National Security Minister Rayburn Blackmoore is reporting that Dominica has so far issued 82,165 ePassports.
The new passport which replaces the machine-readable one, contains both overt and covert security features that are woven into the design as well as a microchip that is used to authenticate the passport holder’s identity, and adheres to the highest international standard.
“Applications as of the month of June, which is this month, are currently being dealt with. As of today 82,165 ePassports have been issued,” he said.
Blackmoore took the opportunity to highly commend the head of the immigration department and the entire staff, “and of course by extension the permanent secretary and the tremendous support that cabinet and the Prime Minister have given to this program.”
“I say a program because we are transitioning from the machine-readable passports to a new passport,” he noted.
Blackmoore said that he is pleased to have seen the improvement made over the months.
“What we shall be doing, we shall be continuing to improve the processes with the express purpose of ensuring that applicants are able to get their passport in the quickest most effective manner without compromising the security and imperative of that process,” he stated. “So in due time, we shall announce additional improvements we have been able to make, to ensure that we improve the system, the approaches, the process and to ensure that Dominicans upon application can receive their passports as quickly as possible.”
According to the Canadian Bank Note Company Limited which designed and created the new passports, they have incorporated a modern and aesthetic design that reflects the nature of Dominica and displays the country’s landmarks, flora, and fauna.
During the launching ceremony of the new passports on July 26, 2021, Blackmoore, who was instrumental in the project, revealed that in 2019, before the last election, government had taken the decision to inject US$6,049,000 to migrate from the machine-readable passport to the new biometric/ePassport as well as an issuing system.
He highlighted one of the benefits of the new passport – an electronic chip embedded in it that is equipped with biometric capabilities and facial recognition.