e-Passport: Requirements and benefits
Published: 14:50 5 July 2019
The government is going to start the distribution of digital passports, also known as electronic passport or e-Passports in July, reports BBC Bangla.
According to concerned officials, they have finalized all the necessary preparations about e-Passports, which will be declared at any time
The e-Passport has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contains biometric information used to authenticate the identity of the bearer.
But what will be the benefit of this e-passport? And what is the difference with the conventional passport?
What is e-Passport?
The e-Passport will be similar like MRP or machine-readable passport. However, the passport book contains two pages of data that contain information — it will not be on e-Passport.
In e-Passport — there would a card and antenna made of polymers and a chip inside the card - where all the information of the passport carrier will be stored.
In the database — there will be three types of images, 10 fingerprints, and eye iris of the passport holder.
As a result, authorities of any country can easily find all the information about the traveler.
“It is a system with very high security. And due to this, most countries in the world now started using e-Passports. We are also going to join that list,” said Brigadier General Saidur Rahman, director of the Passport Department’s e-Passport project.
Difference between MRP and e-Passport
Differences between machine-readable passport (MRP) and electronic passport (e-Passport) are almost like checkbooks and ATM cards.
Customers can withdraw money from the bank with checkbooks which were approved by the bank officials before. But with the ATM card- anyone can withdraw money automatically- from anywhere and anytime.
Similarly- immigration officials first verify the information and seal the passport in the MRP passport. But e-Passport holder can complete the immigration process automatically through the machine by himself. But in the next step, immigration officials will seal on arrival and exit passports.
Benefits of e-Passport
“The biggest advantage of e-Passport is that travelers can travel very quickly and easily,” says Brigadier General Saidur Rahman Khan adding, “They will travel using e-gate. As a result, there will not be any line to check their visa at different airports. Through this, their immigration will be completed within a short time.”
However, when a traveler uses the e-Passport, the immigration can immediately contact the Central Vigilant (Public Key Directory - PKD) and get information about him.
The camera will take pictures while standing with the passport at e-gate. There will be a fingerprint verification system. If all is well, he can pass the immigration.
But if there is any problem, then the red light will turn on. There the officials can interfere. If there is a travel ban against someone, that too will be known immediately.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) manages this PKD. As a result, the air and land authority including Interpol can verify this information.
It is not easy to fake such passports as there are 38 security features here.
Cost of e-Passport fee
Meanwhile, government officials do not agree to disclose the cost of passport fees. This will be declared after the official launch of the project, said the passport officials.
However, officials of the Passport Department have indicated that the fee may be slightly higher in the case of e-Passports.
Validity of e-Passport
For now, the government is considering for five and ten years. The term of the passport will be determined by age.
Should visa need for e-Passport?
In the case of e-Passports, the current visa system is the same. That is to say that according to the rules of different countries, the visa will be needed according to the requirements.
Visa authorities or embassies can verify the applicant’s information using this PKD. After that, they will be able to add stickers on the pages of the visa, seal of cancel.
What will happen to MRP passport?
Officials say that the current MRP passport system will continue as well as e-Passport.
However, no newer MRP passports will be issued to anyone. At present, MRP passport holders will be given an e-Passport when they are going for renewing.
In this way, all MRP passports will be withdrawn in phases.
Notably, the government took the initiative to introduce e-Passport in the wake of more than one passport being illegally issued against one person in the absence of a database of fingerprints of citizens.
In July last year, the Department of Immigration and Passport or DIP sealed more than Tk 30 billion contracts with the world-leading identity solutions provider Veridos, a German joint venture, to introduce e-Passports in Bangladesh.
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