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Nepal transitions to e-passports to improve passport profile

Nepal began issuing e-passports from Wednesday, replacing the old machine-readable passports, in a move that would slightly increase the profile of the Nepali passport, currently ranked at 110th position in the recent Henley Passport Index report

Nov 17, 2021
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Nepal transitions to e-passports

Nepal began issuing e-passports from Wednesday, replacing the old machine-readable passports, in a move that would slightly increase the profile of the Nepali passport, currently ranked at 110th position in the recent Henley Passport Index report. 

A French firm IDEMIA has been given the contract for printing passports after the initial three tenders by the earlier governments were canceled repeatedly, according to a report by The Kathmandu Post. 

In 2010, Nepal adopted machine-readable passports, shifting from the hand-written passport. And, today, almost after 11 years, the country opted for second-generation e-passports.  

However, the poor ranking of the passport was not only because of the old passport system that the country had. Factors like poor economic status, weak immigration system, and Nepalis overstaying on their visa abroad also contributed to its poor ranking. 

The country expects to better its status as it is no longer in conflict and successfully transitioned to democracy with political stability.

“Technically, the new passport is going to be one of the best, reliable, secure, and hassle-free for travelers, but passport rankings have more to do with politics,” the report quoted a senior Foreign Ministry official as saying. The e-passport will provide security against identity theft, making the reading contactless. 

(SAM)

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