Home Affairs Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte has declared that people standing in line for others seeking passports and getting paid for the service is becoming a ‘little business’ at the Immigration Department.
“People come on the line, and these are not persons who come for passports. They are actually coming to hold spaces for people, and they come very early in the morning and we are seeing it developing as a little business and this is something I am encouraging Saint Lucians to discourage,” Albert-Poyotte told reporters on Monday.
Her comments came in response to concerns over long lines at the Immigration Department.
“When you see those long lines, it’s persons who are actually trying to lobby to get to hold places on the line for people who will be coming later. So if people come at the time that they need their passports checked, you will not have the long lines,” the Babonneau MP explained.
“We have checked with the Immigration Department on a number of occasions and they said most of the time by ten O’ clock most people have gone home. So the long lines and giving the impression that from 2:00 am people have to be on the line, this is ridiculous and people must not continue to do that,” the Home Affairs Minister asserted.
“This is something that we are actually investigating to see if there is a scheme going around. People trying to take lines and pay people to make some money quickly to get passports,” Albert-Poyotte stated.
She also announced plans to relocate the Immigration Department, disclosing that retrofitting was underway at the new site.
In this regard, the Babonneau MP told reporters that Immigration Department staff chose the location and are very happy about it.
Headline photo: Stock image