Biometric Passport

Biometric Passport

Biometric Passport

A biometric passport, also known as ePassport, is the newest type of passport containing security features, including an embedded microchip. Holding a biometric passport means more benefits than holding a traditional one, as with a biometric passport, you can pass through the ePassport gates during border control and at the same time save plenty of time and stress.


What is the meaning of the biometric passport?

A biometric passport practically means a modern type of passport that has features that allow for the electronic scanning of personal details thanks to the embedded chip with the passport holder’s information.

Thanks to the microchip, it is nearly impossible to forge the document, and it is very easy to detect any attempts of identity fraud when the person intends to cross the country’s border.

The passport holder’s details embedded in the microchip have to be authenticated by secure procedures and policies. That is why the passport’s security features aim at preventing the unauthorized reading of stored personal information.


How to recognize a biometric passport

At first glance, it may be really hard to recognize whether it is a biometric passport or a traditional one, as they look very similar. The microchip located on the cover of the biometric passport is really difficult to detect.

One characteristic feature of the biometric passport that can really help to recognize it is a small gold camera symbol placed at the bottom of the passport’s front cover. If you are a holder of a passport with this symbol, you may be sure that you hold an ePassport.

Despite certain visual differences in biometric passports depending on the issuance country, in general, ePassports look the same.


Benefits of holding a biometric passport

Until now, more than 120 countries in the world introduced biometric passports. The benefits of holding an ePassport and using it to travel internationally are numerous, including:

  • no need to spend long hours in a border control queue
  • secure identification
  • prevention from fraudulent attempts of identity theft
  • privacy security and protection


Traveling with a biometric passport

Very often, holding a biometric passport is not a choice but a requirement. For example, if you are eligible to travel to the United States with ESTA as your country participates in the VWP, you must hold an ePassport. The application for the US ESTA is just one example of when an applicant needs to possess a biometric passport. If you plan to apply for an electronic visa anywhere, it is very likely that your traditional passport will not be accepted.

If you arrive in a country where ePassport gates are present at border control, you will simply need to scan your document to have your details checked and confirmed by the facial recognition system.

Arrivals holding non-ePassports should be prepared for the longer control procedures as the border control officials will have to check their passports manually before they grant a traveler access to the country.