BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Tuesday September 18, 2018 – Barbados’ Immigration Department has started phasing out machine-readable passport in favour of an e-passport, following a recommendation by the International Civil Aviation Authority as the new standard to be adopted for travel document issuance.
As a result, anyone applying for a Barbados passport for the first time, or seeking to renew one will be issued with the new e-passport.
Chief Immigration Officer Wayne Marshall explained that the new travel document is biometrically enabled with a chip and antenna in the cover that enhances the security features.
“It would be more difficult to replace an e-passport because there is a chip in the actual cover. Anyone seeking to replicate the passport would have to remove the chip and ensure that it has the same information as on the biodata page,” he said.
Marshall added that the chip would capture the same biometric information – facial representation and biodata – as the machine readable passports. However, the Chief Immigration Officer pointed out that the computer chip in the cover could not be easily accessed, replicated or changed.
He stressed that the more security features a passport had, the more accepted it was by countries around the world.
“Barbados is moving towards it because of the security features and to maintain the high standard of the Barbados passport,” he stated.
However, Marshall recommended that persons wait until their passports expire before applying for a new one.
“There is no urgency to get the e-passport versus the machine readable one because it will be used in a similar way. The machine readable passport will be accepted even though the e-passport is in circulation,” he said.