Fiji resorts to issuing Certificates of Identity as they run out of passports. This is the third purchase of new passports in a year and indicates a serious lack of faith in our Fiji future. Immigration must be short of funds to fall behind on such a basic item as passports.
Ministry need more passports
Sunday, January 02, 2011
A TOTAL of 2500 new blank passports arrive in the country before the month end.
Director Immigration Major Nemani Vuniwaqa said he expected to receive the balance of 17,500 passports by March.
With the limited number of passports in stock, all applications received by the department will be treated on a case by case basis.
"Priority will be given to those who need to travel abroad for urgent medical treatment," he said.
Major Vuniwaqa said they would try to accommodate requests from citizens wanting to travel abroad while there were those who could use Certificates of Identity (CI).
But while all the countries in the region including Australia accept CI, New Zealand does not.
He said the US does not accept CI for security reasons.
"People travelling from the UK to Fiji can use the certificate but to travel from Fiji to the UK there are obstacles from some countries," he said
"For students in the new year, if we are unable to issue them with passports then they will be issued with Certificates of Identity (CI).
"Hopefully 17,500 blank passports will arrive by the end of March 2011.
"We understand the inconvenience members of the public are facing but at the same time we are trying our very best to deal with the issue at hand to the best of our abilities," he said.
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