BEIRUT — General Security announced Thursday that as of Wednesday it has suspended scheduling appointments on its online platform for people wishing to obtain passports, citing the reason for the decision as “the company contracted was not paid its due money.” General Security did not offer any indication of how long the suspension is likely to remain in place.
Here’s what we know:
• In a statement, General Security said that “since 2020, General Security centers experienced high demand for passports, which exceeded by more than ten times the preceding period, and this affected the amount of passports available.”
• General security also said that due to the high demand, “senior members of General Security have contacted state administrations to secure the contracts and the payments needed quickly … but to date, the payments for the company have not been completed, which has delayed the delivery of the required amount [of passports] while the stock of available passports is starting to run out.”
• Accordingly, General Security said that from April 27 they were “obliged to stop working on the platform” that gives passport appointments. It said however that it will honor any appointments already scheduled.
• According to a report published on Tuesday by Arab Barometer, About 48 percent of Lebanese populations “are seeking to leave their homeland for better opportunities abroad” which could explain the high demand on passports in recent years as many are trying to leave Lebanon as it suffers from an unprecedented economic crisis.