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The e-passport is gradually becoming the world standard in travel documents. The government of Pakistan has recently launched the country’s electronic passport to facilitate easy and secure international travel for Pakistani citizens, especially those residing abroad.
With this facility soon to be available to Pakistanis, lets us understand the key features and benefits of having an e-Passport over a traditional passport.
Pakistan e-Passport news
The government of Pakistan on 30 March 2022 launched the country’s electronic passport to facilitate easy and secure international travel for Pakistani citizens, both in Pakistan and living abroad.
At the launch of e-Passport, Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed also stated that 191 countries are now eligible to apply for a Pakistan visa.
What is e-Passport?
The e-Passport has an electronic chip embedded in one of the passport pages, which will be used to store biometric information about the holder.
The chip contains data that will verify the passport holder’s identity and will include the biometrics of the passport holder, the personal data found on the data page of the passport, a unique identification number and a digital signature. The newly launched e-Passports in Pakistan are in compliance with the United Nations’ ICAO standards.
— Prime Minister's Office (@PakPMO) March 31, 2022
In contrast, traditional Pakistani passports are machine-readable and biometric and are printed at the DGIP headquarters in the capital city of Islamabad.
Benefits of Pakistan e-Passport
E-Passports are already in use in more than 150 countries worldwide. Several countries have switched to e-Passport due to the increasing need for efficient and better border security. Pakistan also issues online visas to citizens of 191 countries.
Pakistan e-Passport holders can benefit from the e-gate facility at all airports around the world. It will also help eliminate all the hurdles in the ongoing manual system and will aid Pakistani applicants to process online applications conveniently. Since the e-Passport carries out various forms of security checks, extending benefits to overseas Pakistanis will ultimately benefit the country.
Pakistan e-Passport application process
The application process for the Pakistan e-Passport will be similar to acquiring a traditional passport. Initially, the e-passport facility will only be available for diplomatic and government officials of Pakistan.
Applicants will receive the e-Passports after the manufacturing process is complete; until then, only traditional passports will be issued. The documents required for an e-Passport will be similar to that of a Machine Readable Passport (MRP).
Pakistan e-Passport validity
Pakistani passports currently have a validity of 5 and 10 years.
Interior Minister @ShkhRasheed has said that the validity of passport has been extended from five to ten years to facilitate the overseas Pakistanishttps://t.co/vPdyfeXf9b pic.twitter.com/b0SW4kp0WO
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) March 30, 2022
Pakistan e-Passport fee
According to the announcement, the charge for a five-year e-passport with 36 pages is PKR 9,000 under normal fees.
- For urgent requests, the fee is PKR 15,000.
- For a 10-year passport with 36 pages, the normal fee will be PKR 13,500 AND the urgent fee will be PKR 22,500.
- In addition, the normal fee for a five-year e-passport with 72 pages is fixed at PKR 16,500 and for an urgent fee is PKR 27,500.
- The normal fee for a 72-page 10-year e-passport is PKR 24,750, and the urgent fee will be PKR 40,500.
The issuance of e-passports will initially be starting from Islamabad, with the date of issuance from other passport offices across the country to be announced later. Fees can also be paid through National Bank, online banking apps, JazzCash, and EasyPaisa.