Tamper-proof passports make travel easy
ICA explains why it is not possible to waive or charge a lower passport fee for children who apply for a new passport. -ST
I REFER to the letters, 'Why insist on new passport just to update kid's photo?' by Mr Alvin Chua (June 5), and 'Growing child' by Ms Annie Koh last Saturday.
The Singapore Biometric Passport (BioPass) complies with the requirements set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). This includes the robust security requirement of a 'write once' policy which does not allow any changes to the holder's particulars (including the photograph) once the passport is issued.
In view of this, the BioPass holder has to apply for a new passport if he needs to update any of his personal particulars, which are laser-printed on the biodata page of the passport and encoded in the smart chip on the BioPass. This prevents the passport from being tampered with and used for criminal means.
The security measures adopted for the BioPass in compliance with ICAO standards and requirements are to ensure that the integrity of Singapore passports is not easily compromised by criminals or terrorists. Holding a passport that is trusted internationally as a secure travel document enables Singaporeans to continue to travel with convenience, including to many countries under visa waiver arrangements.
As with most other public services, the passport fee of $80 (or $70 for those who apply online, by post or via deposit box) is determined based on a cost-recovery model. We are unable to waive or charge a lower passport fee for children who apply for a new passport as the cost of producing a BioPass is the same, be it for a child or an adult.
Chia Hui Keng (Ms)
This forum letter was first published in The Straits Times.
|[an error occurred while processing this directive]|
|Privacy Statement Conditions of Access Advertise|