Government issues e-passports for first time

This image shows the entrance of the Departmen of Passports in Kathmandu in April 2021.

KATHMANDU: The government on Wednesday started issuing e-passports for the first time.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Khadka inaugurated the e-passport personalisation centre at the Department of Passport and handed over the country’s first-ever e-passport to Satya Mohan Joshi, a 102-year-old culture expert, the department said in a press statement.

E-passports will ultimately replace machine-readable passports (MRP), which were introduced in 2010 to replace the decades-old handwritten passports in Nepal.

Sharad Raj Aran, Spokesperson for the Department of Passport, said, “Only a limited number of e-passports will be issued initially as the system is still in the test phase.”

The department plans to issue e-passports in a full-fledged manner within three weeks, while District Administration Offices will start doing so from December, and Nepali diplomatic missions abroad will issue them from January next year, according to the press statement.

Aran said all concerned offices will continue to issue machine-readable passports and e-passports until necessary infrastructure is ready for e-passports only.

“We plan to start distributing e-passport in a full-fledged manner from January-end,” he added.

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