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The Government of Pakistan has introduced a groundbreaking initiative with the nationwide issuance of electronic passports, commonly known as e-passports. This innovative service allows citizens to easily apply for travel documents from the comfort of their homes. Following its launch in Islamabad, the rollout of e-passports has now commenced across the entire country, enhancing the accessibility of essential travel documents for individuals. As reported by Wego, this initiative marks a significant step forward in simplifying the passport application process.
The Directorate General of Immigration and Passports has released the pricing details for this novel service. A standard 36-page e-passport, valid for five years, can be acquired for PKR 9,000. An expedited processing option is also available for PKR 15,000.
For those in need of a 72-page e-passport, the regular fee is set at PKR 16,500, while an expedited version can be obtained for PKR 27,000. Citizens choosing a 36-page e-passport with a ten-year validity period will be charged PKR 13,500, with an urgent issuance option available at PKR 22,500.
Similarly, a 72-page e-passport with a decade-long validity carries a fee of PKR 24,750, and an expedited version is accessible for PKR 40,500. It’s important to note that the fee structure for standard passports remains unaffected. These revised fees are effective starting from Thursday, 17 August 2023.
The introduction of e-passports comes as a relief to many citizens who have been facing prolonged delays in obtaining traditional passports. These delays have been further exacerbated by a surge in applications. In cities like Karachi, the usual 10-day delivery time for regular passports has now extended to over a month. Urgent passport processing, which typically takes five days, is now taking fifteen days. Even the fast-track delivery, usually completed within two days, has been extended to five days.
This considerable delay has created challenges for individuals planning Umrah pilgrimages and those seeking employment and education opportunities abroad. The surge in passport applications, reaching 40,000 daily compared to the usual range of 24,000 to 26,000, has contributed to processing bottlenecks.
To address these delays and streamline passport issuance, the printing period has been extended to 24 hours, with staff working continuously without days off. This strategic approach aims to manage the exceptional demand for travel documents and reduce inconvenience for citizens.
For comprehensive guidance on obtaining the newly introduced e-passports, please refer to the article provided below.