The most awaited service by Nepal Government, E-passport has started from today. The Department of Passport in Tripureswor has started issuing new e-passports from Mangsir, 1. Previously, it used to issue Machine Readable Passport (MRP). From handwritten to MRP, now we are getting e-passport which stores our details electronically through a chip or a barcode.
What is E-passport?
An E-passport does not mean we are having a virtual passport. The passport will have a physical presence. However, most of the details are stored in an electronic chip. The scanner or the chip reader would read the details.
It is similar to contactless debit/credit cards. They are equipped with electronic barcodes and chips such that it will be much easier to verification.
The e-passport will hold the record of all the biometric details of the holder ranging from their facial features to fingerprints. This microprocessor chip will store details other than those indicated in the passport.
In addition, as the passport issued in Nepal is official, its digital signature and keys will be shared across the country through ICAO.
E-passport is more secure and internationally recognizable
The E-passport is a more secure, official, and internationally recognized passport than MRP. The MRP image page, i.e. the data page, has a machine-readable zone in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) format.
When the passport reader machine reads the chip, the important details mentioned in it appear. Electronic chips and antennas will make it easier to travel. It is because they are connected. ti would be much easier to track the records of all the passport holders.
This helps to authorize the passport of a Nepalese citizen while travelling abroad.
The chip contains personal details, including fingerprints and photos. After locking the chip with these details, no one can add or modify it, so it has a lot of authenticities.
At present, Nepalese Passport ranks 105th position in the world. With the issuance of e-passport, it can raise the global ranking of Nepalese passports.
Benefits of E-passport
One can apply for live enrollment of e-passport online. As there is a live enrollment system, the person concerned will go to the District Administration Office. And after paying the money, the computer will prepare the records and you can get the e-passport.
As there will be a live application from the district administration, the department will immediately print the passport and send it to the district administration office. This arrangement will save the time required for the district administration office for the following activities:
- Collect the form and bring it to the department,
- Re-check the department
- Print the process
- Send the printed passport.
According to the Department of Passport, you can get e-passports from the concerned district administration office within 15 days.
You don’t have to wait for one and a half to two months as in making MRP. The same provision will be applicable not only from the District Administration Office but also to those who apply for passports from Nepali Missions abroad.
The issuance of an e-passport does not mean that the MRP passport will not be valid. The MRP passport is valid till the expiry of the current MRP. But after the expiration date, you have to renew the passport. The department will stop the issuance of a new MRP passport after an e-passport becomes commonly available.
E-passport and Digital Nepal
Since many things are getting digital in Nepal, e-passport will add another brick to the wall. Some notable achievements like Nagarik App, Namaste Pay, International Payment Gateway, National Payment Switch is helping to increase digital inclusion. With more governmental services being digital, the public would benefit more from digital systems. Moreover, the government can keep a better track record of the citizens so as to control criminal activities. it would bring a win-win situation for the government and the citizens. In addition to that, it will also bring in good fortune for the businesses that go digital.
The issuance of an e-passport will surely make it easier in departure and arrival in the international transits. Nepalese passports will also get good recognition so that the news of the rejection of passports will also decrease. Moreover, the digital storage of the details of the passport holders can reduce the paper costs which are required to maintain the record in the government authorities.