Passport renewals halted until April 13
The Immigration Division will not be accommodating passport renewals for the next week.
The announcement was made at the Ministry of Health’s daily media conference on COVID-19.
Minister of National Security, Stuart Young explained that the move is not only in keeping with the need for social distancing during the pandemic, but also to allow for an upgrade to the system.
“We have been looking at Immigration for a while in upgrading our software and our hardware system to introduce facial recognition, to introduce fingerprints, biometrics, fingerprint ID and a host of other potential sharing of information along international lines,” he said.
In the meantime, relevant officials will be restructuring the process for renewals to bring on stream, a new, alphabetical way of sorting applicants.
“On specific days, persons with the surnames between certain letters will come in on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. There will still be some element of emergency passport renewals, but of course this will be worked in,” he explained.
Regular operations of the passport renewal systems at the Immigration Division should continue from April 13.