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By GOV.BB on 13 Dec 2022, 10:12AM
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Barbadians started receiving newly designed passports bearing enhanced security features and aspects of the country’s historical and cultural landscape from today, Monday, December 12.

Minister of Home Affairs and Information, Wilfred Abrahams, made the announcement during a press conference flanked by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Deborah Payne; Chief Immigration Officer, Margaret Inniss, and members of her team.

“It is a top of the line, first-rate, first-class, very, very, secure passport, and I am pleased that we are putting it into operation from today,” Mr. Abrahams said.

He added that while the issuance of new passports takes immediate effect, old passports will remain valid until their expiration date.

“So, going forward, you are going to have two sets of passports until the old passports are renewed out of the system,” the Minister stated.

He noted that the businessman’s passport had been discontinued, and business persons would now receive an ordinary passport.  

The Home Affairs Minister explained that previously passports were stamped at every port of entry, and business persons were issued with a thicker passport because of their travel.

However, Mr. Abrahams added that passports were not always stamped at ports of entry; they are swiped rather than stamped, allowing them to last longer, therefore reducing the need for business persons to have a separate passport.

“So, we took the decision to phase out the businessman’s passport because it makes more sense to have a standard book.  So, you are not ordering different stock. You have one book that you can use for everybody,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Inniss said this was the first time since the printing of passports in Barbados that there was a change in its design.

“It captures basically the landscape of Barbados, and certainly the cultural component of Barbados.  Within that passport, you will definitely see the Parliament Building, the Pelican and you will see the rock at Bathsheba.  You will see Kensington Oval, and a number of other features within this passport,” she said.

She explained that the Barbados passport was already recognised as number one in the Caribbean, and ranked globally at number 25.

Ms. Inniss added that the new passport boasted of enhanced security features which would maintain the high ranking worldwide and within the region.

Immigration Officer II, Kareem Carter, explained that the new passports featured intaglio printing, a different type of laminate, a chip, and were more tamper resistant.  In addition, there were a number of features incorporated which could only be detected using a special UV light.

The lifespan of the ordinary passport is 10 years, while that of the official and diplomatic passports is five years.

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