Fiji intends to secure 100,000 blank passports

May 22, 2024 12:53 pm

Minister for Immigration Pio Tikoduadua says a new agreement will see the supply of blank passports increase from 40,000 to 100,000.

Tikoduadua highlighted this when asked this morning by FBC News about the measures his ministry is taking to cater to the demands for passports.

The Minister says the last government signed the agreement for 40,000 blank passports, and with that contract coming to an end this year, government intends to make adjustments as the demand has drastically increased.

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Tikoduadua says currently, a German company is supplying Fiji’s blank passports, and the government is also looking for a new company.

“We want to increase it to 100,000; we are asking for it now because this year in particular there has been a major influx. I think it’s in response to almost everyone wanting to work overseas, so almost everyone wants a passport.”

Tikoduadua adds that the measures announced last night are temporary.

Immigration Minister Pio Tikoduadua

The measures include the Department of Immigration not taking walk-in customers starting this Friday; those who have currently booked an appointment through the immigration website will be served according to their appointment date; and the Department will only consider emergency cases, including medical emergencies, outside of the appointment system.

“It is only a temporary measure; we do not want to run out of passports. There are special needs that we also need to take care of, but only until we get the new shipments of passports coming in in a few weeks.”

The Minister says that at the moment, Fiji is running on the last sets of the 40,000 that were acquired.

Meanwhile, Tikoduadua says the new sets are expected to arrive by the beginning of next month.

Tikoduadua says he believes the influx in passports is due to people wanting to work overseas.

He says that with the new 100,000 supply, it should put them in a good position to cater to the demands.