DT: Nepali migrant workers can now apply for Machine-Readable Passports (MRPs) at the Nepali Club in Adliya.
Kingdom’s Nepali Club has been given the task of accepting and forwarding MRP applications from and to Nepalese nationals apart from performing consular duties on behalf of the country’s embassy in Saudi Arabia.
In an interview with DT, club Secretary JP Sapkota said, “The MRPs had been implemented in Nepal around three months ago, but it was only recently that the Foreign Affairs Ministry decided that embassies could begin providing MRPs. Our ambassador in Riyadh immediately came here to discuss its implementation.”
“Earlier, our passports were handwritten which meant they were more susceptible to fraud. We have had cases of people changing pictures on the passports and representing somebody else,” he added.
“Now, with MRPs, there are many more security features to prevent such fraud,” Mr Sapkota said.
Currently the cost of a passport is BD35, excluding shipping charges of the application forms and the travel document. Mr Sapkota also said the application process normally takes around one to two weeks longer with MRPs.
“We usually take five applications at a time and send them along with some of our government documents to reduce the cost of shipping. If we don’t do that, passports would cost a total of BD80 each,” he added.
The old handwritten passports will remain valid until November 2015.