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Belizean passport

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Belizean passport

Belizean passport
Issued by  Belize
Type of document Passport
Purpose Identification
Eligibility requirements Belizean citizenship

Belizean passports are issued to Belizean citizens to travel outside of Belize. The passport is a Caricom passport as Belize is a member of the Caribbean Community.

Appearance and issuance

The issuance of passports is governed by the Passports Act (Cap. 164).[1]

In early 2004, Belize suffered a "passport crisis" due to a shortage of blank passports when a delivery from the country's United Kingdom-based passport supplier De La Rue was delayed. The Ministry of Home Affairs tried to handle the crisis by recalling unused passport blanks from Belizean diplomatic missions abroad, while newspapers urged those who did not immediately need passports to wait until September or October when the switchover to the new machine-readable passports would begin.[2] The problem came to an end in August, though delays in issuance of up to four weeks persisted.[3]

In 2009, Belize began issuing passports in the common CARICOM design, with additional security features such as intaglio printing of certain text, a guilloché pattern on the inside pages, and a "ghost image" on the biodata pages.[4]

Theft and illegal issuance

In 2002, it was found that hundreds and perhaps more than a thousand Belizean passports had been sold illegally on the black market. This was not an immigrant investor program but simply the issuance of passports to persons who were not qualified to hold them.[5]

In August 2005, two hundred blank passports were stolen from the Immigration Department. Police searched the homes of high-ranking officials, but to no avail. Director of Immigration Carmen Zetina complained the investigation was further hampered by a high number of crank calls from members of the public about the investigation.[6] In September 2006, another ninety-five passports were stolen from the Belmopan Immigration Office.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Passports Act, Chapter 164". The Laws of Belize (Revised ed.).  
  2. ^ "G.O.B. hopes to ease passport crisis". News 5 Belize. 2004-05-21. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  3. ^ "Passport shortage ends as first batch arrives". 2004-08-24. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  4. ^ "CARICOM passport comes with new security features". News 5 Belize. 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  5. ^ "Passport scandal laid to rest as last charges dropped". News 5 Belize. 2007-01-30. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  6. ^ "Zetina: Passport investigation stumped by crank calls". News 5 Belize. 2005-11-29. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  7. ^ "Third suspect in passport heist turns himself in". News 5 Belize. 2006-10-12. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
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