Migration services of Turkmenistan have extended the queue for biometric passports until November 2024 and stopped registration
Turkmenistan once again managed to surprise the population with the process of obtaining a biometric passport. This time, the departments of the Migration Service decided to extend the queue for obtaining international passports until the fall of 2024. That is, if Turkmen who do not yet have a document want to fly abroad, they will have to wait a year, or they will be forced to resolve the issue with the help of a bribe. Radio Azatlyk reported this with reference to its own sources.
According to the publication, in Balkan velayat the queue for applying for a foreign passport stretched until November 2024, and therefore they stopped issuing tokens to sign up for the queue. Meanwhile, the State Migration Service does not comment on the situation. The country’s authorities also do not respond to the excitement and difficulties associated with the demand for paperwork for foreign trips and have not officially commented on the situation.
The increasing difficulty of obtaining a passport has also led to increased corruption. After all, this situation most affected citizens who urgently need to leave the country, and as the only way out of the situation, people pay bribes.
According to anonymous sources, a token for the queue in the next six months costs 6 thousand manats, after 6 months – 3 – 5 thousand manats. For a bribe of 10 thousand manats, you can get a passport within one month. Thus, citizens buy places in the queue from those who managed to sign up earlier. The amount is divided into two: between the citizen who sold his turn and the migration officer. After all, he is involved in re-issuing an electronic token in the name of the person who bought it.
“Business queues” among the Balkans are not a new phenomenon. Thus, citizens are trying to get additional funds for living, and for migration employees this is also income.
Long queues for biometric passports persist in all regions of Turkmenistan. But despite this, the number of people wishing to leave the country does not weaken. Indeed, against the background of economic difficulties, mass unemployment, constant violations of human rights and restrictions, people are ready to make every effort to leave Turkmenistan. The authorities are aware of this and systematically create obstacles in the form of restrictions on the travel of citizens outside the country, refusing to issue documents to those with minor children, requesting an “uch arka” certificate confirming the absence of a criminal record among relatives in three generations, and so on. And the most interesting thing is that, unlike most civilized countries, Turkmen diplomatic missions in other countries do not provide passport services. It is possible to obtain a biometric passport exclusively on the territory of Turkmenistan.
Let us recall that we previously reported that in Turkmenistan the authorities are planning to issue and introduce into use new models of citizen’s passports. For this, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov approved a new version and description of the passport, the procedure for its registration and issuance, as well as the rules of use. It is planned that in the new “books” the “nationality” column, which classifies a person as belonging to any ethnic group, will be removed.