Syrian Parliament passed a bill that includes the amendment of the consular fee for granting and renewing passports and travel documents for Syrian citizens outside the country.
Article 1, paragraph (a), of the draft law states that “the consular fee for a passport or travel document issued immediately and urgently for for Syrian citizens residing outside the Syrian Arab Republic US $ 800”.
Paragraph (b) of the same article states that “the consular fee for granting or renewing a passport or travel document for Syrian citizens, who are outside the Syrian Arab Republic within the role system is $ 400.”
As for the reasons behind this huge rise in fees, the law draft explains that this comes as a result of the difficulties Syrian citizens residing abroad face, especially in countries where Syria has no diplomatic or consular representation, and in order to facilitate their affairs and protect them from resorting to brokers and transactors. This comes in the light of the government’s efforts to overcome the obstacles facing citizens and in search for sources that provide additional revenues to the State Treasury, “according to SANA.
This amount represents a significant jump in the renewal fee, which was less than $ 100 before the crisis when the exchange rate for US dollar against the Syrian pound was about 50 Syrian Pounds. Today, $1 = 517 Syrian Pounds (according to the exchange rate in the Central Syrian), and in the black market $1= 570 Syrian Pounds.
This decision has caused a huge wave of anger among Syrians, especially the ones outside Syria. Many have expressed on social media pages that the government ought to be more cooperative with the people in the light of the current economic and financial crises in the country. The monthly average income for people in Syria is around $60, and some families live on $30 a month, while the prices have doubled 10-13 times. As for people residing outside the country, most of them send money to support their families and relatives back home in an attempt to help them improve their living circumstances.