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     FrontPage Edition: Mon 3 Apr 2006

All new Singapore passports to be BioPass by August 2006



The design and security features of ※BioPass§, Singapore*s first biometric passport were unveiled by Mr Wong Kan Seng, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Home Affairs at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) this morning (30 Mar 2006).
Features of BioPass
BioPass comes with enhanced secure features which will help to ensure that the Singapore passport remains as a highly secure travel document.
What*s new
The most noticeable new features of BioPass are:

Picture (i) 每 Front cover of BioPass with ICAO logo

(i) The inclusion of International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) e-passport logo on the front cover of the passport; and

(ii) The polycarbonate data page containing the bio-data of the passport holder.

Polycarbonate data page

Picture (iii) 每 Polycarbonate data page

A contactless integrated-circuit chip is embedded in the polycarbonate data page. The chip can be read electronically to confirm the identity of the passport*s holder.
The enhanced security features incorporated on the new data page include:

(i) The use of Optical Variable Ink for the words ※Republic of Singapore§ found at the top of the page. The words would exhibit a shift in colour from magenta to green when viewed from different angles.

(ii) Two multiple laser images (MLIs) on the right of the page. The first MLI bears an interchangeable image of the lion head against the passport number, while the second MLI reflects the passport holder*s photographs. Since 1991, MLIs have been incorporated in our NRIC which have proven to be effective deterrents against tampering and forgery.

(iii) A kinegram has also been embedded on the data page, partially covering the passport holder*s photograph and personal particulars. A kinegram is a sophisticated security feature that employs the use of laser beams and colour waves to create images. It will help to ensure that any attempts to tamper with the passport holder*s photograph can be easily detected.

Inside cover

Picture (ii) 每 Inside front cover of BioPass

The important notes for the passport holder*s information have been moved from the first page of the passport to the inside front cover.
An additional note has also been included to remind the passport holder of the need to handle BioPass with extra care in view of the embedded chip.
Visa pages
The design concept of the visa pages follows that of the current passport with the Singapore skyline, with the addition of the Esplanade.
Compliance with ICAO*s standards
Most importantly, BioPass will comply with the standards set by ICAO. It will incorporate facial and fingerprint features as the biometric identifiers and carry a validity of five years.
The passport number for BioPass will be its inventory control number, instead of the current approach of using the holder's NRIC number.
This unique inventory number will also make it easier to share information on lost and stolen Singaporean passports as part of the global effort to curb passport abuse.
Implementation plan 每 Phase 1
Starting from 29 April 2006, ICA will commence Phase 1 of the BioPass implementation plan, where certain groups of Singapore citizens will be among the first to carry the Singapore biometric passport. More details can be found in DPM Wong Kan Seng*s speech at the event.
Note to Singaporeans
Singapore citizens carrying valid machine-readable passports currently enjoy visa-free entry to US. All our passports issued locally from 2 January 1991 are machine-readable.
Frequently Asked Questions
A set of Frequently Asked Questions can be found at Annex B.

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority

31 March 2006


Source: News Release 31 Mar 2006

Related Article:
- New Singapore biometric passports from 15 Aug 2006

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