Time to replace your non-machine readable passports

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Time to replace your non-machine readable passports
Old passports
Old passports are now being phased out with machine-readable ones. * GIS photo

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 – October 15, 2012 marks the official recall date of all non-machine readable passports.

It was in 2007 when the government of Saint Lucia took the decision to support the introduction of Machine Readable Passports for the citizens of Saint Lucia.    In March of that same year, the Saint Lucia Immigration Department began to issue the Machine Readable Passports to citizens of Saint Lucia.

This new system is in compliance with the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation ICAO, the organisation that governs the specifications and guidelines for travel documents.

The introduction of the Machine Readable Passports is to enhance the security of travelling documents to avoid counterfeiting and fraudulent alterations.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Security, to date 83,317 machine readable passports have been issued.

Citizens of Saint Lucia who presently carry a non-machine readable passports will be required to apply for a machine-readable passport at the Immigration Department on Bridge Street, Castries.

The recall will be effective until October 31, 2013.

At the end of the recall, citizens of Saint Lucia will not be permitted to travel with the non-machine readable passports.

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