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Vietnam Considers E-Passports for Citizens in 2020

The microchip-enabled passports aim to make international departure and return easier and more secure.

A recently released draft law would make it so all biometric passports digitally store a holder's personal information, fingerprint scans, ID photo and the signature of an issuing agency, according to Vietnam News. The passports are more difficult to counterfeit and are also compatible with e-passport readers in most countries. Applying to all types of passports, including diplomatic ones, the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security says the law is in response to Vietnamese' increased travel for work, study, and vacation.

In addition to the new passports, the law contains new procedures for temporary passports that can be issued for travelers who have lost their passport or find themselves with an expired one while abroad. Vietnamese embassies in foreign countries would be allowed to issue these temporary passports. 

The plan is currently available for public review and if passed, it would go into effect in two years. 

Despite having one of the world's weakest passports in terms of how few countries provide visa-less entry, Vietnamese are traveling more than ever. Rates have risen from 6.1 million in 2013 to 7.7 million in 2016 and 9.2 million in 2017. As the country makes it easier for Vietnamese to travel abroad, they are also making efforts to ease the process for foreigners arriving here as well through e-visas available to citizens of a greater number of nations

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