Types of passports
Since late 2004, Belgium has been issuing biometric passports incorporating an electronic chip. These meet the high technological and security standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). During this first phase, in accordance with international agreements, the chip contains information such as the passport holder's identity, signature and photograph, i.e. information which is visible to the naked eye on page 2 of the passport. During this initial phase, fingerprints are not yet included on the chip.
The second phase has begun. The first Belgian biometric passports with fingerprints encoded on the chip are in use since June 2010. These new biometric passports will first be issued in our embassies and consulates (schedule). From Spring 2012, the municipal and provincial administrations will gradually be provided with the necessary equipment and will also start issuing these new passports.
Biometric passports are also known as e-passports or electronic passports.
Remember: Keep you passport in a safe place and treat it with care to avoid damaging the electronic circuit (avoid bending or cutting and exposure to extreme temperatures, magnetic fields, microwaves and so forth).