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26.08.2008

Belarus: One Country, One Passport

Current passports of Belarusian citizens will be modernized preserving one-passport system in the country. It is planned that in future passport covers will contain a non-contact microchip with biometrical information about its holder. Such document will identify a citizen both within and outside the country. It will be issued to Belarusian citizens on basis of an application principle.

Current passports of Belarusian citizens will be modernized preserving one-passport system in the country. It is planned that in future passport covers will contain a non-contact microchip with biometrical information about its holder. Such document will identify a citizen both within and outside the country. It will be issued to Belarusian citizens on basis of an application principle.

The necessity to modernize the existing passport system has arisen as a result of raised international design and protection requirements to ID papers. As a consequence, the Ministry of Home affairs in cooperation with other public authorities take a package of measures in view of a possible transition to passport-visa documents of a new generation. New passport technology focuses upon the use of non-contact microchips which contain biometrical information about their holders (digital photography, fingerprints, etc.)

The decision whether to introduce biometrical documents or not will be taken by the President in case new international requirements to migration processes hampering or making it impossible for Belarusian citizens to travel abroad come into effect. After such decision is taken, the Ministry of Home Affairs together with other interested authorities will need two or even two and a half years in order to prepare and introduce a state information system which would regulate making, processing, issuing and controlling biometrical documents.

At present Belarusian state run public authorities analyze the legislation, international agreements and other bills concerning the use and introduction of biometrical documents. Besides that, they monitor other countries’ legislations as well as international requirements to migration processes.

According to Information and Public Relations Department of Ministry of Home Affairs