UAE | General

Pakistani embassy in Abu Dhabi issues machine-readable passport

It is the 11th station outside Pakistan that issuing e-passports, said Faisal Tarimzi, a diplomat at the embassy.

  • By Aftab Kazmi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 16:04 July 15, 2008
  • Gulf News

Al Ain: Pakistani residents flocked to their embassy in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to apply for machine-readable passports.

The Pakistan embassy in Abu Dhabi has been issuing e-passports since Monday.

It is the 11th station outside Pakistan that issuing e-passports, said Faisal Tarimzi, a diplomat at the embassy.

Hassles

Until Monday, the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai was the only place in the UAE for Non-Resident Pakistanis to obtain machine-readable passports.

Long queues, lengthy journeys, scarcity of car parking around the consulate, and insufficient information were the major worries for applicants.

People travelling to the consulate from Al Ain and Abu Dhabi were often taken aback by additional unannounced requirements.

"I returned without applying when a security guard at the gate of the consulate asked me to bring four pictures to apply for an urgent passport," said Mohammad Hanif, an Al Ain resident.

"It is not easy to get a day off, people at the consulate must look at the difficulties of people coming from far flung areas."

"We handled some 120 applications for biometric passports on the very first day," said Tarimzi, adding that the passport will be issued to all Pakistanis upon fulfilling the requirements.

The machine-readable passports has an embedded computer chip that stores important digital information about the holder. Radio-frequency identification ensures the integrity of the document.

The document was developed by Pakistan's National Database and Registration Authority and 25 passport offices in Pakistan have been issuing it since October 2004.

"The embassy will cover the Abu Dhabi emirate while the Consulate General will handle the applicants from Dubai and northern emirates," said the diplomat.

The Non-Resident Pakistanis applying for the passport must have original computerised national identity card or the national identity card for overseas Pakistanis, and the original existing passport to get a new passport.

Fees for urgent passports is Dh294, which is delivered after a week, while fees for ordinary passports is Dh155 and is delivered after two weeks.

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