Ukrainian biometric passports: Questions and Answers

What are biometric documents and why are they needed?

Biometric are identity documents that contain an electronic data sorage, which contains information about the biometric data of the owner of the document in order to identify him. It is considered that such documents are the most protected from forgery and exclude the possibility of their use by any person other than the owner. The main idea of introducing more secure documents that provide personal identification is to significantly increase the protection of society from crime and international terrorism.

Biometric passports are becoming more common in the world. According to the World Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), more than 90 countries out of 193 UN member states are currently issuing such documents, and more than twenty countries are ready to implement such documents in the coming years.

About 45 countries that issue biometric documents keep both fingerprints and facial images on their documents, while more than 30 countries use only a digital photo of the document holder. Other countries currently use only facial images, but plan to use fingerprint data in the near future. According to ICAO, more than 15 countries currently use automated access control systems for e-passport holders. In order to pass the passport control procedure, the traveler can use the “electronic gate”, which automatically compares his biometric data with the information stored on the chip of the document. Countries that read (scan) e-passports at airports and borders include the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Portugal, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia and Germany.

What are the benefits of biometric documents for citizens?

Biometric passports are practical – a passport of a citizen of Ukraine, made in the form of a plastic card is more convenient and durable than the paper counterpart.

Biometric passports are safe – the latest technologies are used to protect information on electronic media, which makes forgery of electronic documents virtually impossible.

In case of theft or loss of such a passport, attackers will not be able to use it.

Biometric passports are convenient – automated checkpoints for biometric passport holders will be used to read information, for example at the border. This will, firstly, eliminate subjectivity and the possibility of abuse during the passage of control, and secondly, reduce the time required for such passage. Travel to countries that use automatic access systems will be more convenient, without exhausting queues. Similarly, the conditions necessary to simplify and expedite domestic procedures for the provision of administrative services, which provide for the identification of a person, will be created.

What legal acts introduce the issuance of biometric documents in Ukraine?

On December 6, 2012, the Law of Ukraine “ About the Unified state demographic register and documents which confirm citizenship of Ukraine certify person or its special status” came into force. In accordance with this Law, the introduction in the regions of registration and issuance of a passport of a citizen of Ukraine, which contains a contactless electronic data storage with biometric data of the owner of the document and the creation of appropriate infrastructure.

In order to introduce biometric documents for travel abroad, the Government adopted a resolution of May 7, 2014. № 152 “About the statement of the sample of the form, the technical description and the Order of registration, issue, exchange, transfer, withdrawal, return to the state, destruction of the passport of the citizen of Ukraine for departure abroad with the contactless electronic carrier, its temporary detention and withdrawal“. According to this resolution, biometric passports in Ukraine were introduced on January 1, 2015.

Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of March 25, 2015 № 302 (as amended) approved a sample form, technical description and Procedure for registration, issuance, exchange, transfer, seizure, return to the state, destruction of the passport of a citizen of Ukraine. According to this resolution, registration and issuance of a passport of a citizen of Ukraine with a contactless electronic data storage in the form of a plastic card was introduced on January 1, 2016 for citizens who have reached 14 years of age and are applying for a passport for the first time. At present, a passport in the form of a card is also issued to a person instead of a lost or stolen one and, in the case of an exchange of the 1994-type passport, on the grounds provided for in the said resolution.

What do Ukrainian biometric documents look like and what data is entered into them?

Technical descriptions and procedures for registration and issuance of passports provided for in this Law are approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

The Law of Ukraine “On the Unified State Demographic Register and Documents Proving Citizenship of Ukraine, Identity or Special Status” provides for an exhaustive list of information to be included in biometric documents. For example, the following information will be entered in the passport of a citizen of Ukraine (Article 21 of the Law):

  1. name of the state;
  2. title of the document;
  3. name of the person;
  4. sex;
  5. citizenship;
  6. date of birth;
  7. unique entry number in the Register;
  8. document number;
  9. the expiration date of the document;
  10. date of issue of the document;
  11. authorized entity that issued the document (code);
  12. place of birth;
  13. digitized image of a person’s face;
  14. digitized signature of the person.

In addition, the passport of a citizen of Ukraine may be included additional variable information provided by law at the written request of the applicant, and for persons under the age of sixteen – their parents (adoptive parents), guardians, trustees or other representatives.

How much does a passport of a citizen of Ukraine to travel abroad cost?

Today, when processing documents, depending on the type of document and the circumstances of its execution, citizens pay a state fee, the cost of administrative services and the cost of the form. For some documents and circumstances, some or all of these payments are missing.

No need to hurry: there will be no mandatory replacement of documents

The introduction of new passports is a long process that will take place naturally in Ukraine, following the example of European countries. Mandatory replacement of documents, as well as the establishment of deadlines for previously issued documents is not provided. The approximate time during which the migration service will be able to issue new documents to the majority of citizens is 4 years.

