Guyana to get high-tech digitised national ID cards, e-visa portal

Last Updated on Friday, 9 December 2022, 18:32 by Denis Chabrol

The Guyana government would soon be producing high-tech digital national identification cards with assistance from a Dubai company, G-42, in association with a German government counterpart, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said on Friday.

The project is expected to begin in the coming months and, according t0 Mr Jagdeo, the new card would be for nationals and residents and would be backed by law. “You would have legislation next year  for a new ID card that will gave a chip in it,” he said.

He told a news conference that the new identification cards would be separate from those that are produced by the Guyana Elections Commission. He explained that the cards would include information such as blood group and would be integrated with the Guyana Revenue Authority to include drivers’ licence information and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).  Resident workers would have cards of a different colour and Guyanese would have another colour.

The Vice President said because the card would be integrated with GRA and commercial banks, authorities would be able to detect the expiration of work permits. “If you are a foreigner and you’re coming in to work here and you have a work permit for three years, you will have one of these cards, different colour…the moment your three-year work permit expires, then thing start shutting down and you have to go and renew it so we can see who is here in our country,” he said.

Mr Jagdeo said the secure card, which could store a lot of biometric data, could eventually be used by returning Guyanese to swipe at the airport rather than joining immigration.

Government also plans to introduce e-passports which might eventually convince other countries to grant Guyanese visa-free entry, he added.  In that regard, he said Abu Dhabi exports has been asked to fund the establishment of an e-visa portal and install a number of e-gates to allow for paperless entry to Guyana in another eight to 12 months. The technology would include fingerprint and retinal scan, he added,

Vice President Jagdeo was recently in Abu Dhabi. He had first spoken about government plans for a secured national identification card during a community outreach in Anna Regina, Essequibo.