Editorial Staff
1 month ago

Editorial Staff
1 month ago

Immigration department to phase out ‘E.D’ forms

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Finally, Antigua and Barbuda is set to phase out the current paper-based Embarkation/Disembarkation forms that visitors and residents are required to fill out and submit to the Immigration Department upon entry into the country.

This move is aimed at speeding up the clearance process for passengers at the ports of entry, particularly the VC Bird International Airport, which has presented some challenges for authorities in the past.

During a recent ‘Questions and Answers’ session at the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) meeting, Charles Max Fernandez, the Tourism Minister, disclosed that the plan is to introduce a new self-clearance system and kiosks to replace the paper forms.

The new system is expected to be launched as early as the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) conference in Antigua and Barbuda at the end of May this year.

Fernandez also noted that the new system would be complemented by additional stations with more immigration officers to reduce the backlog on days when several flights are on the ground at the same time.

The government is also working with Canadian Bank Notes, the company that produces the Antigua and Barbuda passports and other sensitive documents for the country, to develop the new system.

However, the government currently owes Canadian Bank Notes an outstanding amount that must be cleared before work on the new paperless system can proceed. Fernandez has promised that the outstanding amounts will be paid shortly.

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