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Bulletins Bulletin : Published and Discussed
Date: Tuesday, June 03, 2003
From: chupkotha
Subject:
protidin e notun kichhu astechhe>>>>>
Description:


Current Bangladeshi passports invalid for US from Oct'04

Only machine-readable documents will be acceptable for security reasons

Nazmul Ahsan


The US State Department has banned Bangladeshi conventional passport beyond October 5, 2004, official sources said.

Only machine-readable biometrics passport having latest security features will be acceptable to the US authorities after the deadline.


Bangladeshi aspirants, both normal and red passport holders, willing to visit the US have to abide by the new directive issued as part of the US anti-terrorism measures.


The new requirement will also be applicable to other countries included in the US terror-risk list on January 16 this year, sources said.


Sixteen countries, including Bangladesh, were included in the list.


In a recent briefing held in Los Angeles, the US State Department informed the office of the Consulate General of Bangladesh of its latest decision.


Jane Tannenbaum, chief diplomatic liaison division, visa office, the US Department of State, conducted the briefing attended by high officials of the Consulate General of Bangladesh.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already informed the Ministry of Home Affairs about the latest US decision, sources said.

The number of Bangladeshi US visa recipients, both immigrants and non-immigrants, could decline once the biometrics passport is introduced, officials fear.


Neither the photo nor the signature of any passport holder will be pasted in the proposed biometrics passport unlike in the present system.


The signature will be imposed on the biometrics passport by computer scanning, which could be read only by machine.


Instead of a photo, there will be a ghost image of the holder in the passport, visible only by an ultra violet light.


"Any sort of counterfeit will be impossible if such a machine-readable passport is introduced," a high-up at the Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP) said.


Similar US directives might be enforced for the remaining countries in the world in future, sources hinted.


When asked, officials at the DIP said they received no directive in this regard till yesterday.


The cost of passport could go up once the biometrics passport is introduced in the country, one official at DIP told The Daily Star.


The country has a demand for one million passports a year.






People Discussion
Rony Salman
(Tuesday, June 03, 2003)

Chupkotha, the machine-readable passport with biometric features are required only for those countries, (Australia and most of the European and Scandinavian countries and Japan and Singapore from Asia), whose citizen can travel to USA for tourism or business for 90 days or less without having to obtain a visa. These countries (27) are said to fall under the 'Visa Waiver Program Act of year 2000' and Bangladesh doesn't fall under that category. The Bangladeshis wouldn't need the biometric featured machine-readable passport, as all the Bangladeshis have to obtain a valid visa through strict scrutiny in the Embassy before they can travel to USA.


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