As the government continues to decentralise public services, the new Passport and Immigration Office located at Garrison Road, Fort Canje, Berbice has begun testing its services and equipment.
This was highlighted by Head of Immigration Services Ewurt Wray who explained that, as of July 15, operations at the former office located on the lower flat of Berbice Divisional Headquarters have been shifting to the new building to provide efficient and effective service to the people of Berbice.
Currently, all applications for machine-readable passports are accepted and issued at the location.
“We are shifting, we are testing, and we have the technology to take the non-machine-readable passports applications here,” Wray said.
He posited that, thus far, the feedback has been welcoming and the entire process has been going well beyond their expectations. “We have several members of staff here and we would have brought some experienced staff from Georgetown. Also, we are assessing daily how the system is working. We are expecting feedback from Georgetown and we are also speaking with our technicians and assessing the entire operations.”
Since, November 2018, Berbicians applying for renewal of their passports were able to submit applications to the Immigration and Passport Office in New Amsterdam and retrieve their passports the following week. Previously, first-time applicants had to process their forms at the passport headquarters on Camp Street, Georgetown.
The new service has been welcomed by residents of Region 6 who previously described the long hours spent travelling to Georgetown to access the service as a “difficult process”.
The facility, which is expected to be commissioned soon, was constructed by Department of Citizenship at the cost of $57.5M. (Department of Public Information)