• Monday, Feb 24, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:39 pm

Home minister: E-passports to be launched on Wednesday

  • Published at 03:29 pm January 19th, 2020
Representational photo Photo from Veridos website

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the launching ceremony of e-passport

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said the distribution of e-passports (electronic passport) will start from Wednesday, as the authorities concerned have completed all preparations and formalities.

He made the statement at a press conference held at the Secretariat on Sunday.

The minister said: "Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the launching ceremony of e-passport during an event at the Bangabandhu International Convention Centre."

Bangladesh has also finished implementing machine-readable passports (MRP) long before its target of November 2024, according to Khan.

"With the e-passport, it will take only 30 seconds to verify an individual's details. The Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP) and the Bangladesh Army is jointly implementing the project," Khan said.

Initially, the DIP will distribute e-passports from the Agargaon, Jatrabari, and Uttara passport offices and later the delivery of the e-passport will be started in phases.

"The validity of the passports will be for five and 10 years. Passports will be delivered within two days on a very urgent basis, seven days for urgent, and 15 days for regular delivery. Bangladesh will be the first country in South Asia to issue e-passports to its citizens," the home minister said.

Responding to a query, the minister said: "The Rohingya community has been provided with digitalized ID cards, which are also registered. Therefore, there is no chance that the Rohingya people will be able to procure an e-passport by concealing their identities."

He said the e-passport requires police verification but they are trying to ensure that the procedure can be completed online, as it will prevent many hassles.

The minister said: "The e-passports will be launched all over the Bangladesh by 2020. President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will receive the first e-passports in Bangladesh."

According to him, some 25,000 passports will be issued every day.

A renowned German company Veridos GmbH has been working on the e-passports and e-gate in the country, said Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP)  Director General (DG) Major General Shakil Ahmed on January 5.

He said, with the introduction of the e-passports, efforts are underway to make the immigration process flawless. 

The e-passport adds a layer of security to the traditional non-electronic passports by embedding an electronic chip in the passport booklet that stores the biographical information visible on page 2 of the passport, as well as a digital security feature.

The digital security feature is a country specific “digital signature”. These digital signatures are unique to each country and can be verified using their respective certificates.

According to the project details, the project “Introduction of Bangladesh e-Passport and Automatic Border Control Management” is being implemented at a cost of Tk4,569 crore.

With issuing the e-passports, the whole process of the immigration formalities will be completed through online.

The DIP and Germany Veridos signed an agreement on July 19, 2018 for electronic passports alongside machine-readable ones.