Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis opened another satellite passport office on Friday 30 April as part of the Government’s investment in services and infrastructure throughout the Family Islands. The newest Passport Office, located in Governor’s Harbour, is the fourth to be opened across the Family Islands in the last two months. Other offices were recently opened on the islands of Exuma, Inagua and Long Island.
“We believe in investing in infrastructure and services across the archipelago, creating environments that foster business and commercial activity,” said Prime Minister Minnis at the official opening ceremony for the new office.
“Our goal is to help improve the quality of life in all of our islands. An important part of the Government’s investment in strengthening these communities is to ensure Government services are readily available.”
The new Passport Office offers full passport services, including processing renewal of expired passports, enrollment of first-time applicants and biometric fingerprinting. The turnaround time for receipt of passports is between five and seven days. Since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the satellite initiative two months ago, 43 passports have been issued in Inagua; 209 passports in Exuma; and 42 passports in Long Island, said the Prime Minister. The Passport Office will also continue to deploy its Mobile Team to areas that have smaller populations that are not served by local offices. Earlier this year, residents of various islands were enrolled via the Mobile Team.
The Passport Office is presently considering requests from Bimini and Andros. “My Government will continue efforts to diversify and decentralize our economy,” said Prime Minister Minnis. “Our Family Islands are well poised for development.”
The Prime Minister noted that new cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations have increased in The Bahamas in recent weeks. He reminded residents that the pandemic is not over and stressed the importance of continuing to abide by the public health measures and Emergency Orders. Prime Minister Minnis urged residents to get vaccinated.
“[COVID-19] vaccines are available to all Bahamians and permanent residents 18 years and older,” said the Prime Minister. “We need as many people as possible vaccinated in order to get out of the emergency phase of the pandemic and return to normal lives.”
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