Green passport no longer accepted for intra-regional travel

The green passport on the right was replaced by the blue CARICOM Passport. The clipped section at the top right of the green passport indicates that the owner upgraded to the machine readable document on the right.

St. Kitts, June 05, 2010 (SKNIS): The Ministry of National Security has advised citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis to apply immediately for a CARICOM Passport which must now be used for intra-regional travel.

The CARICOM passport, was introduced in St. Kitts and Nevis in 2005 with His Excellency the Governor General Sir Cuthbert Sebastian and the Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas becoming the first two citizens to receive the new machine readable travel document. At that time, the general public was strongly encouraged to upgrade their passports to the new one.

The machine readable feature is in line with security specifications preferred by the international community. This makes it more difficult to forge and also allows for easy access to the relevant traveler information.

A press release from the Government Ministry noted that “as of June 30, 2010, the non-machine readable passport (green book) will no longer be in circulation for intra-regional travel (to countries within the Caribbean Community).” It continued that “nationals, who must have a visa to gain entry into a foreign country (such as the United States), must also ensure that they are in possession of the new machine readable passport.”

The Ministry of National Security further advised that nationals must adhere to the established immigration requirements to gain legal entry into countries that have a visa waiver programme with St. Kitts and Nevis such as the United Kingdom, the Schengen states of the European Union or Canada.

The release further warned that immigration and airline officials will be closely scrutinizing all travel documents as part of the routine processing of passengers to ensure compliance with the regulations.

The application process for a CARICOM passport requires a completed form, two (2) passport sized photos, a birth certificate and a stamp fee of $85.00 for persons over the age of 16. Applicants under the age of 16 need $50.00 in stamps. Other requirements are necessary in particular cases.

Persons are encouraged to contact the Ministry of National Security at 467-1155, 467-1156 or 467-1006 for additional information.

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