Indians to get e-passports from next year


Indians to get e-passports from next year

Indian citizens will likely get e-passports, starting 2021. Reportedly, anyone seeking a reissuance or opt for applying for a new passport in 2021, would be able to get an e-passport with an electronic microprocessor chip embedded in it. The Indian government has already initiated the said process, whereas the infrastructure is also in place to ensure upgraded and future-ready documents are provided to deter identity theft, forgery, and enhanced connectivity for a streamlined immigration process.

As per the latest reports, the government initially issued 20000 official and diplomatic e-passports embedded with such chips on a trial basis. Now, after a successful run, it has begun the process for issuance of e-passports for all citizens. Till now, passports were issued to citizens in the form of personalised printed booklets.

The e-passports will follow the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards, and will be tougher, as well as harder to destroy. The chip at the front of the passport will come with an internationally recognized logo meant for e-passports. Regarding procedures for applying, all remain the same, i.e., from filing the application form on the Indian government website to choosing your location and date of the appointment.

Indians to get e-passports from next year

The microchip embedded in the passport will hold all vital information related to the passport holder’s biometric data, as well as security features that will disallow unauthorized data transfer through RFID (radio-frequency identification). Almost all major airports have faster processing times for e-visa and e-passport holders due to higher level of automation from gaining access to immigrations areas to security checks, as computerized authorization is much more secure and faster.

Reportedly, all 36 passport offices in India under the Ministry of External Affair will start issuing the said e-passports soon. The issuance time will remain the same, i.e., with no disruptions or delays caused due to the new system. Referring to this development, Minister for External Affairs S Jaishankar emphasized the need for higher security protocols for passports, and the need for e-passports being at the forefront of achieving that goal.

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