A permanent office that can facilitate applications for Dominica e-passports will soon be established in the United Arab Emirates, explains CS Global Partners
Dominica biometric passports
LONDON, Feb. 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Commonwealth of Dominica has given citizens, including those who participated in the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, the deadline of August 30, 2022, to replace their machine-readable passports with a new E-passport. Minister for National Security and Home Affairs Rayburn Blackmoore made the announcement at a year in review press conference for his ministry last month.
According to the Minister, overseas passport stations will also be launched in London, UK and New York, USA. All international offices are forecasted to be operational in the next five months.
What is an E-passport?
An E-passport (also known as a biometric passport or a digital passport) is a traditional passport with an embedded electronic chip containing biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of the passport holder. Digital encryption is used to confirm the data stored electronically in the passport chip, making it expensive and difficult to forge when all security mechanisms are fully and correctly implemented.
Malaysia was the first country to issue biometric passports in 1998. In mid-2019, that number increased to over 150 countries issuing such passports.
How are E-passports different from machine-readable passports?
The new document, which launched in Dominica in July 2021, replaces the machine-readable passports and includes both overt and covert security features that are woven into the design.
Dominica’s biometric passports store the holder’s personal information on a microchip embedded in the document. This includes biometric face, fingerprint, and iris data, all of which can verify the holder’s identity while travelling. The Dominican Government previously noted that the document is compatible with the country’s new e-Gates, which means that holders can use them to pass through border checkpoints more quickly. The e-Gates were part of a $13 million project to update the Dominican border in anticipation of the biometric passports.
Why is Dominica switching to E-passports?
In a statement announcing the upgrades, Minister Blackmoore said that the move to biometric passports in March 2021 made Dominica the only country, except for the Bahamas, to have those improved passports in the Caribbean.
According to him, migrating from basic machine-readable passports to biometric E-passports is the “most important aspect” in improving the country’s border systems.
“Given the pace at which the world is currently moving and the emphasis internationally for improved security systems as well as the demand for safer and more secure systems, there’s also a universal demand for more efficient and secure travel documents that are acceptable by all and that are in keeping with relevant international standards and protocols.”
At the launch last year, Dominica’s Tourism Minister Denise Charles said that “electronic passports should make the immigration checkpoint process much faster and would allow immigration officers to quickly authenticate travels, first providing protection against identity theft and fraud.”
She also said that the new venture would improve linkages with the CARICOM Joint Regional Communications Centre (CJRRCC) as well as International Police (Interpol).
Who can upgrade to an E-passport?
All citizens of Dominica can replace their machine-readable passports with an E-passport. Biometric passports will also be issued to those who have gained citizenship through Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme. The Programme offers citizenship to foreign nationals who make a qualifying investment in the island’s Economic Diversification Fund or select real estate projects.
Where can citizens upgrade to E-passports?
Minister Blackmoore said that his ministry has developed plans to guide Dominicans during the transition to E-passports in the upcoming months.
Citizens in Dominica:
In Dominica’s capital Roseau, space has been created at the immigration and passport office to ensure additional staff for the smooth transition. The immigration department will also receive extra equipment, which Minister Blackmoore says will enable quicker processing of applications.
He further disclosed that two mobile kits that have the capacity for recognition and data capture from any location will be deployed initially in major communities around Dominica, including Portsmouth, Mahaut, St Joseph, Vielle Case, La Plaine and Grand Bay. The immigration team will be available for two days at each location to afford citizens ample time to get the necessary documents for submission for the new E-passport in the upcoming weeks.
Blackmoore also said that passport application forms will be available at police stations and the government’s website.
Dominicans residing overseas will also be allowed to renew their passport abroad. Citizens can apply through the various international Dominican consulates or the soon to come permanent offices in the UAE, London or New York that will be fully equipped to facilitate all application processes, including data and image capture.
Until the permanent offices are operational, mobile kits will be deployed overseas to Canada, Texas, Florida, and some Caribbean countries to undertake registration.
“A team consisting of police officers have already been selected to travel to the various locations across the globe to ensure that as many Dominicans as possible can be given access to registration for the new E-passports.”
About Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme
Dominica has been ranked best for its Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme for five years by the Financial Times’ PWM magazine. Applicants who pass the necessary due diligence checks receive Dominica’s citizenship and can apply for the country’s passport, which grants global mobility to 75 percent of the world. Being a citizen of Dominica also means living, working, and travelling on the Caribbean island whenever you want and passing the citizenship on for generations to come.
Dominica’s CBI Programme is legally entrenched in law. Since local law does not contain any restrictions on holding dual nationality, obtaining second citizenship through investment in the country is confidential. In addition to having no physical residency obligation, Dominica’s CBI Programme has no language, age, business experience, or educational requirements, and there is no mandatory interview.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/