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Seychelles Bio-Metric Passports to Be Issued in Paris Embassy

Seychellois citizens residing abroad will soon have the convenience of obtaining their passports without the need to travel back to the island nation, according to a recent announcement by Errol Fonseka, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Immigration.

During a budget discussion in the National Assembly, Minister Fonseka highlighted the current requirement for individuals to return to Seychelles for the enrolment process when applying for biometric passports. However, he revealed plans to establish enrolment stations in various countries to streamline the process for the Seychellois diaspora.

“We want to look at our diaspora around the world, and first, we want to start in Paris because it will cost us less, as the company we are using for our biometric passport is actually from there,” Minister Fonseka stated.

The initiative is made possible through collaboration with Groupe Imprimerie Nationale in France, a specialist in identity and secure digital services. Seychelles’ Internal Affairs department signed a contract for e-passports with the French group on December 17, 2021.

The Seychelles biometric passport, introduced in November 2022, incorporates enhanced security features, including a microchip containing fingerprints, facial recognition data, and digital signature elements. Another microchip within the passport page stores personal information.

Fonseka emphasized that the installation of enrolment stations in other countries will be a phased process, with Paris serving as the initial location due to cost efficiencies.

Principal Secretary for Immigration, Alain Volcere, explained that criteria for selecting countries for enrolment stations would consider factors such as the size of the diaspora, the student population, and the resources Seychelles has in its consular missions.

“At the enrolment station, people in these countries will provide all their information, which will then be sent to Seychelles, where the passport will be completed and dispatched to the client via courier,” explained Volcere.

Discussions are ongoing within the Immigration Department to determine whether passports will be sent directly to the client or to the consular mission of the respective country.

This development marks a significant advancement in providing Seychellois citizens residing abroad with a more accessible and efficient means of obtaining and renewing their passports without the need for extensive travel.

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