Pakistan confirms introduction of biometric passports from June
The Pakistani Government confirmed it will start issuing biometric passports by June, Gulf News reports.
According to Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Pakistan’s federal minister for interior, an unnamed German company will be responsible for the development and deployment of the new system in the country.
The upcoming biometric passport system is designed to simplify passport control procedures and reduce passengers’ identification times.
The new digital document will feature a biometric chip containing citizens’ fingerprint data, together with traditional passports’ information like name, date of birth, and holder’s photograph.
The ePassport’s validity will be ten years, and its fee has been reduced by half, to allow more citizens to apply for one.
Commenting on the news, Ahmed said about 300,000 visas had been issued via the new, online-only process, of which only 12,000 were rejected in the last four months.
Pakistan’s e-visa system was first established in February, with the goal of discontinuing the manual visa system, and helping visa facilities encourage tourism and business visits to the country.