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27 May, 2019 12:34:51 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 27 May, 2019 03:18:30 PM
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3-slab fees for e-passports proposed

DEEPAK ACHARJEE, Dhaka
3-slab fees for e-passports proposed

The home ministry committee has recommended the fixing of fees of the much-talked about e-passport from Tk. 3,500 to Tk. 12,000 each. The service is likely to be introduced by July this year. Three categories of e-passports—normal, urgent and very urgent—would be issued with five to 10 years’ validity. Those below 18 years and above 65 years will get passports of five years’ validity only. Those who do not fall in this category will have a passport term of 10 years. At the same time, the Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP) will issue 48-page and 64-page passports with a validity of five years and 10 years as per the requirements of passport holders.

According to the recommendations of the home ministry’s committee, an applicant has to pay Tk. 3,500 for a normal passport of five-year validity and Tk. 5,500 for urgent and Tk. 7,500 for very urgent passport having 48 pages. If anyone seeks a 10-year passport of 48 pages, he or she has to cough up Tk. 5,000 for a normal passport, Tk. 7,000 for urgent and Tk. 9,000 for very urgent passports.

An applicant who wants a 64-page passport with a validity of five years has to pay Tk. 5,500 for a normal passport, Tk. 7,500 for urgent and Tk. 10,500 for very urgent passports. At the same time, an applicant seeking 10-year passport validity, Tk. 7,000 has to be paid to get a normal passport, Tk. 9,000 for urgent and Tk. 12,000 for very urgent passports.

On the other hand, applicants seeking passports having 64 pages with five years validity in Bangladesh missions abroad have to pay USD 100 for getting normal passports and USD 150 for

urgent passports for an adult applicant. But students living abroad have to pay USD 30 for getting a normal e-passport and USD 45 for urgent passport with the validity of five years.

At the same time, an applicant staying abroad requiring a 10-year passport has to pay USD 125 for getting a normal passport and USD 175 for urgent passport. Students living abroad and requiring passport validity of 10 years have to pay USD 50 for getting a normal e-passport and USD 75 for an urgent passport.

 For issuing a 64-page e-passport with five years validity, the applicant has to pay USD 150 to get a normal passport and USD 200 for an urgent passport. For the same validity period (five years), a student has to pay USD 150 and Tk. USD 200 for urgent passport.

On the other hand, an applicant staying abroad wanting a 10-year validity passport, has to pay USD 175 for getting a normal passport and USD 225 for urgent passport. A student has to pay USD 175 for a normal e-passport and USD 225 for an urgent passport.

The chief of the committee, Mohammed Azharul Huq, who is the also additional secretary (Security and Immigration Wing) of the Security Services Division of the ministry of home affairs, told The Independent that they had sent their recommendations to the home minister, seeking his approval.

“After getting approval from the home ministry, a proposal would be sent to the ministry of finance, seeking final approval of fixing the fees of e-passport,” he said.

He added, “At the same time, we will send another proposal of amending the existing passport law to the law ministry seeking its vetting for increasing the passport tenure from five years to 10 years.”

He further said, “We hope that we will be able to complete the process of fixing the fees of e-passports and amending the existing passport law within June.”

Talking to this correspondent, Director General (DG) of DIP Major General Md Shohail Hossain Khan said they were ready to issue e-passports from July this year. “We will be able to issue e-passports to the applicants in all offices of the DIP and the all Bangladesh missions abroad within two years,” he said.

German passport production company Veridos GmbH is working to introduce the e-passport by July this year under the much-talked about ‘Introduction of e-Passport and Automated Border Control Management in Bangladesh’ project.

In July last year, the DIP and the Veridos GmbH had signed an agreement to implement the ‘Introduction of e-Passport and Automated Border Control Management in Bangladesh’. Then the Director General of DIP Maj. Gen. Md Masud Rezwan and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Veridos GmbH Hans Wolfgang Kunz signed the agreement in favour of their respective organisations.

Under the mega project of Tk. 4,569 crore, the DIP will start issuing e-passports instead of machine-readable passports (MRPs) with a 10-year validity. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with the German company during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to that country in February, 2017.

Under the agreement, a passport booklet factory will be set up in Dhaka’s Uttara, where a six-storied printing building of the DIP has been constructed. As part of the proposed project, three crore e-passports would be made and distributed among the existing MRP owners in the country.

Under the project, the German company will set up the required equipment at all Bangladesh missions abroad and all passport offices in the country.

At the same time, they will set up 50 e-gates at many immigration points at all international airports, seaports and land ports in the country.

The e-passport will be a biometric passport containing detailed features of the holder. It will have a microchip containing biometric information and the holder’s name, date of birth and other biographic information.

At present, a passport holder is paying Tk. 3,000 as fees for normal (30 days) and Tk 6,000 for urgent (seven days) MRPs. DIP sources said they had issued 2.36 crore MRPs till date since they were introduced in April, 2010.

At least 118 countries, including India (only for diplomats and officials), China, Malaysia and the UAE, have already introduced e-passports.

MK/MK

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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