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Jun 14, 2023

Ministry of Immigration Resolving E-Passport Backlog

The Ministry of Immigration is on its way to clearing the backlog of e-passports yet to be issued. The department ran into issues with supplies due o the sheer number of demands for e-passports over the last several months. More than twenty-five thousand Belizeans have applied for their e-passports in the last six months. The supply of outstanding e-passports are now in country says Gilroy Middleton, the Chief Executive Officer at the Ministry of Immigration. But, if you are seeking an appointment you will have choose a date after September, because the next four months are already booked.


Gilroy Middleton

Gilroy Middleton, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Immigration

“In a simplest sense, it was a, well, it is an economic issue. The demand outweighed the supply, and we requested additional supply back in December from the supplier, Canadian Bank Note, however it takes time to bring all these materials together. Over the last month, we’ve received over like a year and a quarter supply of e- passports, and we’ve been printing, printing, doing overtime, working on getting everything up to date. As of last week, we had cleared March, April, so we’re looking at clearing May. So we’re about one month behind and we’re looking at clearing it. The officers from nationality and passport department have been doing an excellent job working over time. We’re trying to make sure that they’re not burnt out, but we’re clearing the backlog and once we clear that backlog, we don’t expect it to happen again. The suppliers have been informed. We’re looking at the statistics and in terms of getting a new supply, we’re looking at making decisions based on data and it’s over a hundred percent increase in demand. That was not anticipated. So we’re looking at managing it from the data perspectiveSo we started off with fourteen thousand. We went into three thousand backlog that would put us at seventeen thousand and then another five thousand. So we’re looking at some twenty-five thousand passports have already been processed in about a half a year, when in the two previous years we were looking at twenty thousand per year. In terms of the appointments, I’m informed that all appointments have been taken all the way up to September of this year, of this year. So we are looking at other mechanisms in terms of ensuring that customers have access to the service. We’ve initiated an email on our website for individuals that have emergencies, education, medical business and Belizeans visiting home and would like to do a one day appointment.”

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