Castries, Saint Lucia: Minister for Home Affairs, Dr Virginia Albert Poyotte, paid an unscheduled visit to the passport office on August 4, in effort to remain apprised of the ePassport transition process.
Saint Lucia’s transition to the ePassport commenced on July 25. Since then, the passport office has been confronted with some internal challenges while the public has had to grapple with extended waiting periods and long lines.
Minister Albert-Poyotte said management has assured that everything possible is being done to reduce the inconveniences suffered by the public while also ensuring staff is as comfortable as possible.
Meantime, Assistant Superintendent, Sean Alexander, assured the public that a new set of logistics are now in effect that will gradually reduce the extended wait times.
“We are still seeing only 50 persons on collection days which are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. However, despite only handing out 50 passports, we typically process more than 50 because an officer runs the lines in the mornings and finds out what emergencies persons have. So if they have to travel for school, scholarships, medical emergencies and such, we also take that into consideration.
The Home Affairs Minister said that the Prime Minister and Cabinet of Ministers shall continue to support the ePassport transition, commencing with an injection of more staff to help expedite the processing and delivery of passports.