Bangladesh to roll out e-passport with 10-year validity from July

Bangladesh is all set to introduce digital passport or e-passport from July in an effort to ease immigration formalities and check irregularities.

Published : 15 May 2019, 07:09 PM
Updated : 15 May 2019, 07:10 PM

The validity of the passport will be extended to 10 years from five years to simplify the visa issuing process for the Bangladeshi expatriates.

“The foreign ministry has informed us that it will start distribution of e-passport with 10 years' validity from July next,” said Faruk Khan, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on foreign affairs, after a meeting on Wednesday.

The decision on introducing digital passport comes less than a decade after Bangladesh switched from manual passport to the machine-readable passport or MRP.

The government took the initiative to introduce e-passports in the wake of more than one passport being illegally issued against one person in the absence of database of fingerprints of citizens.

In July last year, the Department of Immigration and Passport or DIP sealed a more than Tk 30 billion contract with the world-leading identity solutions provider Veridos, a German joint venture, to introduce e-passports in Bangladesh.

Under the agreement, the firm will deliver two million e-passport booklets, equipment with the capacity of producing 28 million passports, hardware, software and 10-year maintenance service.

The contract also covers the entire value-chain for e-passports – from security paper right through to e-Gates. The solution includes the setting up of a local passport factory with high-tech equipment.

In June last year, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council or ECNEC approved the e-passport project.

Taking Bangladeshi workers abroad into account, the government decided to extend the validity period of the passports. The digital passports will have 48 pages.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher