NATION

Fijian Passports Processed In London, PM Announces

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday opened a new facility to process passports at the Fiji High Commission in London.
01 Dec 2019 13:12
Fijian Passports Processed In London, PM Announces
Akuila Cakacaka (back left), Akjot Singh and George Jioji (receiving the passport on behalf of Elnathan Cakacaka), with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

 

Fijians who live in the United Kingdom and nearby countries will no longer have to travel to Fiji to obtain or renew a passport.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday opened a new facility to process passports at the Fiji High Commission in London.

He said in the coming weeks, these same services will be made available across our foreign missions.

“These new e-Passports are only the latest of a range of new developments that are bringing Fiji fully into the 21st century. We’re introducing the life-changing benefits of the digital revolution across our economy, from transportation to education, to broadcast television, to more affordable and efficient Government services,” he said.

“When I say “e-Passports” I don’t mean our passports are going entirely online. On the surface, these new passports look very similar; we’re still talking about physical passport books printed with covers of beautiful Fiji-blue, but we can’t judge a passport by its cover.

“The new bio-data page – for example – is a polycarbonate, seven-layer heat pressed page printed with multi-imaging techniques.

“These new features allow us to consolidate security requirements at our own borders and ease travel at ports of entry around the globe.”

 

Security features

Mr Bainimarama said they contained a new range of security features that would make it far more difficult for people to enter the country illegally.

He said they would establish a more secure Fijian passport, bringing greater integrity to our immigration system.

“So, we’re not only making Fiji safer, we’re making travelling easier. We’re also setting Fiji up for wider visa-free status access around the world, and I hope to have updates and announcements about this in the future as we continue to actively push nations of the world to allow Fijian travellers to move freely to work, play, and visit their families abroad.

“Thanks to industry-leading technology incorporated by Germany’s Mühlbauer ID Services –– whose very same security features are found in passports in countries like Australia, New Zealand and the United States –– Fijian e-Passport holders will also be protected against forgery, identity theft, and passport tampering and reproduction.”

 

e-Passport rollout

He said with the rollout of our new e-Passports, Fiji officially joined the ranks of 54 other countries from around the globe that had already engrained such technology within their passports.

Given the size of our Diaspora community in the UK, the Government saw our High Commission in London as a fitting first location for our decentralised passport issuance system, he added.

“Friends, for some of you, it has been years since you last lived in Fiji. For others, it may have even been decades. But as Fijians, you each hold a connection to our country that no length of time nor measure of distance can ever diminish.

“Some of you may know, I’m now on Facebook. You can find my profile by visiting facebook-dot-com-slash-FijiPM, or by searching @ FijiPM.

“And I wanted to thank those of you in the UK who follow my page and share words of encouragement, prayers and well wishes for Fiji’s success – it means a great deal to me personally. I feel truly blessed to lead a nation that continues to inspire such passion in the hearts of Diaspora community members.”.

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