From Wednesday, the Department of Passport has made the e-passport service available in Nepal. Dr. Narayan Khadka, Minister of Foreign Affairs, presented Satya Mohan Joshi, a centenarian and culture expert, with the first e-passport. He also opened an e-passport Personalization Center at the Department’s office in Kathmandu’s Tripureshwor.
Minister Dr. Khadka expressed his delight at the department’s early implementation of the e-passport facility, and announced that the service would be expanded to district administration offices in all 77 districts, 18 area administration offices, and 40 embassies abroad.
“A passport is a critical document that reflects Nepal’s worldwide identity. As a result, I’d like to thank the Department of Passport for delivering a safe, dependable, and internationally recognized e-passport service on schedule,” FM Khadka stated.
Bharat Raj Paudyal, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), compared the Machine Readable Passport (MRP) to the electronic passport (e-passport) and stated that the government will continue to distribute MRPs until the country began issuing the latter from all related authorities. MRPs, he claims, will be fashionable by at least 2031.
“As a result, people will be able to use MRP for all needed purposes by then,” he explained.
Centenarian Joshi handed over his old passport to the department to keep it at the latter’s museum. Stating that the passport is an emblem of nationalism, he congratulated the department for its timely update.
Director General of the department, Dornath Aryal said that the e-passport is the most reliable, safe and qualitative, and most-used passport type internationally.
“The e-passport features a polycarbonate data sheet as well as a biographic data chip. He said, “It also includes a variety of other security features.” According to him, a Live Enrollment System for the e-passport will be placed at all sites, and users can pre-enroll to schedule an appointment to apply for the e-passport.
The new service allows for faster passport production, saving time and allowing people to obtain passports in districts outside of Kathmandu Valley and international nations within 15 days.
The government will issue a limited number of e-passports for a few days, and the service will be fully operational after three weeks. The facility will be expanded to include DAOs and Nepali missions abroad by December 2021.
The National Identity Card is linked to the E-passport, and the thumb impressions and photo obtained for the NIC would be the major basis for the applicant’s authentication. Before registering for the e-passport, Aryal advised everyone to apply for the NIC.
The tender for printing 2 million copies of passports has been awarded to the Idemia Identity and Security Company of the United States of America.
MRPs are issued from the department’s office in Narayanhiti Palace, while e-passports are issued from its new office in Tripureshwor.