Saudi passport Image Credit: Sabq

Dubai: Saudi Arabia will soon introduce electronic passports for its citizens, replacing the current ones with a machine-readable passport with extra safety features, a top Saudi official said on Wednesday.

Prince Bandar Bin Abdullah Al Mashari, assistant Minister of Interior for Technical Affairs, said the Saudi passports would soon be replaced with a machine-readable passport (MRP) and National IDs can be renewed from anywhere in the world.

The new electronic passport service will be launched within the coming few months, Prince Bandar said while speaking to journalists during his visit to the Saudi pavilion participating in the GITEX Technology Week 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Prince Bandar said the passport would have an electronic chip that contains the data of the passport holder’s data that can be readable by machines at all airports around the world.

“Saudis will be able to renew their national IDs wherever they are without the need to visit the Civil Status offices, and the ID will be delivered to the beneficiary by mail,” he said.

Prince Bandar said that all government agencies that provide visas have allowed the registration of biometrics and fingerprints when issuing digital visas without the need to visit embassies.

“The service will be available to everyone according to a timetable to be agreed upon between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all government agencies concerned with each types of visas,” he said.