E-passport launch tomorrow

Prime Minister to get the first one

FE REPORT | Tuesday, 21 January 2020

The government is finally set to launch e-passports tomorrow (Wednesday), through issuing the first passport to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Earlier the Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP) missed two deadlines last year.

The passport and immigration authorities will start receiving applications from the public on the day.

"Primarily people can apply for e-passports at the Dhaka, Uttara and Keraniganj passport offices," director general of the DIP Major General Shakil Ahmed said.

Each of these offices can distribute 500 e-passports a day at the initial stage and gradually the capacity will be increased.

In total, 30 million e-passports will be provided in the first phase. Already two million e-passport books have been imported from a German company. The rest of the 28 million passport books will be prepared in Bangladesh.

The country has in total 27.2 million passport holders now, officials said.

According to the DG, installation of electronic gates (e-gates) has already been started.

DIP has already installed nine e-gates in Dhaka and Sylhet international airports.

The DG said, "We will install 50 e-gates in five immigration ports including three international airports -Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet."

The land ports, which will have e-gates are: Benapole and Banglabandha.

We are trying to ensure that an e-passport holder can have e-gate facility simultaneously.

An e-passport holder can pass through normal gate if e-gates are not available in an immigration port.

Passport delivery system have been categorised as Normal, Express and Super Express.

Under nrmal category, the e-passport will be delivered within 21 days of application, express category passport will be delivered within 10 days and super Eexpress passport will be delivered by two days.

The fees for the e-passports have been fixed as per the number of pages, tenure, and delivery time.

For a 48-page passport having five-year tenure, the fee is Tk 4025 for normal delivery, Tk 6395 for express delivery and Tk 8625 for super express delivery.

For a 48-page passport having 10-year tenure, the fee is Tk 5750 for normal delivery, Tk 8050 for express delivery and Tk 10350 for super express delivery.

For 64-page e-passport having five-year tenure, the fees are Tk 6325, Tk 8625 and Tk 12075 respectively for normal, express and super express delivery.

For 10-year tenure passport having 64 pages the fees are Tk 8050, Tk 10350 and Tk 13800.

For the non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) living aboard, the fees are more than double but for the Bangladeshi workers the fees are much lower. For example a Bangladeshi worker abroad can have a 48 page e-passport, having five-year tenure with a fee of 34.5 US dollars whereas for a non-resident Bangladeshi the fee for the same passport will be 115 US dollars.

The e-passport has 42 security features, of which 15 can be detected without special device.

According to officials due to these security features, it will be impossible to prepare any forged passport.

The authority has sent the specimens of the Bangladesh's e-passport to all the international immigration port authorities so that they can recognise it through their system.

"We have also sent a booklet containing all the features of our e-passport to all concerned across the world," the DG said adding that e-passport was an important step in countering international terrorism.

Those whose MRP passports will expire soon will be given priority in issuing the e-passports than those whose MRP passport remains valid, DIP officials mentioned.

[email protected]