Dominica Soon to Become Second in the Caribbean to Service Biometric Passports

The Commonwealth of Dominica in the Caribbean has announced that it intends to invest around $13 million to upgrade and improve its border management system. Rayburn Blackmoore, the Minister for National Security and Home Affairs, revealed the new plan on August 24, which includes implementing the ability to service biometric passports.

Blackmoore indicated that the initiative would help officials to create a watchlist for persons of interest, and more readily and reliably keep officers apprised of information on passengers and cargo entering the country. He emphasized that e-passports will enable systems to log travelers’ fingerprints as they enter the country and facilitate the inspection of secondary information.

“The most important aspect in our border security improvement is our migration from the machine-readable passport to our e-passport or biometric passport, which is almost counterfeit-proof,” Blackmoore noted. “In March of 2021, we will be moving to new biometric passports in Dominica and Dominica will be the only country, except for the Bahamas to have those improved passports in the Caribbean, and that is development.”

Besides moving forward with new biometric passport processing, Dominica’s government also recently announced the approval of 231 properties that it plans on acquiring in order to build the island’s first international airport. Over the past few years, US$5 million from the nation’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program has been specifically set aside each month to fund the construction of the new airport.

Dominica’s CBI program, which enables foreign nationals to acquire second citizenship by investing in the country’s economy, is among the oldest in the world and is known for its exemplary practices. Those who become Dominican citizens enjoy the right to live, work and study on the island; as well as travel to nearly 150 international destinations, with which Dominica has agreements, either visa-free or with visa-on-arrival.

The Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine has ranked Dominica has the world’s best CBI offering for the last three years in a row, due, in part, to its extensive due diligence procedures, efficiency and affordability.

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