Saudi Arabia launches its new e-Passport
Riding its digital transformation wave, Saudi Arabia has launched its new chip-based e-Passport, in an ardent effort to boost security and ease international travel. As Saudi Vision 2030 approaches, the electronic passport can now be checked off the list of goals Saudi Arabia is well on its way to successfully accomplishing.
The Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif inaugurated Saudi Arabia’s new e-Passport at an event that took place at the Directorate General of Passports, in Riyadh, on Thursday, February 10, 2022. There, he met with key stakeholders; was briefed on the e-passport’s value-added and the services offered to citizens, residents and visitors; and tested its top-of-the-line security features. A visual presentation was shown to Price Abdul Aziz, presenting the key drivers behind the establishment and development of the passport sector. Prince Abdul Aziz also met with team members from the Command-and-Control Center, the Unified Call Center 992, and the Beneficiary Services Center in the passport directorate.
At the Saudi Arabia e-Passport inauguration event, Prince Abdul Aziz officially signed the e-Passport inauguration document, a joint cooperation initiative between the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Finance, and Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority.
What makes the e-Passport so special?
Some of the e-Passport’s features include an electronic chip to safeguard the user’s personal information and photos, as well as a verification feature for use at smart gates at international borders. The new Saudi Arabian e-Passport fulfills all international ICAO regulations and requirements.
With its meticulous design and state-of-the-art security features, it’s not surprising that Saudi Arabia’s new e-Passport has made tremendous progress for Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the new Saudi e-Passport is as aesthetically appealing as it is technologically sophisticated, its pages wonderfully decorated with Saudi Arabia’s noteworthy cultural and historic landmarks.
How to apply for a new Saudi Arabian e-Passport?
Saudi citizens can apply for the new e-Passport on the “Absher” electronic platform, where applicants make a follow-up appointment in the relevant “appointment” section (and choose the icon for the date of issuance or renewal of the passport). The applicant then goes in person to the nearest regional General Directorate of Passports department and presents all the required documents (ID card, two passport photos, and the old passport), which the General Directorate of Passports reviews, issues and delivers to the applicant by “SPL” Saudi Post within 3 working days.
The fees for passport issuance and renewal have remained the same (300 KSA riyals for a 5-year passport; 600 KSA riyals for a 10-year passport.