Sydney, 28 October 2015: The Consulate General of Pakistan Sydney is pleased to announce the introduction of Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS) facility, which will be operational by mid Nov. 2015. So, our respected clients including the community members will no more be wasting their precious time and money, in making Banker’s Cheque or Postal Money Order, for our service fee.
The Consulate General has always been prompt in disposal of its work. We have always met the government approved processing time-lines. However, in order to facilitate our clients more, we have further decreased the Processing Days for each service. Now, the applications submitted with urgent fee for (a) attestation power of attorney, (b) manual passport, and (c) birth registration are disposed off in One Working Day, instead of three working days, provided that the prescribed form is correctly filled in, duly signed by the applicant and all the requisite documents are complete. The applications of all these services, submitted with ordinary fee are now disposed off in five working days, instead of 8 to 9 days.
We always accord priority to our Business Visa Applicants so as to further promote bilateral trade and to strengthen business and economic relations between Pakistan and Australia. If all documents are complete, their applications are processed on the Same Day. For all other visa applications, the processing time is now only Three Working Days, instead of previously declared 8 to 9 days, provided that the applicant fulfils all the prescribed formalities and submits the requisite documents.
When it comes to emergency situations, the service delivery of the Sydney Consulate has always remained extraordinary. In such cases, our staff never hesitates to re-open our offices, even during night time or on weekends / public holidays, to provide visa or to issue emergency passport to our community members, facilitating them to reach Pakistan, in time.
As regards the Hours of Operation, we work from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. But our Front Counters open for three hours in the morning to receive applications for consular services such as passport, visa, power of attorney, birth registration, driving licence verification, etc. We have now increased this time by half an hour. The Front Counters now open from 9.30 am and remain in service until 1 pm. All those clients, who reach the consulate premises by 1 pm and collect their tokens, are served by the staff, no matter how long does it take.
Generally, due to ever increasing workload and greater number of clients, the Consulate staff entertain our clients until 3 pm or so. Thereafter, the staff processes the applications, received through out the day, and also dispose off the remaining official business. There is no concept of 9 to 5 job in the Consulate, as we all have to work extra hours to complete our official business, on time.
Due to shortage of the staff in Sydney and ever increasing workload, the Consulate has requested the concerned authorities in Islamabad to provide two more staff members (one for MRP service and the other for remaining consular services). We are hopeful that the requested support will be extended to the Mission soon.
We are aware of the fact that the existing Waiting Hall has become congested and inadequate for our clients, due to increased workload and greater number of visitors. This space had remained in use for the visitors, since 2007 and until June 2013, when only 8 chairs were deemed sufficient for the visitors.
After the introduction of MRP (Passport) Service and in view of the increasing demand of our consular services in Sydney, the seating capacity was increased to 17 and a Water Dispenser was provided in August 2013. We now have the seating capacity for 35 clients. Although we proactively manage the inflow and outflow of the visitors, we are also in the process of arranging additional space to set up a bigger hall. A formal request for allocation of requisite resources is pending approval of the concerned authorities in Islamabad, which is likely to be received soon. We are confident that by early next year, we shall be in a position to set up a more comfortable Consular Hall with adequate seating capacity and all other essential services, for the convenience of our valued clients.
Our paper based Manual Token System is functioning satisfactorily and there are no issues in this regard. Nevertheless, we are working on getting an Electronic Queue Management System in place soon.
We are also happy to announce that the Consulate will have a separate Photocopier from next week, to provide a convenient and affordable photocopy service to our valued clients.
Our Feedback Mechanism is already in place and we encourage our clients to offer their input by visiting our web-link http://www.pakistan.org.au/feed_back.php. Nevertheless, in Sydney Consulate we have recently introduced a paper based feedback system to get the views from each client. The response has been very encouraging and useful. We are confident that this initiative will further improve the quality and efficiency of our service delivery. Therefore, we urge our clients who visit the Consulate to offer their feedback and suggestions, both manually as well as online.