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Vietnam's e-passports has yet to be issued

15:41 | 03/07/2020

Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security postponed e-passport issuance due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, Vnexpress reported. 

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Due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, the pieces of equipment from abroad have not been imported to Vietnam so that the electronic passports (e-passports) would go slower than expected.

On July 2, an authority of the Immigration Department under the Ministry of Public Security said that they have yet to define the exact date to launch the issuance of electronic passports for holders. "The software system for making electronic chip passports has been completed, related data has also been charged, however, machines and equipment have not been available," he said.

The Law on Exit and Entry of Vietnamese citizens takes effect on July 1, stipulating two types of passports with and without electronic chips; Citizens who are at least 14 years old are eligible to apply for a passport with or without the electronic chip.

vietnams e passports has yet to be issued
Types of ordinary passports citizens are using. (Photo: Ba Do)

Currently, the Immigration Department is managing more than 125 million data records on citizens' exit and entry and more than 20 million passports, laissez-passers.

E-passports are supposedly much more secure and harder to forge compared to their conventional counterparts, and the microchip would be compatible with e-passport readers in most countries around the world.

More than 15 countries had already migrated to this new type of passport by the middle of 2018.

The number of Vietnamese traveling overseas to study, work, or tourism has increased steadily in recent times, from 6.1 million in 2013 to 7.7 million in 2016 and 9.2 million in 2017.

Applicants will just need to fill out forms to get a new e-passport, either online or at the police’s municipal and provincial immigration offices.

The Immigration Department also suggests people using the advanced passport instead of the ordinary ones, as many countries around the world have given priority to considering granting visas for e-passport users. For example, in the United States, e-Passport is an important condition in a series of visa requirements.

If people have traditional passports, they are still valid until the expiry date indicated on the passport, meaning that both types of passports are still valid for use.

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Vietnam has fallen two to 90th on a list of the world’s most powerful passports, according to the Haley Passport Index 2019.

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The Vietnamese passport climbed up two places to 73rd out of 94 positions occupied by 199 countries and territories but remains in the bottom rung.

Vaness Hoang

vnexpress