India will soon begin issuing e-passport to citizens

The passports will be secure with biometric data and will enable hassle-free passage through immigration posts globally

Passport
Until now, passports have been issued in the form of personalised printed booklets

The government will soon begin issuing e-passports to citizens, Ministry of External Affairs secretary Sanjay Bhattacharyya said in a tweet on Thursday (January 6).

The passports will be secure with biometric data and will enable hassle-free passage through immigration posts globally, Bhattacharyya said.

According to previous reports, the microchip embedded in the passport will hold information related to the passport holder’s biometric data, as well as security features that will disallow unauthorised data transfer through radio-frequency identification.

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The government had initially issued 20,000 official and diplomatic e-passports embedded with such chips on a trial basis. Following a successful run, it will now extend the programme to cover all citizens. Until now, passports were issued in the form of personalised printed booklets.

The e-passports will follow the International Civil Aviation Organisation standards, the ministry had said last year.

The chip at the front of the passport will come with an internationally recognised logo meant for e-passports.

All 36 passport offices under the MEA will issue e-passports, according to reports.

Procedures for applying for a passport – from filing the application form on the government website to choosing the location and date of the appointment – will remain unchanged.

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