What is an e-Passport in India?
- Author :
- TATA AIG Team
- Published on :
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the entire world in multiple ways. Although the threat and fear of the deadly coronavirus have diminished now after the two years of ravage, several changes cannot be restored. Some of these changes have made the world a better place to live in.
One such change that we have increasingly seen after the COVID-19 pandemic is the digitalisation of everything. Our smartphones and laptops have become the epicentres of various daily tasks. From e-banking to online shopping to video conferencing with colleagues, we can now do most of our daily chores from the convenience of our homes or offices.
However, you must be longing for a vacation with your friends or family members after a long gap. But if you’re thinking about an abroad trip, you will need a passport and a visa. If you don’t have a passport or if your passport has expired, you will need to apply for it and visit the respective Passport Seva Kendra for the verification process. Let us understand the e-Passport meaning and other details.
The Introduction of e-Passport
In February 2022, the Government of India announced the introduction of the e-Passport or digital passport for its citizens. This is another step by the Government toward the digitalisation of India. The Government of India already issues e-visas to international travellers from more than 160 countries, but the availability of e-passports will ensure a lot of convenience for its citizens.
Continue reading to know more information about the e-passport India, its application procedure, and its benefits.
What is The New e-Passport for Indian Citizens?
The new e-Passport in India is the biometric passport India for Indian citizens. This passport will be issued electronically by the Government of India, and it will contain a small electronic chip that will store all the information of the passport holder. The data stored in the biometric passport chip in India will include the passport holder’s name, nationality, and date of birth, among others.
An e-Passport will be more powerful than a regular passport in terms of security and transparency. It will ensure that the personal data of the traveller cannot be leaked easily. However, the application and verification procedures for a digital chip passport in India are the same as a regular passport, and they will also contain the same information, albeit in an electronic chip.
What are the Features of An e-Passport?
As mentioned earlier, a digital passport in India will enhance the security and transparency of the information contained in it. An e-Passport in India will have 41 distinct security features than a regular passport. Some of these features include:
The digital passports will contain embossed holographic images of the passport holders in a laminated film. When viewed from different angles, these holographic images will tend to change their colour.
It will also contain the demographic information of the passport holder, such as his or her permanent address, area, state, city, and PIN code.
There will be an electronic chip that will contain the biometric information of the passport holder, including his or her name, father’s name, mother’s name, and date of birth, among others.
The chip will also contain the fingerprint scanning of all ten fingers and the iris scans of both eyes of the passport holder.
It will bear the digital signature of the passport holder.
All digital passports in India would be biometrically secured, and many people may call them chip passports in India. They will have a micro biometric chip on their front covers. These chips would be internationally recognised.
You can tell whether your passport is biometric or not by looking at the electronic chip on its front cover.
Benefits of An e-Passport
After knowing the e-Passport meaning and the e-Passport features, let us discuss the unique benefits of an e-Passport:
If you’re carrying an e-Passport, you won’t have to stand in queues for a long time as the authorities would be able to scan it in just a few seconds.
Your e-Passport will have the biometric record of your personal details, demographic details, and travel details in a secured chip. It will prevent the fraudsters from stealing this information and creating fake passports.
No one can wipe or edit the data stored in the biometric chip of an e-Passport. Also, if anyone tries to tamper with the chip, it will automatically get destroyed. Thus, they will ensure complete security and transparency.
With e-Passports, you can ensure easy verification of yourself and your family members by immigration authorities.
How Does an e-Passport Work?
With a regular Indian passport, you may have to wait at the immigration counters for the authorities to check and verify your data manually. However, the new e-Passport for India will contain an embedded rectangular electronic chip with 64-kilobyte storage space. This chip will carry all the essential data of the traveller.
Hence, at the immigration counters, the authorities will only scan the electronic chip of your e-Passport to check and verify all the information. These chips are globally recognised, which means that they can be scanned anywhere across the globe.
Electronic passports will, therefore, reduce the queues at the immigration counters and airport security checks. It will also remove the possibility of human errors in passport verification, thereby strengthening the security at airports.
The digital passport India has been developed by three major technical institutes of India:
- The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
- The National Informatics Centre (NIC)
- The Ministry of External Affairs and the India Security Press
How To Apply For An e-Passport?
We have already mentioned earlier that the application procedure for the e-Passport is the same as the regular Indian Passport. Below are the steps you can follow for the e-Passport application:
- Go to the passport e-Seva website and click on the “Register Now” option. You can also Log in with your existing id if you have one
- Click on the “Apply for Fresh Passport” option or “Re-issue of Passport” if you already have a passport
- Enter all the required details and then click on “Submit”
- Click on the “Pay and Schedule Appointment” option. You will need to make the online payment of your passport fee and schedule an appointment at your nearest Passport Seva Kendra for the verification of your documents
- Check all the details and take a printout of the e-Passport application form
- Visit the respective Passport Seva Kendra at the given time and date for the verification of your details and documents
What are the Documents Required to Apply for An e-Passport?
Again, the documents required to apply for an e-Passport in India are the same as a regular Indian passport. These include:
- An address Proof
- Photo id proof
- Date of birth proof
- Bank statement or income proof
- Employer certificate (if applicable)
- Proof of education
- ECR or Non-ECR page (for passport re-issue)
You can apply and get your e-Passport by following the steps mentioned above. If you want to know anything else regarding an e-Passport in India, you can visit the Indian Government’s official website.
Apart from an e-Passport, you should also purchase an international travel insurance plan before you step out for an abroad trip. It will protect you from incurring unforeseen financial liabilities during your international trip.
If you want, you can get a Tata AIG travel insurance plan because it comes with several added benefits. Besides, should things go wrong on your foreign trip, you can easily apply for a travel insurance claim with Tata AIG. At Tata AIG, we offer both domestic travel insurance and international travel insurance for individual passengers, as well as for families.