First step in wider plan: Seychelles bio-metric passports to be issued in Paris embassyGeneral |Author: Sedrick Nicette Edited By: Betymie Bonnelame | November 20, 2023, Monday @ 15:03| 4396 views
The Seychelles bio-metric passport was first introduced in November 2022 and has new security features. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles' citizens living abroad will have the chance to get their passports made without having to travel to the island nation, said a top government official last week.
The statement was made by the Minister for Internal Affairs and Immigration, Errol Fonseka, when answering a question from a member of the National Assembly, on his ministry's budget.
"As we know today, when people want to do their biometric passports, they have to come to Seychelles to complete their enrolment," said Fonseka, and with the installation of enrolment stations in other countries, they will not have to do that.
"We want to look at our diaspora around the world and first we want to start in Paris because it will cost us less, as the company we are using for our biometric passport is actually from there," he added.
The new passport was made possible with the help of Groupe Imprimerie Nationale in France, a specialist in identity and secure digital services after Seychelles' Internal Affairs department signed a contract for e-passports with the group on December 17, 2021.
The Seychelles bio-metric passport was first introduced in November 2022 and has new security features. These include a microchip with data such as fingerprints, facial recognition, and digital signature elements, and a microchip within the page that contains personal information.
Fonseka said that the installation of the enrolment station in other countries will follow.
During the same National Assembly session, the principal secretary for Immigration, Alain Volcere, explained that there are criteria to decide the countries where the stations will be installed. These will include the size of the diaspora, the student population, and the resources Seychelles has in the consular missions in those countries.
"What people in these countries will have to do, is to give all their information at the enrolment station. It will all be sent to Seychelles where the passport will be completed and sent by courier to the client," explained Volcere.
He added that his department is still in discussions as to whether the passport will be sent directly to the client or to the consular mission of that country.
At the moment, Seychellois living abroad who are looking to renew their passports must travel to Seychelles to have this completed.