PICA gives reasons for fee increases
The Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) says impending fee increases will provide the agency with the necessary funding to employ more staff, carry out technological improvements and address space requirements for customers and staff.
The fee increases, some over 40 per cent, will take effect next Tuesday.
PICA says while it has made considerable gains to fully cover all its operational costs, it is only staffed at 70 per cent for permanent employees.
Additionally it says a considerable portion of the technological inputs for its services is quoted in foreign exchange.
The agency says in order to fulfil its mandate of border security, the staffing levels and use of technology are necessary and become even more important in light of current international threats.
The passport office also says it has to be completely self-sufficient this financial year as it will receive no money from the Consolidated Fund.
Come Tuesday May 26, the cost of most of PICA's services are to be increased.
The price to obtain an adult passport will move from $4,500 to $6,500.
The passport for minors will now cost $4,000, moving from $2,700.
And the price for replacing the travel document will be $11,500, up from $9,500.
PICA last increased its fees in 2009.