“The new e-passports feature an embedded chip designed to contain the holder’s biometric data, including face, fingerprint, and iris biometrics.”
Citizens of the Caribbean island nation of Dominica will soon be required to obtain biometric e-passports.
At a recent press conference, Minister for National Security and Home Affairs Rayburn Blackmoore set a deadline of August 30, 2022, for citizens to upgrade their previous machine-readable passports to the new e-passports. Blackmoore framed it as an important border control issue that would also help to make the travel process more efficient.
“Given the pace at which the world is currently moving and the emphasis internationally for improved security systems as well as the demand for safer and more secure systems, there’s also a universal demand for more efficient and secure travel documents that are acceptable by all and that are in keeping with relevant international standards and protocols,” he said.
The new e-passports feature an embedded chip designed to contain the holder’s biometric data, including face, fingerprint, and iris biometrics. In addition to offer enhancing security by facilitating biometric identity verification, the e-passports are compatible newly installed e-Gates at the country’s border checkpoints, enabling e-passport holders to quickly pass through border screening.
Dominica’s switch to e-passports is part of a broader trend unfolding the world over. A report from Allied Market Research last summer predicted that the global e-passport market would grow from $24.57 billion in 2019 to $125.13 billion in 2028, reflecting an annual growth rate of 27.5 percent.
The e-passport trend dovetails with that of biometric traveler screening, which also continues to grow as more airports around the world are outfitted with scanners aimed at improving security and throughput at checkpoints. This most commonly takes the form of facial recognition, a contactless and low-friction modality.
In announcing the e-passport requirement for Dominicans, Minister Blackmoor said his ministry will issue guidance on how citizens can go about upgrading their existing passports in the coming months. Officials also plan to launch overseas passport renewal stations in London and New York within the next five months.
February 18, 2022 – by Alex Perala