Government fails to expand online MRP application service

Kathmandu, December 12

Though Nepal successfully launched online passport application system at the Kathmandu-based Department of Passport in late November, it has failed to deliver on its promise to expand the service abroad.

While formally launching the online passport application system on November 23, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa had announced that the service would also be made available in eight countries — Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong of China, Washington DC and New York of USA, and London of United Kingdom— where Nepalis’ presence is high— by December 1.

“We couldn’t expand the service as said earlier, mainly due to delay in training required human resources,” a DoP official said.

“Also, we decided to wait for a couple of weeks before starting the service from abroad as we are still experimenting with the system at the DoP.”

Initially, only applicants seeking diplomatic and official passports were allowed to apply online.

Director General of DoP, Lok Bahadur Thapa, told The Himalayan Times that the service would start from Qatar on December 18 after a two-day training.

The service would also begin from other countries within the next two weeks.

At least 50 live enrollment centres have been or are being set up at Nepali embassies and missions in these eight countries to begin the service, which is expected to considerably reduce the time applicants need to wait to receive the document.

This system— also known as Live Enrollment System for passport application— helps avoid the weeks or even months of travel time to receive passport forms from these countries, ultimately reducing passport issuance duration significantly.