What is the degree of protection in Ukrainian biometric documents

The main reason for the introduction of new passports is their protection against forgery. The new passport contains an electronic contactless chip that cannot be changed or copied.

New passports, unlike previous “booklets” will be issued on the basis of an electronic database – the Unified State Demographic Register, so each person will have to go through the identification procedure only once, then information about it will be contained in the register. Degrees of passport protection in the form of a card (ID card):

What is the degree of protection in Ukrainian biometric documents
ukrainian id card biometrics protection

Passport is issued from 14 years

The passport of a citizen of Ukraine in the form of a card is issued from the age of 14, it is a worldwide practice to document citizens with partial legal capacity. After 14 years, each person can make certain decisions, such as choosing a place to live.

Persons who will issue a passport at the age of 14-18 will receive a document valid for 4 years, after 18 years the passport will be issued for 10 years. The limited validity of the document at the age of 14-18 years corresponds to the world practice and is caused by essential physiological changes in this period.

Tax number is graphically printed on the passport

The new passports contain the taxpayer’s account card number (so-called identification code). In this case, the code is applied to the passport graphically and entered into the electronic chip. You do not need to carry a certificate from the tax inspection!

It is allowed to maintain transliteration from previously issued documents

At the written request of a person, entering the name in Latin letters may be performed in accordance with its spelling in previously issued identity documents and confirming the citizenship of Ukraine issued by the competent authorities of Ukraine, or in documents confirming birth, name change (including in the case of conclusion or divorce), issued by the competent authorities of a foreign state and legalized in the prescribed manner.

Transparent payment

A transparent mechanism for payment t has been established. Only one payment is paid – the administrative fee.The procedure for calculating the administrative fee is defined by law as the sum of the cost of the form, the cost of personalization and the cost of administrative services.The law also sets a limit on the cost of services.

Documents can be issued in the Centers for the provision of administrative services

Powers to receive applications and issue documents are given to the centers of administrative services, which after the purchase of equipment will be able to gradually become the main front office for paperwork.

From what age can I get a passport of a citizen of Ukraine to go abroad?

Every citizen of Ukraine has the right to obtain a passport of a citizen of Ukraine to travel abroad. Such a passport can be issued from birth.

From what age can a minor apply in person for a passport of a citizen of Ukraine to travel abroad?

A minor who has reached the age of sixteen may personally apply for a passport of a citizen of Ukraine to travel abroad.

How much does it cost to issue a passport of a citizen of Ukraine to travel abroad and what are the payments?

To date, when applying for a passport of a citizen of Ukraine to travel abroad in the usual way, citizens pay the cost of administrative services (352 UAH) and the cost of the form (330 UAH). This is when processing the document within 20 working days. In case of registration of the document within 7 or 3 working days, the sum of cost of administrative service doubles (and makes accordingly 704 UAH).

Thus, the cost of issuance of a passport of a citizen of Ukraine for travel abroad is 682 UAH (issuance within 20 working days) or 1034 UAH (issuance within 7 or 3 working days).

Any related services that are offered to use when applying for a passport are exclusively voluntary and no official has the right to force a citizen to use and pay for such services!

What information is entered into the contactless electronic medium, which is implanted in the passport of a citizen of Ukraine for travel abroad?

The contactless electronic media, which is implanted in the passport of a citizen of Ukraine for travel abroad, shall contain: information contained on the data page of the passport of a citizen of Ukraine for travel abroad; biometric data, parameters (digitized facial image, digitized signature of the person, digitized fingerprints (digitized fingerprints of the person are not obtained until he reaches 12 years of age and when the person can not move independently due to prolonged disorder health and needs urgent treatment abroad, which is confirmed by the medical report of the relevant health care institution, issued in the prescribed manner); data on ensuring the protection of information contained in contactless electronic media, in accordance with the recommendations of IKAO Doc 9303 to increase safety and efficiency).

How is the citizenship of Ukraine of a minor in whose name the passport of a citizen of Ukraine for travel abroad is issued, if one of his parents is not a citizen of Ukraine?

The passport of the citizen of Ukraine for departure abroad is the document confirming citizenship of Ukraine of the person in whose name it is issued. The fact of making a decision on establishing a minor’s citizenship of Ukraine, admission to citizenship of Ukraine or registration of acquisition of citizenship of Ukraine on a minor child is confirmed by a certificate of registration as a citizen of Ukraine, which is submitted to obtain documents confirming Ukrainian citizenship.

How to find out if my passport of a citizen of Ukraine to go abroad is ready/issued?

You can get information on the status of the biometric document on the official website of the State Migration Service of Ukraine.