HK to launch applications for next-generation ePassport


Hong Kong citizens and qualified applicants will be able to apply for the next-generation HKSAR electronic passport (e-Passport) this week, local media reports.

The citizens will also be able to apply for the electronic document of identity for visa purposes (e-Doc/I) from next week onward, with the processing time to be quicker, reported Hong Kong Economic Journal

The move comes after the Immigration Department announced on Thursday that the new e-Passport and e-Doc/I will continue to be produced in compliance with the standard of the International Civil Aviation Organization, noted the newspaper.

The security features of the new documents will be further enhanced with a specially made transparent window with the holder’s portrait engraved by laser engraving technology will be added to the bio-data page.

Full-color ultraviolet printing technology will be also adopted for visa pages, on which a night view of the northern part of Hong Kong Island will appear under UV light.

To provide applicants with more convenient services, the department has updated related software, shortening the processing time by five working days from 10 at present, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

The processing days will also be reduced to 10 from 14 if the applicant is under the age of 11 and without a Hong Kong identity card.

A total of 28 brand new self-service kiosks made for application purposes will be gradually introduced by the department from May 14 to its headquarters in Wan Chai as well as at its six branch offices to replace the existing ones, which will be fully retired on Saturday after they have been put into service for 10 years.

During a presentation of the new kiosk to media on Thursday, Chan Tin-chee, the department’s assistant director (personal documentation), said that all an applicant needs to do is put his or her ID card on the scanner and then choose a photo, either taken immediately at the kiosk or prepared by himself or herself for scanning, that will be displayed on the new passport before filling in the application form.

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