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#457193 - 02/04/13 07:53 AM New rules to obtain a Belize passport
Marty Offline
The passports regulation has been revised and amended to take effect on March 1. According to the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality, the amendments are intended to strengthen the application process and to ensure that persons applying for passports are who they say they are and are Belizeans. The Department of Immigration and nationality will be conducting a countrywide campaign to introduce the new process to the public.

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The Belizean public will learn the ins and outs of getting a new passport through an education campaign that the Department of Immigration and Nationality will be conducting throughout the country.

This campaign will familiarize Belizeans with the changes in the new application form, and the ways in which the application process has been improved. It is expected that the new procedures to acquire a new Belize passport will make it more difficult for non-Belizean citizens to get a passport to which they are not entitled.

The minister responsible for Immigration, Minister of Labor, Local Government, and Rural Development Senator Godwin Hulse, signed Statutory Instrument No. 16 on January 17, and it was published in the Government Gazette on January 19. The ministry will announce the timeline for this campaign later, but the new rules take effect on Friday, March 1.

The Reporter


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#459024 - 02/27/13 08:50 AM Re: New rules to obtain a Belize passport [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
NEW PASSPORT APPLICATION PROCESS IMPLEMENTED

The application process for attaining a Belizean passport has been revised and will go into effect as of Friday, March 1, 2013. A countrywide awareness campaign will be launched to inform the public of the new procedures.

Six application forms have been added to the revised process, including specific forms for minors, adults, persons living abroad, and for persons applying for a passport replacement. This procedure will also apply to applications for a renewal of passports. Also, application forms will now need to be signed by various authorized personnel; this particular adjustment applies to section five of the application form, the Authentication of Application.

For persons under 16 years of age, a recommender must be provided and there are two forms that must be filled out. Form 4-A must be filled out by a Justice of the Peace, minister of religion, medical practitioner, notary public, or an attorney at law. Form 4-B must be filled out by a member of the House of Representatives, chief executive officer in any ministry of the Government, a head of department, or a licensed teacher.

Persons 16 years and older must complete forms 3-A and 3-B. For Belizeans living abroad, they must complete form five from the Belize Foreign Mission. Form six is for the declaration of a lost, stolen, or mutilated passport.

Application fees for passports have also been revised. For persons 16 years and older, the application fee is $50, and $30 for minors. For a passport that was lost, damaged, or stolen, the fee is $85 for adults and $55 for minors.

For applications in the case of a medical emergency, the fee is $100 for adults and $60 for minors. For an expedited passport to be processed within 24 hours, the fee is $200; for processing within 48 hours, the fee is $100; and for processing within 3-5 working days it’s $50.

According to Immigration officials, the amendments will strengthen the application process, ensure that applicants are indeed of Belizean nationality, and remove the gaps that are used by those who try to attain a passport illegally.

Amandala

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#459196 - 03/01/13 07:43 AM Re: New rules to obtain a Belize passport [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Change In Passport Procedures Produces Panic

Starting tomorrow, there will be new requirements imposed by the Immigration Department for persons applying for passports. One of those new requirements includes an addition of a second recommender for the person making the passport application. According to the Immigration Department, these new measures are being put in place to ensure the security of the process. But for some Belizeans, this new passport regulation simply complicates an already complex application process. And so, crowds thronged to the immigration office today and lined up both inside and outside the corridor trying to beat the new system.

Mario Arzu
"Actually it's one of our peak seasons for applications when Easter comes around. The other part is also because of the new application process that should take effect tomorrow March 1st. I guess Belizeans also wants to take advantage of the old application process which may appear to be less cumbersome than the new application process that should take effect tomorrow, so they are trying to put in their application before the deadline."

Monica Bodden
"Tell us about the new application and why the change?"

Mario Arzu
"The new application process why that comes about primarily for two reasons; one, that the applicant say exactly who they are and that we could verify indeed that that individual is who they are and secondly that the applicant is indeed a Belizean national. That's the fundamental reasons why this new application process is coming on stream tomorrow and it just kind of make it a more extensive that you have two sets of applications now; one for minors and one for adults. Likewise the recommenders have change; back in the days all we needed as a JP and that would have taken care of the application, now we have a class A and a class B recommender to make easier one from the private sector and one from the public sector. The ones from the private sector are the attorneys at law. You have the medical practitioners, justices of the peace and the notary public. The one from the public sector are the heads of department, members of the House, license teachers and the CEOs from the Ministries of Government - that's basically the two; Class A and Class B. We try to fill it within the 12 working days or if you are applying from the districts it would be 20 working days. The production time still remains. We try to keep it within what we did when it was the old application process. What changes is just the application and the way it's done where we require more documents from the applicant and require more supporting from the ones that have acquire Belizean nationality as well as the Belizeans that are applying for the first time."

Other changes in the application process include the addition of expedited services. A passport delivered in 24 hours will now be available for a fee of 200 dollars. For 48 hours it will be a fee of 100 dollars and 3 to 5 days services will now be a fee of 50 dollars.

Also, persons who are making applications from foreign missions will asked to fill out an additional form as well as those who have damaged or lost their passports.

Channel 7


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#459203 - 03/01/13 08:13 AM Re: New rules to obtain a Belize passport [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

New regulations introduced for passport application

Starting on March 1, 2013 there will be many changes to adhere to when renewing or applying for a new Belizean Passport. The Ministry of Immigration and Nationality recently unveiled the new regulations for the application process. The changes are being implemented in order to facilitate legal travel procedures abroad and to safeguard the validity of the nationality of a person. Passports will only be given out to Belizean nationals. Apart from the new regulations for the application process, there is also a revised application form.

