E-Passport Launch

The new Electronic Passport, which replaces the Machine Readable Passport, which was introduced in 2005, will be officially launched today.

Immigration Officials say this new project would be undertaken on a phased basis and is estimated to cost the Government 3.4 million US dollars.

The launching ceremony takes place at the new Immigration Headquarters on Bay Street at nine this morning.

Addresses will come from Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and Managing Director of Lotteries System of Canadian Bank Note, Stuart Gooding.

Immigration Officials say the Electronic Passports are more highly secured and are an upgrade of the previous passport.

They contain additional features, which would further enhance the security of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines passports and would make it extremely difficult to be fraudulently produced.

The Electronic Passports would have a validity of ten years for persons 16 years and older; and five years for persons below the age of 16 years.