Guyanese can now obtain machine-readable passports through Regional Consulates
St. Kitts (SKNVibes) – The government of Guyana has recently implemented a system for Guyanese living outside of that country to apply for the CARICOM machine-readable passports through its Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates.
Speaking with SKNVibes, Guyana’s Honorary Consul to St. Kitts and Nevis, Stanford Conway said that the new system took effect from
late February this year and is a relief to Guyanese living abroad, taking into consideration the time reduction to apply in Guyana and the cost of getting there.
“In the past, in order for one to obtain a CARICOM machine-readable passport, one had to travel to Georgetown and join long lines at the Passport Office in Eve Leary, and that was very time-consuming. Also, the exorbitant airfare demanded by LIAT has been putting a strain on the pockets of Guyanese residing in St. Kitts and Nevis as well as those on the neighbouring islands. However, with this new system, not only will applicants be able to save on airfare, but also on transportation in getting from where they will be staying in Guyana to the Passport Office. One must remember that most Guyanese who reside in the Federation are from Berbice, which is more than 65 miles from Georgetown.”
Conway also said that in late October last, a representative from Guyana Passport Office was in St. Kitts and had processed hundreds of applications. “However, in its wisdom, the Guyana government decided to fast-track the process by allowing its Consulate to process the applications,” he added.
He also said that apart from those CARICOM territories within which Guyana has Consulates, he was granted permission by Guyana’s Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to function in others.
Explaining how the process works, Conway said, “Anyone applying for a passport must produce the one they were previously issued with, one passport-size photograph and a completed application form. In the case of an applicant under 18 years, he/she must be accompanied by their parents. In the absence of one of the parents, consent must be given by the other parent in the form of a notarised affidavit. If the child is under guardianship, the guardian must produce documents to prove its legality.”
Conway said that the preliminary process can be completed within minutes but the applicant has to wait for a further five to six weeks to receive their passport, which he noted costs some EC$300.
He however declared that processing applications for Guyanese outside of St. Kitts and Nevis would cost more because of travel and accommodation arrangements to those islands.
The Consul stated that children born to Guyanese outside of Guyana could also be issued with passports of that country, but the children must first be registered and issued with a Guyana birth certificate. This process, he added, can be done by him.