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Belarus to switch to biometric passports, ID cards by 2019

Today there are four main colors of passports in the world. Red and its shades are the colors of passports of Singapore and nearly all the citizens of the EU. Black is the color of passports in New Zealand and some African states. Green is typical for Muslim countries and blue is the color of novelty and diplomacy- 77 countries together with Belarus have chosen this color.

Belarus allows visa free entry for residents of 91 countries. The country turned out to be more welcoming than America and Canada. Belarusians are welcome in 39 countries without visas, and in 32 countries they can get visas upon arrival.

Yaroslav Khmyl, head of the Consular-Legal department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus:
At the moment 20 countries have made a decision to simplify entry to their territory for Belarus. Belarusians can go to the Dominican Republic for 21 days without a visa, if they have a return ticket. There is an interesting situation with Albania. Every year before the tourist season the country decides which country is going to have such a possibility. Belarusians had a possibility to visit Albania without visas from June 1 till November 1 of the current year.

Italian businessman Antonio Nannipyeri uses the possibility to visit Belarus every year. He often comes to Belarus on business. There is a Belarusian visa in his passport, because the current visit will last for more than five days.

Antonio Nannipyeri, businessman (Italy):
To get this visa you need from five to seven days. If to compare with Germany, for instance, you can go there tomorrow, if you want. However, it is even more difficult to get a visa to the US than to Belarus.

Antonio’s passport is one of the most convenient passports in the world. He says that you only need it to travel abroad. What is more, the citizens of Italy only need an ID card to travel inside the country and within the EU. Belarusians will have such a card in 2019, and the usual passport will be substituted by a biometrical one.

Pavel Khrishchenovich, head of citizenship department of the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Belarus:
Of course, the Interior Ministry is interested in the security of such documents, both its appearance and contents, and the information on the electronic chip, so that it contains all the necessary requirements corresponding to international standards.

The final variant of the document has still not been confirmed; however, certain differences can already be seen.

Pavel Khrishchenovich:
There will be a polycarbonate page. The new Belarusian passport will contain biometric details, high-accuracy print, photoprint and fingerprints will be used.

What is more, the photograph will be on the first page, the quality of paper will be different, and Belarusian cultural sites will be printed instead of ornaments. The security measures of a new passport will be a lot more serious.

Dmitry Sorokin, head of the crime laboratory of document research in Minsk:
The cases of fake Belarusian passports are not frequent, however, there are partial fakes, and there were complete fake passports abroad.

Every country tries to be creative when designing passports. And no money is grudged for the security measures. Belarus is not an exception. Despite the fact that new biometrical passports will be made from Belarusian materials, the price will go up.

Pavel Khrishchenovich:
A new biometrical passport will cost three basic amounts, at the moment one basic amount is BYN 23. The Cost of an ID card will be one basic amount.

By the way, the new Belarusian passport may compete with Switzerland, Australia and Norway in the design. And it will definitely try to be stronger next year.

Yaroslav Khmyl:
When a passport is strong, it simplifies travelling. You do not need to go to embassies and worry about things. 

It will definitely be easier. Very soon there will be a mutual visa free regime with Hong Kong. This means that a Belarusian passport has all chances to get a fixed place among the strongest passports in the world.

How will Belarusian passport change in 2019?