ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- The government of Antigua and Barbuda has commenced receiving application for a new electronic passport (ePassport) to be officially rolled out later this month.
The ePassport, which will facilitate safe and secure travel, is becoming the international norm in travel documents. They allow for technologically advanced features including an embedded electronic chip to prevent fraud. The electronic chip stores the personal information as that which is recorded on the second page that is the data page, except for the signature. Once the personal information is encoded (stored) on the chip it cannot be modified without invalidating the passport.
The new Antigua and Barbuda ePassport will contain 48 pages with each page containing watermarks depicting national images.
The new system allows for all information (data) to be captured when an application is presented. The information from the application will be entered and stored electronically. Applicants are still required to bring the supporting documentation along with the application to include photos, birth, baptismal, marriage certificate and any other document which supports their claim of citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda.
The new system will allow the Passport Office to capture a live signature, as well as a live photo. A new passport application form has been designed to be used with the system. This form will be introduced at a later date.
The fee for the new passport remains the same. Fees are paid in postage stamps from the appropriate vendors. Persons holding valid passports are not yet required to change their passports.