Bangladesh enters e-Passport era
Published: 11:49 AM, 22 January 2020 Updated: 03:26 PM, 22 January 2020
The government launched the electronic passport (e-passport) programme on Wednesday aiming to enhance the acceptability of Bangladeshi passports abroad and make the immigration process easier.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the e-passport programme at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in the capital this morning.
The validity of e-passport will be five and ten years. The renowned German company Veridos GmbH is implementing the e-passport and automated border control management project.
Initially, the Department of Immigration of Passports (DIP) will distribute e-passport from Agargaon, Jatrabari and Uttara passport offices. It has been expected that the e-passport will be introduced all over the country by 2020 and every day 25,000 passport can be issued.
The fee for 48-page and five-year validity passport is fixed at Tk 3,500 for general application, Tk 5,500 urgent, Tk 7,500 for very urgent and for 10-year validity, the fee is fixed at Tk 5,000 for general, 7,000 for urgent and 9,000 for very urgent.
For new passport, it will take three days for passport delivery on very urgent application, seven days for urgent and 21 days for general while for reissuance, it will take two days for very urgent application, three days for urgent and seven days for general.
Besides, separate fees have been fixed in Bangladesh missions abroad for general applicants, workers and students.
For general application for 48-page five-year validity passport, the fee will be $100 and urgent fee $ 150. For 10 year-validity, the fee will be $125 and urgent fee $ 175.
According to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), there are over 100 states and non-state entities (i.e. United Nations) currently issuing e-Passports, and over 490 million e-Passports are in circulation.
The e-passports add a layer of security to 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 Automated Border Control Management” is being implemented at a cost of Taka 4,569 crore.
With issuing the e-passport the whole process of the immigration formalities will be completed through online.
It said two million e-passports will be made in Germany. As a result, the passports of those who apply first will be made from Germany. The DIP and Germany Veridos signed an agreement on July 19 in 2018 for electronic passports alongside machine-readable ones.
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