Dominica Bio-Metric Passport

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Sunday, September 12, 2021

September 09, 2021

By Muhannad Samara, Immigration Consultant


The Commonwealth of Dominica has announced an initiative to revamp the country’s passports mechanism and issue replacement “Bio-Metric” passports. The government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has set a deadline of July 30, 2023 before the current passports stop working.


As of the date of this article, the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has not implemented a bio-metrics collection system at its overseas embassies and consulates for the purpose of the Bio-Metrics passport initiative. When investigated further, the application process for a new passport does not involve any updated bio-metrics collection process. In fact a paper application is all that is needed to file for and obtain the new “Bio-Metrics” passport.


It is our view that the new passport, if issued using the biometrics of citizens, that are on file at the civil registry, will be a practice that will have some conflicts with some of the world’s border control mechanisms, such as the recently enforced ETIAS. The ETIAS is a European anti-terrorism screening system that is put in place to keep track of those entering the Schengen zone without a visa. The ETIAS website displays the following grounds of refusal of a travel authorization:


The first ground of refusal is:


“The person applying has used a travel document that is reported as lost, stolen, misappropriated or invalidated in the Schengen Information System – SIS II.

The Schengen Information System – SIS II entered into force on 9 April 2013."



The SIS II is a complex set of databases that aim at gathering and protecting data in the European realm and data that pertains to visitors of the European realm. If the SIS II system ends up unable to capture basic bio-metrics information from Bio-Metrics passports that do not contain bio-metrics data, a wave of ETIAS travel authorization refusals, or to a worse extent a wave of airport and passport control complications will surface. This will cause panic amongst the general public and possibly be harmful the country’s good standing reputation as a destination for citizenship by investment.


Until more clarity on this matter is attained, ACIC will be advising its clients to hold back on replacing their passports, until more direction is given by the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

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