From left: Honorary Consul of Fiji, South Francisco Jay Singh, UN Ambassador Satyendra Prasad, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Fiji’s newly-appointed Trade Commissioner to North America, Alika Cooper. [Photo Credit: Fijian Government/Facebook]
The government, through the Department of Immigration, will install state-of-the-art e-passport biometric equipment at the Fijian Trade Commission in San Francisco in two weeks’ time.
While on his official visit to the United States, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama assured the Fijian diaspora that services would commence at the earliest possible time.
This means that Fijians in California and nearby states won’t have to travel all the way to Washington, D.C., sometimes for days by road, to have their passports renewed or to apply for new passports.
Bainimarama also witnessed first-hand the growing need for these services on the West Coast, where the majority of the Fijian diaspora live and work in the USA.
The Prime Minister says the Trade Office was a fitting location for a decentralized passport issuance system to cater to the large number of Fijians living in California and nearby states.
Permanent Secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister and Immigration, Yogesh Karan says immigration officials will be in San Francisco in two weeks’ time to install the e-passport biometric equipment and also to train the Trade Commission and Fiji Mission staff on how to operate the new equipment.
Fiji’s new e-Passports contain a range of enhanced security features that will make it far more difficult for people to enter the country illegally, establishing a more secure Fijian passport and bringing greater integrity to the immigration system.
Fijian e-passport holders will also be protected against forgery, identity theft, passport tampering, and reproduction.
Prime Minister Bainimarama is accompanied on this visit to San Francisco by Permanent Secretary Karan and Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Satyendra Prasad.