News
March 7, 2014
PM defends cost of new e-passports

Despite some early questions about the price of the new e-passport, there is reassurance that the price, compared to several other countries, is quite cheap.{{more}}

During the launching of the new e-passport on Tuesday, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves announced that these new travel documents would be issued at the price of EC$150 for adults and EC$80 for children under the age of 16.

While comparing the prices to other countries who have not yet implemented e-passports, Gonsalves noted that passports in this country are far cheaper than in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

“Cabinet has made the following decisions. In St Vincent, a 10-year passport will be 150 dollars. Currently, a five-year passport is 80 dollars, so that in fact, when you get a 10-year passport, it’s cheaper, because you would have it now for 10 years rather than five years,” he said.

In Dominica, a 10-year passport is $150. Just like what ours would be and theirs is… not an e-passport and for the children, they have $75 – not an e-passport. Ours would be $80. In Antigua, a 10-year passport currently is $200 and a five-year for $100, but they are not e-passports. Barbados, 10 years is BDS$150 and five years is BDS$100. Trinidad is TT$350 for 10 years, which is about EC$175 and for five years, TT$250, which is EC$125 roughly…and they are not, neither Barbados nor Trinidad, has an e-passport.”

According to Gonsalves, St Kitts and Nevis is the only other country in CARICOM, besides St Vincent and the Grenadines, which has implemented the e-passport.

“St Kitts, which is the only e-passport country – St Kitts (and) Nevis is $285. Ours is $135 less…and for the five-year one for the children in St Kitts it is $150 and ours is $80,” the Prime Minister said.

The new e-passport was officially launched on Tuesday. The passport boasts high security features, which include an imbedded chip in the biodata page and a frangible laminate. (BK)