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India will introduce ePassports soon! Here is about everything you need to know: Prune



The ePassports will be the next big thing for your future international trips. You can soon expect to get chip-based ePassports issued to you when you apply for a new passport or renew your expired one. Countries such as US and Germany have the process kickstarted for the travellers, and India has decided to follow suit.


The government of India has recently made this announcement about the upcoming ePassports. Here is the official statement made by Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary of Consular, Passport, Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs on Twitter: "India to soon introduce next-gen ePassports for citizens." He added that these ePassports secure biometric data and enable smooth passage through immigration posts globally.


This news will bring a positive change to the way you travel. It will fasten the formalities and make your International Travel more convenient. But what are ePassports, what exactly do they do, and how do you apply for them? You may have plenty of questions surrounding the ePassport. Experts at Prune have compiled all the details you need to know about the new chip-enabled travel document.



What is an ePassport?


An ePassport, also known as a biometric passport, is a step-up from a traditional 'booklet' passport that is embedded with an electronic chip. This chip with a biometric identifier securely stores your personal information. And it also includes your biographical details visible on page 2 of the passport. The passport will also have a digital security signature unique to each country and can easily get verified using the official certificate. These passports comply with the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standard. But there can be additional choices made by the respective countries in the matter.


As of now, India is under a trial process and will introduce ePassports for its citizens soon. The Security Press in Nashik has received approval from the government to manufacture ePassports in India. And many have been distributed on a trial basis already. This will be a game-changer move once these come out as they strengthen the security of a passport-holder considerably during travel.



What are the benefits of an ePassport?


An ePassport or an electronic passport provides high-level security as compared to the traditional passport. It can minimise passport forgery and offer a smooth and hassle-free process at the immigration counters for international travellers. And it takes lesser time to issue these as the information goes through the database electronically. So you can avoid the delays with police verification at the offices.


The ePassport will give access to more countries without the need to get a prior visa because of the added security it provides. Presently India is in the 90th position regarding the places citizens can visit with a prior visa. The process of ePassports can also block out unauthorised data transfer using radio-frequency identification (RFID).



How to apply for an ePassport?


As soon as the process for ePassports is complete in India, the application process for the new travel document will remain the same. You need to follow the same process, as you did with the current passport. From filing the application form to picking an appointment date for verification, you can follow the same steps when ePassports come out.



Which countries are using ePassports?


Based on the reports by ICAO, presently, over 100 states and organisations like the United Nations are issuing ePassports. The countries such as Ireland, Nepal, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Bangladesh also have the process to introduce ePassports underway. According to research by Allied Market Research, the ePassport market will grow globally and be worth $97.6 billion by 2027.




What are your thoughts about the upcoming ePassports in India?




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