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Feb 28, 2013

Passport Office flooded to beat technology transition

If you plan to attend the games in Costa Rica you probably intend to make sure your visa requirements are updated in your passport. But today was not the day for a regular visit to the Passport Office. Dozens of Belizeans flocked to the Passport Office in Belize City in a last-minute effort to apply for or renew their travel documents without being subjected to a new set of requirements to be implemented on Friday.  As of March first, the Immigration and Nationality Department will be implementing a new system for the application and processing of passports. While the standard processing time, as well as, the applicable fees remains the same, the transition to a modern system will ensure that irregularities within the process are minimal.  According to Port Commander Mario Arzu, the new system is designed to guarantee proof of identity and nationality.

 

Mario Arzu, Port Commander, Immigration & Nationality Dept.

Mario Arzu

“The application process will just entail the submission of two separate applications depending on whether you’re an adult or you’re a minor.  This new process, as opposed to the older process, will require that you use two recommenders for each application whether adult or minor.  As opposed to this present process which you only require a Justice of the Peace or a Head of Department, this one will require two sets that we refer to as a Class A or a Class B recommender.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“It would seem as though there is a frenzy taking place outside of the Passport Office with regards to this impending change.  Can you explain to us what is taking place outside at the moment?”

 

Mario Arzu

“Well, since the sensitization period commenced on Monday the Belizean public has embarked on trying to beat the deadline to get their passports without having to go through the new application process which should commence tomorrow.  Since Monday we have received well above what we generally get on a regular application day.  Of course again this may or may not be tied into the fact that we are approaching the Easter season and as well this is our peak period when it comes to passport applications.  So I guess the Belizeans are just trying to get their applications in before tomorrow.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“In terms of the length of the process, from application to issuance, does anything change?”

 

Mario Arzu

“No, not necessarily.  We are trying to continue to be as efficient with the delivery dates.  The twelve days as applied under the previous application process and the twenty days for out-district stations.  But we still try to maintain that efficiency of delivery of passports within the specified time.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Transitioning from old to new would imply that there is some kind of modernization or improvement with the way the system works with this particular process.  How foolproof is it in terms of the securities and what is being sought of each individual applicant?”

 

Mario Arzu

“What we intend to do with this new application process is to do, is to achieve two fundamental issues, or two fundamental tenets of what we consider this document should be able to represent.  One, that the individual indeed is who they say they are by the supporting documents and the application that they would be submitting and two, that the individual receiving this document is indeed a Belizean national.”

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4 Responses for “Passport Office flooded to beat technology transition”

  1. Storm says:

    Requiring passport applicants to be fingerprinted would make the system a LOT more secure.

    Official recommendations is just a way for corruptable officials to make a little extra money, selling their signatures on government letterhead paper.

  2. no news says:

    The Hezbollah special is still available after March 1, just the fees are going up on passports, along with birth certificates and driver licenses.

    Another major government incident, lost and forgotten, under the ongoing insanity.
    any bets this will never resurface from “investigation”, leading to convictions, and prison time?

    Perhaps it will be like the Toledo-plane-coke-bust, no conviction, those old GOB jobs waiting until retirement. just don’t get caught next time, it embarrasses Hezbollah and the Cartels and those that work for them.

  3. Al says:

    Speaking of the coke bust @ no news wasn’t one of the officers busted a driver for some government person?. There is the answer to that problem all washed away by the man in charge. Rotten rotten government, I bet someone will still find a way around this new system. A thief will invent ways to steal no stopping them.

  4. Seletar says:

    Who designed the new changes to our passport process? I hope we got outside expert help.

    There is no reason our passports are any less secure than those of the US, Brits, and every other advanced nation. With computers it just isn’t that hard to succeed.

    Hopefully the changes will end abuse of our passports and corruption in the government offices. I’m holding my breath to find out.

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