Biometric passport availability updates: Dominica, New Zealand, Philippines, Rwanda, Barbados
Dominica has set August 30, 2022 as the deadline for all nationals to obtain the new biometric passport in replacement of the old machine-readable one, and says facilitation offices for applications will be operational soon. This announcement comes as authorities in the Philippines say about 2,000 new biometric passports held in temporary offices are still awaiting pick-up by their owners.
New Zealand for its part is likely to witness a boom in demand for the travel document when its borders reopen from this coming weekend. It has called on potential applicants to do so now in order to avoid rushes. Meanwhile, in Rwanda, plans have also been unveiled by the Paul Kagame administration to switch over to new biometric passports in lieu of the ones issued prior to 2019, and HID Global has been contracted by the Barbados to update the new Republic’s passports.
Dominica passport application facilitation offices soon in UAE
The Minister for National Security and Home Affairs of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Rayburn Blackmoore, has announced that the new biometric passports will replace the existing machine-readable ones by August 30, and has disclosed that a permanent office to facilitate application processes will soon be set up in the United Arab Emirates, according to an announcement by CS Global Partners, an advisory firm specializing in government citizenship-by-investment programs.
Other international offices for the passport application process will be opened in London and New York, set to be functional in the next few months.
Blackmoore has reiterated the importance of the switch saying it is meant to improve the country’s border security system.
All citizens including those who have obtained citizenship through the Citizenship by Investment Program are eligible for the new passports, and the government says it is working out plans to ensure citizens both at home and abroad can apply for the document with ease.
Filipinos called upon to pick up their passports
Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Affairs at the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, Brigido Dulay, says there are 2,017 passports waiting to be withdrawn by their owners from temporary off-site passport offices, writes Philstar.
According to the official, the passports were processed between July 7, 2021 and February 8, 2022, and were declared ‘undelivered’ after three failed withdrawal attempts.
Applicants have been advised to first check if their passport is among this number by sending an email to the corresponding passport claiming site.
New Zealand expects rush in passport renewal
New Zealanders have been urged by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to go for their passport renewals now as a rush for the document is likely when the country begins easing border restrictions, Stuff reports.
The country is set to begin reopening its borders by February 2017 and the DIA’s general manager for services and access, Julia Wootton, says there has been an increase in passport applications since the announcement.
She says plans to bring in more staff in order to meet increasing demand are underway.
According to the Stuff report, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is also advising that people whose passports will expire within the next year can also apply as some countries require six months validity of the credential beyond the intended departure date.
Application process for new Rwanda passport launched
The application window for new biometric passports in Rwanda has opened as authorities announce plans to phase out the old passport format by June this year, local portal Taarifa writes.
The report quotes a statement from the Directorate General of the Immigration and Emigration Service of Rwanda as saying applications can start coming in because the old passports issued before 27 June 2019, will be out of use after June 28, 2022.
The Directorate also disclosed fees for various categories of the new passports as follows: ordinary passport for minors with two-year validity Rwf 25,000 (US$24); ordinary passport of 50 pages with five-year validity Rwf 75,000 ($72); ordinary passport of 66 pages with ten-year validity Rwf 100,000 ($96); service passport with five-year validity Rwf 15,000 ($14), and diplomatic passport Rwf 50,000 ($48).
Barbados selects HID Global for redesigned biometric passports
Barbados has reached a design, supply and disaster recovery agreement for its forthcoming biometric passports with HID Global, according to a company announcement.
The country has recently become a Republic, and the newly designed passport will reflect this change, along with Barbadian cultural elements. A disaster recovery issuance center is being built at the country’s international airport under the three-year contract.
HID Global will provide its HID Integrale issuance management software, which encrypts the biometric and biographic data of applicants, along with personalization technologies.
“HID Global is proud of our partnership with Barbados as the supplier of the country’s passport and would like to congratulate the people of Barbados as they take this historic step. We look forward to meeting the needs of Barbados in the future,” comments Craig Sandness, SVP and head of Secure Issuance and Citizen ID Solutions.