Permanent Secretary for Immigration, Yogesh Karan says people should understand that all centres outside Suva are biometric collection centres where only applications, pictures and fingerprints are taken.
Karan says the printing is only done in Suva because the machines cost millions of dollars and it is not viable for them to have these machines in all centres.
While responding to complaints by some people who were told at the Lautoka centre that they have to go to Suva to get their new e-passports, Karan says this may have been a case of an emergency e-passport which is only done in Suva.
He says if someone outside Suva wants an emergency e-passport, they can either have the e-passport sent over to them via courier or by flight but all costs has to be paid by the applicant or they can do the enrollment at any centre and have the e-passport picked up from Suva.
He says the queue that people saw because of backlogs is almost over now and once the backlogs is over in a week and a half there will be hardly anyone standing outside.
Karan says before they used to do 20,000 to 25,000 passports a year but with the new system they have done 13,000 e-passports in 6 weeks.
He adds that they have enough blank books available with them now that can last 2 years.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations