The Department of Immigration this afternoon in Accordance with the National Development Plan is undergoing the process of Introducing new Electronic Machine Readable Passports or E-Passports.

This was confirmed by Director of Immigration-Nemani Vuniwaqa.

Due to the Depleting Number of Passports, the Department has come up with a control Measure.

He  says  the temporary drawbacks will be solved upon the delivery of the new E-Passports in 4 to 6 months from Now.

During this Transition Period, the Department wishes to advice the public the previous Traditional passports will gradually phase out resulting in likely Delays effective from Today -the 5th Of February.

The New E-Passports will still have similar Features as the Traditional one with additional features like a electronic microprocessor chip embedded into the Passport and will come at an additional cost.

Vuniwaqa has reassured the public there is no need for Panic as they still have an ample amount of Passports left to cater for Emergency cases.

“For those requesting for renewals if we see the condition of the passport is still in a good condition,still readable, visa pages still available still vacant, we advise this individuals this Applicants to go through endorsement of the same passport for another 10 years with an endorsement fee of $55 and will be done the same day”
He says Talks are in place with a company in Europe on the new E-Passport System.
 He added  they will continue to accept passport applications however, issuance will be restricted to to those seeking urgent medical or  travel emergencies.

Vuniwaqa says the temporary drawbacks will be solved upon the delivery of the new E-Passports. His advised citizens whose passports are about to expire and still have leaflets to apply for renewals.

The introduction of this new System by the Department focuses on strengthening border security and streamline customs and immigration, decreasing passenger processing time and  creating an easier , more efficient travel experience in Fiji.

Fiji will be the third country in the Pacific Region with Tonga and Solomon Islands already having E-Passport system already in Place.

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