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Nov 4, 2021

Electronic Passport System At Midway Point

Today officials from the Ministry of Immigration gathered to mark the midway point in the development of a new e-passport system which will transition Belize towards passports that contain a chip with the holder’s bio-data. Electronic passports are already widely used across the globe and Government is looking forward to our citizens being able to use them at international entry points and possibly obtain visa waivers for the European Union. CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Dr. Gilroy Middleton and Minister of State Ramon Cervantes spoke about the timeline for implementation of the Electronic Passport Issuance and Control System or e-PICS, and what it means for applicants at a brief ceremony today the George Price Centre in Belmopan.


Dr. Gilroy Middleton, CEO Ministry of Immigration

“Cabinet approved the e-passport, e-passport systems in February 2021. In April of 2021, Belize signed an agreement with Caribbean Bank Note Limited in term of procuring the system. Since then, we’ve been working feverishly. We’ve currently worked on the design process, working with our colleagues from NICH from the Belize Tourism Board, and members from the Ministry of Immigration. So we are wrapping up the design process, and now we transition into the actual processing of the passports. So we have the CBN officials here meeting with the officials with different capacities here in the country and visiting the various offices to see where the system will be initialized and we expect this entire process will be finished by July 2022, and first passport will be issued early 2022 in August.”



Ramon Cervantes

Ramon Cervantes, Minister of State, Ministry of Immigration

“Their data will be captured at the districts, the printing will be done in Belmopan, but the data and everything will be captured in the districts so the people don’t have to come to Belmopan or go to Belize City. In the case of Orange Walk, people won’t have to go to Belize City, or Corozal, or Belmopan to apply for a passport because their data will be captured at the station in the district. But the printing yes, will be done in Belmopan.”


It is not yet known if the new e-passport system will speed up the application and issuance of Belizean passports which take on average three to five weeks unless an expedite fee is paid.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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