Dhaka: The distribution of digital passports, also known as ePassports, may begin from July, announced The Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP).
Brig Gen Saidur Rahman Khan, Project Director, DIP, said, “It'll start from July 1 if the Home Ministry gives clearance." The ePassport has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip containing biometric information used to authenticate the identity of the bearer.
Implementation of the project 'Introduction of ePassport and Automated Border Control Management in Bangladesh' started in July, 2018 and it will continue until June, 2028 with government financing.
Bangladesh signed an agreement with Germany in 2018 to print electronic passports with 10 years' validity, in addition to the machine-readable passports. The issuing of ePassport was scheduled to start in December 2018, but issues related to arrangement of funds delayed the process.
The government plans to issue two million ePassports, printed in Germany. However, ePassports will eventually be printed in a factory in the capital's Uttara.
Initially, ePassports will be issued from Dhaka and the distribution of existing MRP (Machine Readable Passport) will continue from other regional offices until they start issuing ePassports. Existing MRPs will be accepted till its stipulated validity date.
E-gates have been installed at every airport and land ports across the country to facilitate the use of ePassports.