Bangladesh passport office stops accepting name, age change applications

The Department of Immigration and Passports has stopped accepting applications to change names, age and other details saying such changes do not match fingerprints when verified abroad.

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 4 April 2018, 04:36 PM
Updated : 4 April 2018, 04:41 PM

"There is no scope to change the name or age once the passport is issued," Major General Md Masud Rezwan, Director General of the department, told bdnews24.com on Wednesday.

He said national image has been tarnished abroad as many Bangladeshis have been detained while travelling with such amended passport.

The change came into force from Mar 7, though the policy guidelines still permit making such changes.

However, anyone can change the temporary address on their passport, but to alter the permanent address, one must obtain a police clearance.

"When someone changes their name and age and apply for a visa at a foreign embassy, as soon as they are fingerprinted, the names of their parents, age provided previously come up on the screen, and as a result, the visa is refused," Major General Rezwan said.

But many of them go abroad for a job but come back after being cheated or refused entry to that particular country. They then try to go back by making changes in their old passport to avoid detection.

"We decided to stop it for the sake of our reputation," he added.

A passport directorate official on condition of anonymity said the decision was taken at a meeting at the home ministry without changing the policy guidelines. 

The directorate first sent a letter to the ministry and then a number of officials met the home secretary to pursue the decision to stop amendments to existing passports.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher