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#454245 - 12/28/12 02:22 PM Immigration hurts small business photographers
Marty Offline
Immigration puts 40 small business photographers out of business nationwide

Nationwide, the BELIZE IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT has put out of business about 40 private sector passport photo photographer shops NATIONWIDE in the last month with a new photo MONOPOLY.

Wife went last week for the fourth trip to put in my application for renewal of expired passport.
All the way to Belmopan. New rule, the photographs were invalid as the IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT NOW REQUIRE YOU TO TAKE YOUR PASSPORT PHOTO in their Belmopan office, by their monopoly! Trip before that, a month earlier they rejected my renewal application on the grounds that the it had to be witnessed by a JP in my community, who knew me. Could not use Belmopan JP's. Don't know any J.P.s personally. But got it witnessed here in San Ignacio.

Wife came back from Belmopan Immigration frustrated. 4 photos wasted money. Old expired passport has my photo, I'm the same person. Not good enough. Comparing old passport photo with new 10 year aged photo is beyond their ability????

Somebody needs to give the unelected head of Immigration a KICK IN THE ASS. Think thats a friend of mine, Senator Hulse. He's whacko! In my opinion.

I' m bedridden with CANCER, wife told them. They said they don't care. Got to go in person. Need to rent an ambulance tomorrow and try it again, on my guerney with two attendants. Need renewed passport to go to Guatemala City for radiation treatments. Not available in Belize.

Bet you they say they don't take applications on a Friday now? 6 trips to Belmopan to get my passport renewed and no further ahead after 6 or 7 weeks.. I pity Belizeans out of the country.

Ray Auxillou

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#454261 - 12/28/12 08:41 PM Re: Immigration hurts small business photographers [Re: Marty]
dabunk Offline
When we first moved to Belize my mom fell and broke her hip. So when I went to renew ours and her passport I brought a letter from a doctor. That was no good for them!! Every month we had to load her into our suburban and then wheelchair her into immigration. She was screaming in pain but they did not care at all. Made us do it every month. So sorry to hear how sick you are Ray.

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#454266 - 12/28/12 10:58 PM Re: Immigration hurts small business photographers [Re: Marty]
Amanda Syme Offline
When my baby son was born he was very ill and had to be medi-vacced to the states. We had to get a passport and then a US visa for him. When we took the passport photo the passport officer didn't want to accept the photo as the baby's eyes were closed. We told him the baby was dying and we could prop his eyelids open with toothpicks if necessary. But they did let it slide in the end - and so did the US visa officer.

Unfortunately they are just trying to follow the rules and do their job. With all of the falsifying of documents and identity thefts these days they have to be extra diligent.

I understand we can still get a passport via the San Pedro and Belize City passport offices and the photo is taken at the office with the fancy whiz bang machine that goes with the microchip passport.

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#454278 - 12/29/12 12:32 PM Re: Immigration hurts small business photographers [Re: Amanda Syme]
artisan Offline
Where are these SP and BZ city offices?
Can you get your passport there?

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#454340 - 12/30/12 07:32 PM Re: Immigration hurts small business photographers [Re: Marty]
t42 Offline
Belize City Immigration office on Mahogany street.

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#454377 - 12/31/12 06:09 AM Re: Immigration hurts small business photographers [Re: Marty]
Cooper Offline
Wow, I take my passport photos in front of the wall of my house, just renewed my U.S passport, my Belize drivers license, and take passport photos for others as well. Last one accepted about 4 months ago. I do this for free for friends, and villagers that cant afford the photos. so no big deal if I am out of business. Never thought about how hard this may be on folks that have medical issues, and the elderly. So sorry. What a stupid change.
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#454382 - 12/31/12 01:38 PM Re: Immigration hurts small business photographers [Re: artisan]
Amanda Syme Offline
In the San Pedro office you go to the immigration office. They have the passport application forms which you take away, fill in, get notarized and return. You must put the application in personally because the immigration officer must then take your photo with their fancy computer - I believe this is to fulfill internationally mandated requirements now that we have computerized passports.

I did go through this process 5 years ago with the kids and will be working on renewals for them and myself in the next few weeks.

My old passport expires today and it is the old Belize passport with handwritten info. I understand our new passports will be computer readable and be Caricom passports. I don't know if they will have the biometric chip.

Once the application is submitted it takes a couple of weeks to get the passport which is processed in Belmopan and then delivered to the San Pedro immigration office for pick up.

My friend didn't want to wait that long and went through the express service at the Belize City passport office and I believe she had her passport within a few days.

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