My parents’ machine-readable passports (MRP) had expired before the pandemic hit last year. It felt as though the situation was getting better. The vacation program was underway. Both my parents got the first dose of the vaccine. The number of people who reported positive for the coronavirus was also on a downward trend.
So, my parents felt now would be a good time to renew their passports just in case they needed to travel abroad, for medical purposes or otherwise.
We all know how the situation is right now, so going abroad is out of the question. But my parents have completed all the formalities and they are now waiting for the delivery of their E-Passport.
I wanted to write a short post on the steps you will need to follow in order to apply for an E-Passport.
Please note that everything on this site is for your information only. For official instructions, as well as answers to the most common questions, please check the authoritative resource over at epassport.gov.bd.
Applying for E-Passport online
The process was straightforward. I’ve been the person in charge of submitting passport applications for myself and my parents for the last several years and I’m pleased to say that the application process for renewing/reissuing a passport has progressively gotten better and easier.
I used my email address to create a single account on epassport.gov.bd and was able to apply for both of my parents. I really loved the fact that I didn’t have to bother with two separate accounts for two applications.
If you have a passport, expired or not, you are most likely already familiar with the information they ask for when applying online. It’s the usual bio-data that you had to provide when applying for the passport the first time.
If it is your first time, the E-Passport website has a handy guide that you can follow along when applying online. Just make sure you have a stable internet connection when doing this.
You should also make sure if E-Passport is available in your location. The website has a list of regional passport offices that currently issue E-Passports. See the list here.
After submitting the application, I found the option to choose a date of appointment. It was pretty straightforward as well. However, as I wrote above, the earliest available date was more than a month later. I was applying in mid-February and the earliest date of appointment was April 1st.
So that was a bummer. But I was able to get an appointment date for both of my parents around the same time on the same day.
After the application was submitted online, I downloaded two copies of the full application form and the appointment slip. The appointment slip is used to pay the passport fees at designated banks. My father paid the fee at a Bank Asia branch in Mirpur.
The appointment slip has a list of required documents. You can find the list of required documents here.
On the day of the appointment
April 1st fooled my parents because they were turned away for not having the original copy of the National ID with them when they went to the passport office. I thought it was ridiculous. They had the original passports with them. For what possible reason do they need the physical NID card?
I chalked it up as “things to write on the blog” and drove my parents home back. The passport office staff told my parents that they were welcome to go again on any other day. They didn’t have to make another appointment. At least, there was that!
They went to the passport office at Agargaon another day, got their photographs taken, and were handed the copy of the delivery slip.
Some officers came by a couple of weeks later for police verification. I wasn’t expecting that, as that usually doesn’t happen when you’re renewing/reissuing your passport.
The officers told us that there were some discrepancies in the addresses (in how they were printed) between the expired passport and the new one. So they were here to verify that the address was correct.
For the record, we did not request any change whatsoever. All the information remained the same between the old, expired passports, and the application for the new ones.
However, there was indeed a printing mistake in the name of the local police station on one of my parents’ passports, so that was probably something that they were here to check out and verify.
I got two emails from the passport office when my parents’ passports were issued and ready for delivery.
My parents had applied for the regular delivery of their passports. From the date of their appointments, it took less than 30 days for their passports to be printed and delivered.
Here’s a timeline:
Date applied online: February 16, 2021
Date of the appointment: First week of April 2021
Date of the passport delivery notice via email: April 30, 2021
Overall, we were satisfied with the delivery timeframe, but I can’t discount the month-long delay between the first application online and the first available appointment date. I hope they can shorten this gap in the coming days.
Frequently asked questions about renewing and applying for E-Passport
Don’t forget to check out more frequently asked questions answered at e-passport’s official website.
Who can apply for an E-Passport?
Any Bangladeshi citizen can apply for an E-Passport. However, you should check out the list of passport offices here to verify if it’s available in your area yet.
My MRP/Passport hasn’t expired. Can I still apply for an E-Passport?
Yes. It’s not well-known but you can apply for a new passport even before your existing passport has expired. The officials may ask you why you are applying for a new passport if your current one hasn’t expired yet. But technically, you can do it.
My MRP/Passport has expired. Will I have to pay a late fine?
As of this writing, there are no late fines if your passport (MRP) has expired and you are applying for an E-Passport.
How do I apply for an E-Passport?
All application for E-Passport must go through the website at epassport.gov.bd. I’m not aware if there are paper-based applications available at the regional passport offices, so if your regional passport office is somewhere other than Agargaon, please contact the passport office to find out more.
What are the fees for E-Passport?
You can apply for an E-Passport in a number of different validity, number of page, and urgency.
- 48 pages with 5 years validity
- 64 pages with 5 years validity
- 48 pages with 10 years validity
- 64 pages with 10 years validity
So, depending on what you want and how fast you want, the E-Passport fee will vary.
Check here for the E-Passport Fees.
How long does it take to get an E-Passport?
It varies. The official timing is 15 to 21 days for regular passport deliveries and 7 to 10 days for express passport deliveries. But there were three weeks of lockdown after my parents had applied for their E-Passport, so I think that caused further delays in the preparation and delivery of their passports.
In general, the longest delay would be from the day you apply online and the date of your appointment. In our case, I had applied online for my parents in late February 2021. And the earliest appointment date that was available was on April 1, 2021.
As you can see, that’s a period of more than a month before they could even get to go to the passport office. So you should keep that in mind.
What documents are required for E-Passport application?
The E-Passport website has a list of documents you need to have in order to apply for an E-Passport. Check out the list here.
I’ve missed my appointment for the passport, do I need to make another appointment?
Please check epassport.gov.bd for the most up-to-date information, but at the time of writing this, a second appointment date was not necessary. My parents were turned away at the passport office because one of them didn’t carry the NID, and they were told they were welcome to go there at any other day.
Once your appointment date has passed, you can go to the passport office any day. But you can’t go earlier than the appointment date, unless you make other arrangements.
Are there police verifications for renewing/reissuing passports?
In general, if you’re reissuing your passport and there haven’t been any changes, there won’t be any police verification required. There will definitely be police verification if this is your first time getting a passport.
For us, though, police verification took place because of some printing discrepancies. It went fine.
With the pandemic and the new strains of the virus ravaging our neighbors across the border, we don’t know how long until we can travel again. But if you have an expired passport, or if you don’t have a passport at all, it’s always a good idea to get one.
As you can see, even though the application process has been made easier, it still takes time, and you never know what forces beyond your control will cause further delays in the delivery of your passport.
So it’s always a good idea to renew/reissue your passport early on so that you have it ready when you need it.