The government has decided to issue electronic passports alongside the machine readable passport (MRP) for the citizens of the country.

The decision came in a meeting at the home ministry on Monday.

The passport will have 5-10 years of validity period based on ages of the passport holder.

Those who are under 18 and over 55 years old will be given passports with 5-year expiry period while those who are between 19 and 55 will be given for 10 years.

It will cost Tk 5500 for passport with 5-year validity period while Tk 11000 for 10-year period.

Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said if it is launched, it will help millions of Bangladeshi expatriates, especially it will ease their visa and work permit procedure.

The meeting sources said those who are now having MRP passports should collect e-passports too once their expiry dates were over.

The home ministry sources said all information, including biometric sign of passport holders’ eyes and fingerprint, will be preserved in the microchips installed in the e-passport page. Thus tracking of individuals’ movements will become easier. 

A total of 118 countries, including Canada, United Kingdom, United States, are now using passports of this kind.

A feasibility committee, formed to study the project, has been asked to submit a report in next 10 days.