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Feb 17, 2023 / 11:44

Vietnam to issue e-passports next month

The e-passport is expected to facilitate international travel for Vietnamese holders and secure their data.

Vietnam will roll out e-passports or chip-embedded ordinary passports from March 1, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

The design of an unchipped passport. Photo: The Hanoi Times

The chip-based passport is expected to facilitate overseas travel for Vietnamese, protect the holder's data, and improve immigration control.

An electronic passport contains not only basic personal information such as full name, date of birth, and nationality but also biometric features such as fingerprint, face, and blood type.

The chip symbol is printed on the front cover of the passport while the chip is embedded in the back cover alongside the digital signature of the passport issuing agency.

All data is stored inside the chip, making it difficult to copy and falsify, ensuring the security of the information for the owner. 

Every Vietnamese person can choose between chipped and unchipped passport when applying for a new passport.

Unchipped passport remains valid. Holders of unchipped passport will switch to e-passport when the existing one expires.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, the chipped passport will meet international standards on migration. The e-passport holder may be given priority to complete all entry requirements and pass through immigration control.

By now, chipped passport is available in more than 100 countries and territories. The US Visa Waiver Program allows visa-free entries for the people of 40 nations and territories rolling out chipped passports, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, and Japan.

According to a report by the Henley Passport Index, the Vietnamese passport ranked 88th among the most powerful passports in the world.

In its 2023 rating, Henley Passport Index said Vietnamese passport holders enjoy visa-free entry or are eligible for an e-visa or visa on arrival in 55 countries and territories worldwide.

The Japanese have the most powerful passport in the world, which allows them to enter 193 nations without a visa, followed by Singapore and the Republic of Korea with 192 visa-free destinations. Germany and Spain rank third with free entrance into 190 nations.

The Henley Passport Index is the original and authoritative ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The index is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – the largest and most accurate travel information database – and enhanced by Henley & Partners’ research team. Surveys are made for 199 passports and 227 countries and territories globally, updated every quarter.