Belize Immigration Updates Border Information Management System, Skills

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IOM Belize is conducting a one-month training for immigration officials deployed at border points and in district offices across the country in the use of a computerized border management information system that will help them to identify and register everyone entering and exiting the country.

The modern, US-funded system will register the entry and exit of both Belizean nationals and foreigners. It will also help the tourist industry, allowing it to formulate statistics on the length of stay and nationality of foreign visitors.

Some 98 Belizean immigration officers will take part in the training, which will be conducted by IOM specialists and will include the use of the advanced border management system for passport control, as well as system installation and maintenance.

The new system includes computer work stations, webcams, passport readers and fingerprint scanners, which will be installed at all land, air and sea borders and district offices. The system will be managed through a central server at Immigration Department headquarters in Belize's capital, Belmopan.

The system runs on the IOM-developed software known as the Personal Information and Registration System (PIRS), which has to date been supplied by IOM to eighteen countries around the world to assist with border management, data collection and passport verification.

"This system will increase security by contributing to the reduction of illegal actions such as trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants and use of fraudulent documents. It will also, of course, automatically detect over-stay at exit points," explained Pier Rossi-Longhi, IOM Immigration and Border Management Specialist for the Americas.

Currently, Belize does not have an interconnected national database to monitor the entry and exit of foreigners, although the country does experience large scale migratory flows.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 1’43″

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