Tuesday, April 01, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, March 31 2008] E-Passports to Be Issued on Trial Basis

The government will begin issuing electronic passports for diplomats and government officials on a trial basis from March 31. The issuance of e-passports is a precondition to joining the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. E-passports will be available for the general public starting around August.

President Lee Myung-bak, who is traveling to the U.S. next month on his first overseas trip since his inauguration, will reportedly carry an e-passport in an effort to persuade the U.S. to include South Korea in the VWP.

The back cover of the e-passport contains an embedded microchip that carries the holder's basic personal information, including date of birth and his or her facial information. This makes the back cover of the e-passport a little thicker than that of conventional passports, but otherwise there is almost no difference in the outward appearance between the two. From 2010, the e-passport will also carry the holder's fingerprint information.

No comments: