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Belize Launches an E-Passport System

Technology is changing the way travel and ePassports will soon be coming to Belize. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration, the passport system will migrate to what’s called the Electronic Passport Issuance and Control System or ePICS. A release says that yesterday an initial meeting was held with the project stakeholders including the Department of Nationality and Passports and the Belize Police Department. Topics at this session included the project management in reference to the scope of the project, deliverables, timelines, communication, and team roles. Currently, the ministry is hosting a team from the Canadian Bank Note Limited (CBN). For the next two weeks, the CBN and the ministry’s teams will be in technical meetings with the project stakeholders. This includes visits to the offices in Corozal Town, Belize City, and Belmopan, the only three locations where Belizeans can currently apply for passports. When the new ePICS system comes online in August 2022, acceptance of applications will be extended to offices in Punta Gorda Town, Independence Village, Dangriga Town, and Orange Walk Town. Additionally, there will be an online portal for renewals. The new ePICS system and ePassports will not only be incredibly secure, but will allow for efficient processing through modern border management systems. It will open Belizeans to travel globally with less restrictions. The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), the Belize Tourism Board, and the Ministry of Foreign Trade were integral players during the design phase of the new ePassports./