March 7, 2014

Vincentians damage almost 1,000 passports in one year

Vincentians are not taking care of their passports. This observation was made by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves on Tuesday, when he announced that the new e-passport has a replacement fee of EC$300 attached, if one’s passport is lost or defaced.{{more}}

“We have to increase the cost of replacements. We have too many people allowing their passport to be defaced, or wet up,” Gonsalves said. “We are not taking care of our passports, perhaps because we don’t charge enough for them.”

During his address at the launch of the new travel document, Gonsalves quoted some shocking statistics that show over 900 cases of passport replacements being done in one year.

“Between 2012 November to 2013 November, the Immigration Department received 941 reports of damaged, lost or defaced passports…and that’s just one single year. I want people to get that point,” he said.

He stressed that “individuals have to take care of their passports. It’s an obligation which you have.”

As a way of highlighting the importance of having a passport, the Prime Minister revealed that of a shipment of 25,000 passports that the country received in August of 2012, only 8,201 remain.

The EC$300 replacement fee is in addition to the EC$150 for having a passport issued.

Previously, the replacement fee was EC$200.