Saudi Arabia has announced that it will soon begin issuing a new electronic passport. Officials say the new ePassport is designed with advanced security features and it meets the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif inaugurated the new Saudi electronic passport during a visit to the Directorate General of Passports in Riyadh on Thursday, 10 February 2022. The new passport is part of a digital transformation process in Saudi Arabia, one of the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The kingdom’s passport was last redesigned in 2000.

The new passport features a new external color and more modern security features, including an encrypted data chip to protect the holder’s personal data. The ePassport data card contains the holder’s information and three photos using different technologies. The new passport can be verified and automatically read by smart gates at international airports. It can also be verified through a digital portal.

The artistic elements of the new passport represent the Kingdom’s most famous historical and cultural landmarks, such as the Makkah Clock Tower.

Officials did not say exactly when they will start issuing the new passport, but it will be in the near future. Saudi citizens need not replace their current passports with the new model since all passports will remain valid until their stated expiration date. There will be no fee increase for the new ePassport.

Sources:

Arab News

Worldakkam

Saudi Gazette

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