In an era of technological advancement, the way we travel is evolving rapidly. The traditional passport is making way for a more secure and convenient option: the E-passport. The Government of Pakistan has embraced this change, introducing the E-passport to facilitate the international travels of Pakistani citizens, especially those residing abroad. In this article, we will delve into the exciting world of E-passports, exploring their key features and the numerous advantages they offer over their traditional counterparts.
Pakistan’s E-Passport Initiative
The E-passport service in Pakistan, which was initially reserved for diplomatic and government officials, is now being extended to residents of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). The government plans to gradually roll out this service to other cities across the nation, making it accessible to a wider audience.
A Glimpse into the E-Passport
What is an E-Passport?
At the heart of the E-passport lies an electronic chip securely embedded within one of its pages. This chip serves as a repository for biometric information about the passport holder. It contains essential data that not only validates the holder’s identity but also includes their biometric personal information, a unique identification number, and a digital signature. The newly launched E-passports in Pakistan will strictly adhere to the guidelines set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of the United Nations, ensuring global compatibility.
E-Passport Fee Structure
To acquire an E-passport, Pakistani citizens will need to pay a fee based on the duration and the number of pages in the passport. Here is a breakdown of the fee structure:
For a 5-year E-passport with 36 pages:
- Regular fee: PKR 9,000
- Urgent fee: PKR 15,000
For a 10-year E-passport with 36 pages:
- Regular fee: PKR 13,500
- Urgent fee: PKR 22,500
For a 5-year E-passport with 72 pages:
- Regular fee: PKR 16,500
- Urgent fee: PKR 27,500
For a 10-year E-passport with 72 pages:
- Regular fee: PKR 24,750
- Urgent fee: PKR 40,500
Advantages of Pakistan’s E-Passport
The introduction of E-passports marks a significant leap forward in passport technology. Here are some of the key advantages:
- Global Acceptance: E-passports are already in use in more than 150 countries worldwide, making international travel smoother for Pakistani citizens.
- Enhanced Security: In an age of heightened security concerns, E-passports help streamline border security by integrating advanced security features.
- E-Gate Access: Pakistan’s E-passport holders can enjoy the convenience of the e-gate facility at airports around the world, reducing waiting times and simplifying the travel experience.
- Efficiency: The transition to E-passports eliminates the need for arduous manual processes, making it easier for applicants to submit their applications online.
- A Boon for Overseas Pakistanis: This technological leap doesn’t just benefit individuals but also contributes to the well-being of the nation by making it easier for overseas Pakistanis to access essential documents.
The introduction of the E-passport in Pakistan is a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment to modernizing its services and ensuring the welfare of its citizens. This innovative travel document not only simplifies international travel but also enhances the security and efficiency of the entire process. So, get ready to embrace this new era of hassle-free travel with Pakistan’s E-passport!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I upgrade my existing passport to an E-passport?
Yes, you can upgrade your current passport to an E-passport by following the renewal process specified by the government.
2. How can I apply for an E-passport online?
The government has introduced an online application system for E-passports, making it convenient for citizens to apply from the comfort of their homes.
3. Are E-passports more secure than traditional passports?
Absolutely. E-passports come with enhanced security features, including biometric data, which make them more secure and difficult to counterfeit.
4. What are the advantages of a 72-page E-passport?
A 72-page E-passport is ideal for frequent travelers as it offers more space for visas and stamps.
5. How long does it take to process an urgent E-passport application?
Urgent E-passport applications are processed more quickly, typically within a few days, making them suitable for those with immediate travel plans.