The application process for attaining a Belizean passport has been revised and will go into effect as of Friday, March 1, 2013. A countrywide awareness campaign will be launched to inform the public of the new procedures.
Six application forms have been added to the revised process, including specific forms for minors, adults, persons living abroad, and for persons applying for a passport replacement. This procedure will also apply to applications for a renewal of passports. Also, application forms will now need to be signed by various authorized personnel; this particular adjustment applies to section five of the application form, the Authentication of Application.
For persons under 16 years of age, a recommender must be provided and there are two forms that must be filled out. Form 4-A must be filled out by a Justice of the Peace, minister of religion, medical practitioner, notary public, or an attorney at law. Form 4-B must be filled out by a member of the House of Representatives, chief executive officer in any ministry of the Government, a head of department, or a licensed teacher.
Persons 16 years and older must complete forms 3-A and 3-B. For Belizeans living abroad, they must complete form five from the Belize Foreign Mission. Form six is for the declaration of a lost, stolen, or mutilated passport.
Application fees for passports have also been revised. For persons 16 years and older, the application fee is $50, and $30 for minors. For a passport that was lost, damaged, or stolen, the fee is $85 for adults and $55 for minors.
For applications in the case of a medical emergency, the fee is $100 for adults and $60 for minors. For an expedited passport to be processed within 24 hours, the fee is $200; for processing within 48 hours, the fee is $100; and for processing within 3-5 working days it’s $50.
According to Immigration officials, the amendments will strengthen the application process, ensure that applicants are indeed of Belizean nationality, and remove the gaps that are used by those who try to attain a passport illegally.