NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced today that Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis will officially open a passport office on Exuma on Friday, February 12, 2021.
The prime minister will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield.
In a statement, the ministry said: “The opening of the Exuma Passport Office is a major initiative of the ministry. It is the first installment of the government’s policy of decentralizing the delivery of passport services to ensure that residents in the Family Islands are not unnecessarily disadvantaged because they live outside of the capital, where these services originate.
“Exuma residents will no longer have to travel to Nassau at significant personal expense and inconvenience to collect their passports. They will now be able to access and benefit from the full range of passport services in the island where they reside.”
The ministry added: “The Passport Office currently provides online registration for the renewal of e-passports for adults and minors. This has greatly reduced the processing time for passports.
“In spite of this, Family Islanders still have to travel to Nassau to complete their biometrics and collect their passports. To remedy this inequity, the government approved the opening of satellite Passport Offices in Exuma, Inagua, Eleuthera and Long Island.
“The Inagua Passport Office will open next month, followed shortly thereafter by the opening of offices in Eleuthera and Long Island.
“In addition to the opening of these four satellite offices, the Passport Office will take its Mobile Passport Unit to other islands where there are smaller population clusters, to ensure that all citizens throughout the archipelago benefit from these services.”
The Exuma Passport Office will be located in the Administrator’s Office in Georgetown.
The ceremony to be held this Friday will become the latest in a series of Family Island visits made by the prime minister in recent months for occasions ranging from infrastructure projects to Crown land grants and other official ceremonies.