Baghdad, Iraq - It may go without saying that Iraq’s passport offices are crowded and their employees overworked. With so many Iraqis leaving the country, passports are at a premium. In 2006 we reported on the difficulties Iraqis were having obtaining passports, and their desperation to flee the country. There are many issues affecting the availability of passports, from the machines and manpower to print them, to the corruption running rampant in the application process
The difficulties with Iraq’s passport process are not new. Since 2003 there have been recurring problems with criminal influence in Iraqi passports. According to Col. Muhammad Satchet, the Nationality and Passports Directorate is hard at work solving the capacity problems widely reported in 2007. Although Iraq is attempting to curb counterfeiters by upgrading Iraq’s old passports, the changeover to the “G” series passports further exacerbated capacity issues throughout 2007.
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