2021 Winner of Award of the Year and Smart Business Grand Award

Immigration Department, HKSAR Government

Connecting the Globe with Advanced Technology: Next Generation Electronic Passport System

Description of Entry:
To continue issuing highly secure electronic passports so as to bolster overseas authorities’ confidence in granting HKSAR passport holders visa-free access to their countries and regions, and to optimise the entire process of application and collection, the Immigration Department (ImmD) introduced in May 2019 the “Next Generation Electronic Passport System”.

From application submission, personalisation to collection, the new system incorporates intelligent and robotic elements in its design to bring brand new self-service experience for the public. The enhanced “Travel Document Submission Kiosk” provides convenient one-stop services by offering functions of form filling, free photo taking and electronic payment. Also, members of the public can easily complete the collection process in a self-service manner by using the new “Passport Collection Kiosk”. With manpower saving and improved efficiency under the new system, the application processing time has been significantly shortened by half from 10 to 5 working days, and the application fee has remained unchanged since 2006.

To support the development of Hong Kong Smart City, the ImmD has also incorporated the "e-ME" form-filling function of “iAM Smart” into the online application process, making the process fast and simple by automatically filling in personal particulars for the public.

(Information is provided by awardee)


Comments from Judging Panel:
The Hong Kong SAR next generation electronic passport system has not only used the latest counterfeit prevention measures in the production of the passports, most importantly, it is using advanced technologies including AI in the processing of passport applications to significantly reduce the need for human intervention. Around 80% of the passport applications (new and replacement) can be processed automatically. The time, effort and cost savings are very substantial. Over 700 thousand passports have been issued under this new system.

The self-service kiosks for application and pickup of passports are well received by the community. It is an excellent example for the progressive and responsible use of technologies in the government sector in Hong Kong. This system has drawn international attention as a prime model for passport issuance.

Website of Entry: https://www.immd.gov.hk/hkt/services/travel_document/index.html