The revised application forms consist of two separate forms, one for minors and one for adults. Minors (anyone below the age of 16) filing for a passport must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, and their passport is valid for five years. Any applicant 16 or older can file independently for a passport which is valid for ten years. Together with the completed application form,the person must submit a certificate of birth along with a form of photo identification; no driver’s licenses will be accepted. Two recent passport size photos must be presented along with a police record, previous passport (with the exception of first time applicants),a form filled by a Class A recommender and a form filled by a Class B recommender. Class A recommenders can be a Justice of the Peace, Minister of Religion, Medical Practitioner, Notary Public or Attorney at Law, while Class B recommenders are Members of the House of Representatives. After the application form is completed, it takes a month to process the request.

Belizean nationals living in the United States of America, United Kingdom and Taiwan can also apply for a Belizean Passport at their respective Belize Foreign Missions situated in Los Angeles California, Chicago Illinois, New York New York, Washington D.C., London and Taipei. Applicants residing in the country can submit applications to passports offices located in Belize City, the city of Belmopan, Corozal Town, Orange Walk Town, San Pedro Town, Dangriga Town or Punta Gorda Town.

For more information or for application forms, persons are welcome to contact the Immigration and Nationality Office San Pedro Branch at 206-2086. They can also visit the office located on Coconut Drive above Scotiabank.


San Pedro Sun


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#459205 - 03/01/13 08:20 AM Re: New rules to obtain a Belize passport [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Passport Office flooded to beat technology transition

If you plan to attend the games in Costa Rica you probably intend to make sure your visa requirements are updated in your passport. But today was not the day for a regular visit to the Passport Office. Dozens of Belizeans flocked to the Passport Office in Belize City in a last-minute effort to apply for or renew their travel documents without being subjected to a new set of requirements to be implemented on Friday.  As of March first, the Immigration and Nationality Department will be implementing a new system for the application and processing of passports. While the standard processing time, as well as, the applicable fees remains the same, the transition to a modern system will ensure that irregularities within the process are minimal.  According to Port Commander Mario Arzu, the new system is designed to guarantee proof of identity and nationality.

Mario Arzu, Port Commander, Immigration & Nationality Dept.

Mario Arzu

“The application process will just entail the submission of two separate applications depending on whether you’re an adult or you’re a minor.  This new process, as opposed to the older process, will require that you use two recommenders for each application whether adult or minor.  As opposed to this present process which you only require a Justice of the Peace or a Head of Department, this one will require two sets that we refer to as a Class A or a Class B recommender.”

Isani Cayetano

“It would seem as though there is a frenzy taking place outside of the Passport Office with regards to this impending change.  Can you explain to us what is taking place outside at the moment?”

Mario Arzu

“Well, since the sensitization period commenced on Monday the Belizean public has embarked on trying to beat the deadline to get their passports without having to go through the new application process which should commence tomorrow.  Since Monday we have received well above what we generally get on a regular application day.  Of course again this may or may not be tied into the fact that we are approaching the Easter season and as well this is our peak period when it comes to passport applications.  So I guess the Belizeans are just trying to get their applications in before tomorrow.”

Isani Cayetano

“In terms of the length of the process, from application to issuance, does anything change?”

Mario Arzu

“No, not necessarily.  We are trying to continue to be as efficient with the delivery dates.  The twelve days as applied under the previous application process and the twenty days for out-district stations.  But we still try to maintain that efficiency of delivery of passports within the specified time.”

Isani Cayetano

“Transitioning from old to new would imply that there is some kind of modernization or improvement with the way the system works with this particular process.  How foolproof is it in terms of the securities and what is being sought of each individual applicant?”

Mario Arzu

“What we intend to do with this new application process is to do, is to achieve two fundamental issues, or two fundamental tenets of what we consider this document should be able to represent.  One, that the individual indeed is who they say they are by the supporting documents and the application that they would be submitting and two, that the individual receiving this document is indeed a Belizean national.”

Channel 5


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#459331 - 03/03/13 07:52 AM Re: New rules to obtain a Belize passport [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Passport System Enters The Technology Era, Finally

If you are thinking about renewing your passport or applying for one then you should know that there are some new application processes to follow which came into effect today March 1st 2013. According to the Immigration Department new passport regulations will strengthen the application process, ensure that applicants are indeed of Belizean nationality, and remove the gaps that are used by those who try to attain a passport illegally. While the standard time frame for receiving the document remains the same six application forms have been added to the new process, including detailed forms for minors, adults, persons living abroad, and for persons applying for a passport replacement. The same procedure will apply for a renewal of passports.

Another change recorded in the system is that the application forms will now need to be signed by various authorized personnel. For persons under 16 years of age, a recommender must be provided and there are two forms that must be filled out. Form 4-A must be filled out by a Justice of the Peace, minister of religion, medical practitioner, notary public, or an attorney at law. Form 4-B must be filled out by a member of the House of Representatives, chief executive officer in any ministry of the Government, a head of department, or a licensed teacher. Persons 16 years and older must complete forms 3-A and 3-B. For Belizeans living abroad, they must complete form five from the Belize Foreign Mission. Form six is for the declaration of a lost, stolen, or mutilated passport. This particular adjustment applies to section five of the application form, the Authentication of Application.

And just in case you are wondering, application fees for passports have also been revised. For persons 16 years and older, the application fee is $50.00, and $30.00 for minors. For a passport that was lost, damaged, or stolen, the fee is $85.00 for adults and $55.00 for minors. For applications in the case of a medical emergency, the fee is $100 for adults and $60 for minors. For an expedited passport to be processed within 24 hours the fee is $200.00 while the processing within 48 hours is $100; and for processing within 3 to 5 working days it’s $50.00.

CTV3

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