SUVA, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Over 35,000 e-passports with new security features have been issued by the Fiji Immigration Department to Fijians since its launch last year.
Fiji's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Yogesh Karan said on Thursday that the department had received a lot of applications. They usually process 25,000 passports on an annual basis.
With this initiative, Fiji has joined 54 other countries that have already engrained such technology in their passports.
Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said last August that as time had marched on and Immigration Departments around the world have grown sophisticated, Fiji's passports needed to evolve to keep up with the pace.
Bainimarama said these new upgraded e-passports will contain a new range of security features that will make it more difficult for people to illegally enter the country and it will be easier for Fijians to travel overseas by using e-passport gates when they wait at airport immigration queues. The move was to make Fiji safer and traveling easier.
The introduction of this new system by the Fiji Immigrant Department focuses on strengthening border security and streamlines customs and immigration, decreasing passenger processing time and creating an easier, more efficient travel experience in Fiji. Enditem