The Immigration Department has announced operational changes one day after Saint Lucians converged on its office in Castries in a rush to obtain travel documents.
The Department said the changes would facilitate processing previously submitted applications before the e-passport system launch.
Earlier this week, Saint Lucia launched its new e-passport costing $250 for the five-year document.
A notice on the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) Facebook page on Wednesday said the Immigration Department would process only fifty new passport applications on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
According to the notice, the Department would not accept new applications on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“All other services offered at the Department, including extensions, visas, and citizenship applications will continue without interruption,” the RSLPF statement explained.
It also said that people with emergencies would be interviewed at the Department for assistance.
On Tuesday, Home Affairs Minister Virginia Albert-Poyotte told reporters that there’s no timeline for phasing out the old travel documents.
‘All we know is within five years we would have rolled out all persons who should have new e-passports,” the Babonneau MP disclosed
In this regard, the Minister explained that the authorities expect people to renew their passports when their travel documents expire.
However, she disclosed that some countries may stipulate that they would not accept the old passport.
“So if they put pressure on us then our people will be forced to renew their passports even before they expire,” the Minister noted.