No scheduled date fixed to introduce biometric passports

First biometric documents to appear in Belarus in 2012

By Vasily Malashenkov

The Council of Ministers has approved a plan of action for 2011 regarding the introduction of biometric documents, with major work to be performed this year. In 2012, the Interior Ministry plans to issue the first biometric passports. However, these will actually be documents for refuges and stateless persons.

The exact date for launching biometric passports for Belarusian citizens hasn’t yet been specified but Alexey Begun, the Head of the Interior Ministry’s Citizenship and Migration Department, notes that world technologies in this area are constantly improving, while costs are reduced. The Interior Ministry is continuing its work to introduce such passports, while studying world experience. Representatives of many countries are sharing their experience with our state.

Mr. Begun also stresses that biometric passports won’t be issued to every citizen in Belarus automatically, only given on application, for travel abroad. Within the country, traditional passports will continue to be used as a form of identification. Moreover, he explains that no single standard for biometric passports has been established worldwide; Belarus plans to use fingerprints for their issue.

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