Biometrics in your passport

In 2004, Belgium was a forerunner in introducing electronic chips in its passports. These chips contained the passport holder’s personal data, signature and photo. Now, fingerprints are the next step forward as they are also gradually being introduced. 

European harmonisation

Some 500 million European citizens are affected by these measures, as the new biometric passports are a European Union requirement.

The EU hereby aims intends to improve the security of:

  • the citizens themselves: by guaranteeing them a travel document that is almost impossible to forge, offering greater protection against identity theft;
  • the territories: by fighting against identity fraud, which is constantly on the rise and which affects many states.  

When, how and why?

Even though the basic principle remains unchanged, the new procedures and their consequences are slightly different depending on whether you live in Belgium or abroad. To find out more, select the appropriate section.