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CEO of Immigration outlines rationale for increase in Belizean passport prices

Posted: Sunday, April 9, 2023. 5:36 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: The recent 400% increase in the price of Belizean passports has caused concern and confusion among the public. However, the Chief Executive Officer of Immigration, Gilroy Middleton, has outlined the rationale behind the increase.

According to Middleton, the increase in passport prices is more in line with regional and global standards for similar documents. Additionally, the new world-class E-passport has an intrinsic higher cost due to its modern technology and security features.

Middleton noted that the old passport was 17 years old and the fee had not been updated to reflect its age. He explained that when the new document was introduced in October of last year, a decision was made by the Cabinet to hold off on the actual fee. However, the Cabinet has now decided to implement the new fee, which is a break-even cost, meaning the government is not in this to make a profit.

The new fee for children is $150, while adults will pay $200 for the passport. Middleton emphasized that the government is looking to provide a world-class, secure document and has opted to join the IKO-PKD, which is a further security enhancement in which countries that join this group share their passport information.

This move will allow Belize to authenticate passports from other countries quickly and vice versa. Middleton stated that the increase in passport fees is not a reflection of inflation but a reflection of the nationality and passport department moving into the future and embracing technology.

While the price hike may come as a shock to some, the rationale behind it is clear. The new E-passport will provide enhanced security and will be on par with global standards for similar documents. The public can be assured that the government is not looking to make a profit but is investing in the security and future of Belize.


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