Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the electronic passport system (e-Passport), which she launched today, is a gift to Bangladeshis on the occasion of ‘Mujib Borsho’.
The premier also launched the automated border control management programme at the inaugural function at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka this morning, reports BSS.
“We are handing over e-Passports to the public during ‘Mujib Borsho’, a special year marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It (e-Passport) is a gift for the nation,” BSS quoted the premier as saying.
General people will be able to apply for e-Passports from tomorrow (January 23), e-Passport Project Director (PD) Brig Gen Saidur Rahman Khan told The Daily Star.
For regular e-Passports, people will have to wait for 15 days, urgent ones will be processed and delivered in seven days, while re-issue applicants will get their passports in two days, the official said.
“Initially we will start delivering e-Passports on a limited scale and will gradually scale it up to cover the entire country,” the PD added.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said “I believe that e-Passport and automated border control management will undoubtedly brighten Bangladesh’s image in the digital world.”
Due to introduction of e-Passport, Bangladesh will advance another step forward and people will no longer be deceived while getting their passports.
People would face trouble in the past with fake or tampered passports but the e-Passport will ensure that no one is cheated ever again, the PM said.
There will be an embedded microprocessor chip that will contain all information of the passport holder including their photo, fingerprints and scans of their iris.
“E-gate is going to be incorporated with e-Passport, and once they are both introduced, immigration and passport services will become easier, smoother and meet international standards," the premier said.
So far, 118 countries have already introduced e-Passports, making Bangladesh the 119th country in the world to introduce e-Passports. Meanwhile Bangladesh government has also digitalised all activities of DIP to attain immigration-related SDG.
“We have set up 69 passport offices in 64 districts, 33 immigration check-posts and passport and visa wings at 75 missions abroad aiming to provide passport, visa and immigration services to everyone,” she said.