Dominican Republic prepares ground for biometric passport project take-off
Prospection for an implementing partner of the Dominican Republic’s new biometric passport has begun, after the President of the Republic Luis Abinader signed a decree authorizing the project to hit the ground running.
The Directorate General of Passports says it is already making contacts for a contractor, with concrete steps to be taken from next week to have the project delivered as soon as possible, according to news portal Listin Diario.
The head of Passports Néstor Julio Cruz Pichardo is quoted as saying he picked up the issue of the biometric passport as soon as he was appointed to the office. He says he discussed it with the President who gave the green light for the project to be revived, saying it is a project of high priority for the country.
Cruz Pichardo, who read the President’s decree during a meeting of the National Facilitation Committee of the project, says the new passports will ease travel for citizens during trips abroad.
The government entities involved in the project implementation per the president’s decree include the Ministries of foreign affairs, defense, police and tourism, interior and the presidency, according to Listin Diario.
The other agencies include the Institute of Civil Aviation, the Specialized Corps of Airport Security and Civil Aviation, General Directorate of Migration, General Directorate of Customs and the Government Office of Information and Communication Technology.
Earlier this year, as reported by Dominican Today, Cruz Pichardo also spoke about the need for the Dominican Republic to transition from machine-readable to biometric passports, saying it will be a reliable travel document with an inbuilt chip that carries the biometric information of the holder. He specifically mentioned the importance of face biometrics.
He said at the time that measures were also being put in place to facilitate the passport renewal process for Dominicans leaving in countries where there are delays in consular processes.
Last year, Cruz Pichardo had said the new generation passports could come into use in 2022.
Other Caribbean nations adopting passports to the latest ICAO standard include Dominica and Barbados.