Belizeans React to Increase in Prices of Passport and Passport Prices
Yesterday, we told you about the increase in prices of passports and passport services. The new fees are expected to take effect today. The updated fees represent a substantial increase over the previous rates, with the new cost of a 10-year adult passport set at $200. This marks a 400% increase from the previous fee of $50. Additionally, the fee for minors has increased from $30 to $150, representing a 500% increase. Today, when people visited the Passport Office in Belmopan for their appointments, they were surprised to know the new prices. One woman says she made her appointment in January, when the price was fifty dollars. She says it is unfair for her to pay the increased price.
Resident: “When I reached to the customer service I said “Miss is it true the passport price increased ?” and she said “Yes to $200.” and I asked her “Although if I made my appointment from end of January will I be paying the $200?” and she said yes it’s law now so you have to pay the $200 and so I went ahead and only did one of my kids’ passports.”
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: Why ?
Resident: “Well if they said it already implemented at $200 I can’t do anything about it. I didn’t have enough money to pay for all of us so I just did the older one.”
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: So tell us when you applied for your passport.
Resident: “I applied from the ending of January online and everything said adult was $50 for two months and the $30 for the minor for two months and that is what I applied for so I think if I applied for that that’s what I should pay. Everybody who applied for online should pay what you signed up for, registered for and I don’t think it’s fair that now I come I have to pay $200. I think it’s very unfair because when I applied online it said that the passport is $50 it didn’t say $200 it said $50 so that is what I should pay today. That’s what I came prepared for, to pay $50. People come all the way from down south and had to go back home because they can’t afford it. And after I received my ticket at the window and the security told us to wait outside a little bit we waited and I told him to cancel our rest of appointments for our other kids because I can’t afford that I will only do one today. And he said Ma’am you don’t have to worry about that because a whole lot of people haven’t come.”
We also spoke to other individuals at the Immigration Department, who explained that they too were surprised to know that the price had increased. They say that at this point, Belizeans cannot afford another increase in anything.
Resident: “It is a ridiculous amount. I think the passport is supposed to stay at $50 and then that’s the way you do it because every other thing is raising so with passport the only people that travel will use passport but they themselves are having problems with that 100%. It’s ridiculous to have that.”
Resident: “Well I believe this is ridiculous the price. Everything is really expensive now and imagine now I am a mother of two and one hundred and fifty for the passport now that’s totally ridiculous.”
Resident: “I think it was too large a jump. Like right now I need five passports to be renewed and that is a hell of a lot more. That is my take on it. It went up too much too sudden and things are rough right now. I mean everybody knows it.”
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: So what would be your message to the government to say it’s too much ?
Resident: “All I could say is that it’s a high jump and the poor people this is a licking for who have to travel or who have to renew their passports.”