Passport roadshow a success Down Under

The Latvian Foreign Ministry says a recent tour of Australia and New Zealand aimed at providing passports and other documents to Latvians on the other side of the world was a success. 

Applications for passports and ID cards were received and biometric information collected in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and Christchurch.

585 applicants were served and 633 personal identity documents were issued through use of the portable workstations.

"The mission was arranged to strengthen the bond with Latvians in Australia and New Zealand and provide personal identity documents to those who obtained Latvian citizenship following the amendments to the Citizenship Law made on 1 October 2013," the ministry said in a statement.

"Latvian citizens residing in Australia and New Zealand will receive their new passports before the 12th Saeima (parliamentary) election on 4 October 2014.

This mission was organized by the Foreign Ministry and the Latvian Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

Both Australia and New Zealand have sizeable and long-established Latvian communities.

The first mobile passport workstation mission to Australia took place in 2011, when 346 passports were processed for Latvian citizens in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth.

A mobile passport workstation is a set of equipment which makes it possible to collect a person's biometric data (a photograph and fingerprints) away from the premises of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs or Latvian diplomatic missions and consular posts.

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