission has remained almost the same. This has created huge workload for our Consular officials. As an example, the High Commission now issues double number of passports (MRPs) than what used to be issued a decade back. Besides, requirements of Machine-Readable passports take at least 3 times more time than required to issue a passport manually. Likewise, number of telephone calls has increased by at least 5 times.
In spite of these challenges, the members of staff of this High Commission often work overtime and endeavour to serve the service seekers in the shortest possible time. As an example, we normally complete issuance of a passport, which is finally processed and printed in Dhaka, within 20 days, against our target of 25 work days for urgent passport and 30/ 35 days for normal delivery. This is faster than such delivery by Missions of countries in our neighbourhood (Pakistan- 4 weeks, India- 8 weeks, Sri Lanka- 8-12 weeks) in Canberra.
Again on MRPs, the Mission has issued about 14,800 passports in the period 2019-21 and had a pending caseload of 88. About 99.4% applicants received their passports, generally within 3 weeks. Pending cases of about 0.6% are mainly due to data and information mismatch (change in date of birth, name of the person and even parents, change of permanent address etc.) and Police clearance. Other delayed and pending cases include request for normal passport against official passport (while resignation is not accepted and NOCs not yet issued), and asylum seekers (who fabricate information and denigrate Bangladesh for their personal gain of securing citizenship).
More often than not, service seekers make telephone calls without consulting the official website of the High Commission and information shared through its Facebook account. This stream of avoidable calls creates telephone jams and callers in need of clarification fail to get connected.
In the situation explained above, the valued service seekers are requested to do the following:
- Consult the High Commission website and Facebook, before making a telephone call;
- Send emails to the relevant email address indicated in the website;
- Try to get an appointment to save time and avoid creating a congestion and
- Send an sms at telephone number 0404112327 which will be duly answered