Bangladesh ePassport rollout makes progress

The modernisation project has made advances with the implementation of biometric workstations and e-gates

Alongside German technology company Veridos, Bangladesh has pushed forward with its electronic passport initiative which first started in last year.

The firm has helped the country to ensure the necessary preparations are taken to deepen the local supply chain for ePassports throughout this year.

In 2020, Veridos supplied 70 regional passport offices in Bangladesh with the IT resources needed to provide a platform for the new initiative. Biometric enrolment equipment has been installed at workstations so passport offices can get relevant data from citizens, including finger-prints and photos.

Photo Veridos 

People have been able to book appointments online since January of last year, cutting down waiting times. Almost half a million citizens have applied for the ePassport scheme via the online portal.

Situated in Dhaka, the new production and personalisation centre for the documents was completed last year. It consists of modern personalisation machines and has a capacity of 25,000 passports a day.

Veridos also installed 15 e-gates at airports in the region, with an additional 35 planned for later this year.

“We are delighted to be offering our citizens not only one of the most modern and secure ePassports in the world, but also to make the application process as fast and user-friendly as possible. On average, 7,500 people enrol their biometric information every day and this is just the start. We are looking forward to continuing the implementation of the professional project together with Veridos and deepening the trustful collaboration with our valued partner,” said Saidur Rahman Khan, project director at the Department of Immigration.

The latest plans for this year involve the distribution of enrolment kits, which consist of notebooks and biometric capturing devices which will enable authorities to gather data on those living in rural areas.

A £293m contract detailing the implementation of the ePassports was signed back in 2018, between Veridos and the Department of Immigration and Passports of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.