Black Immigrant Daily News
The newly designed Barbados passport which boasts of new security features and highlights cultural landmarks started rolling out on Monday, December 12.
“I would like to announce that the new passport, the new design passport, with all of the new security features – it really is a collector’s item passport – is now ready. We are transitioning to the new passport effective immediately,” announced Minister of Home Affairs and Information, Wilfred Abrahams during a press conference at his Ministry’s Wildey, St Michael offices on Monday.
The Minister explained that locals will have two passports until the old passport is “renewed out of the system”.
“A lot of people have delayed renewing their passports because we spoke about this earlier, and people knew these passports were coming.
“We are going to have a backup of people applying for passports in a very short order but we have enough passports to service everybody. For those who apply after today, then you’re going to get what you want which is the brand new passport.”
Abrahams also disclosed that the business passport will be discontinued. He explained that the business passport is now obsolete because “it makes more sense to have a standard book”.
“Once upon a time, everywhere you went, they stamp in your passport, and business persons by virtue of travelling more often, their passports got full a lot quicker so the businessman’s passport had additional pages.
It was a thicker passport, but in many places now, they don’t necessarily stamp the passport on entry. They definitely don’t stamp it on leaving, you swipe the passport, so the passports actually last a lot longer.
“We took the decision to phase out the businessman’s passport because it makes more sense to have a standard book, so you’re not ordering different stock. You have one book that you can use for everybody. And it just makes it a lot easier to control and it makes it more secure,” he explained.
The Home Affairs Minister assured that the new passport was “top of the line, first-rate, first-class, very, very secure” and met international standards.
The passport includes local attractions such as the rock at Bathsheba, Kensington Oval, and Farley Hill to name a few. The passport’s security features are embedded in the images.
Chief immigration officer Margaret Inniss described the new passport as “a 21st-century passport”. Recognising that the Barbados passport is in the top 25 of the Global Passport Index Ranking, the chief immigration stated this new state-of-the-art design reflected Barbados was truly number one in the region.
“As we all know and for years, it has been established basically by most persons – not necessarily us ourselves – that Barbados is perhaps the number one passport in the Caribbean. For many years that has been said and printed. Globally, we rank perhaps 25th, and this passport, as its design has been designed not only with greater or enhanced security features, but certainly to keep us in the highest ranking worldwide wherever we go and within the region,” Inniss remarked.