The Ministry of Home Affairs and National Security has announced that Cabinet has approved an extension of the deadline for the national recall of non–machine readable passports from March 31to October 31, 2014.
In 2007, the Government of Saint Lucia took the decision to support the introduction of machine readable passports. In March of that same year, the Saint Lucia Immigration Department began to issue these passports.
This new system is in compliance with the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation – the organisation that governs the specifications and guidelines for travel documents.
The introduction of the machine readable passports is to enhance the security of travel documents and to avoid counterfeiting and fraudulent alterations.
Citizens of Saint Lucia who presently carry non-machine readable passports will be required to apply for machine-readable passports at the Immigration Department in the Lamar Building, on Bridge Street, Castries. The public is encouraged to take full advantage of this seven-month extension. The fees which obtain remain the same.
At the end of the recall, citizens of Saint Lucia will not be permitted to travel with the non-machine readable passports.