MORE than 2500 passports will be issued this week.
Immigration director Major Nemani Vuniwaqa said 17,500 passport books arrived in Nadi on Tuesday night.
"The Department of Immigration has started processing urgent applications today but will start issuing books to those that applied from January 2011 on Wednesday (yesterday)," he said.
Major Vuniwaqa said the department had scheduled a process of collection to allow for a smooth process at the Suva, Nadi and Lautoka centres.
"The collection of passports is based on the date of lodgment of the application and members of the public are advised that collection will also be extended on Saturdays between 9am and 2pm," he said.
"Urgent issuance of passports can also be accommodated upon request and payment of the necessary fees.
"Western applicants (Nadi-Rakiraki) are advised to collect your passports two days after the collection date indicated."
Last week, Major Vuniwaqa said while they had received 7000 applications, 2000 were pending.
"We have more than 7000 applications on hold and these are for applications that were received by the department from January 2011 to date.
"With those figures, it is estimated that there are more than 1000 applications per month and a few can go up to 2000 pending applications.
"The department will be working overtime in order to issue the pending applications in quick time but one has to understand that we will be doing it in sequence and we will begin with those who had applied or lodged their applications in January and so forth."