of Interior of Ukraine Аcademician Bogomolets St., 10, Kyiv, 01601, Ukraine
On July 14th, 2016, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the law on the internal biometric passports. Without such law a visa-free entry to the EU for citizens of Ukraine is impossible. This was announced by the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov.
"The creation of the Unified State Demographic Register is one of the prerequisites for granting Ukraine visa-free regime with EU. In fact, without the adoption of this Law a visa-free entry of our citizens to the EU countries is impossible in principle. With adoption of this law we are a step closer to the EU" - said the head of MIA.
The introduction of a new type of the internal passports of citizens of Ukraine (in the form of biometric IDs) will provide for proper creation of the Unified State Demographic Register. This Register will keep in a common database all information about the documents issued to every citizen of Ukraine. This will facilitate and streamline the complete identification of the person, and, thus, execution, issuance, exchange, invalidation and destruction of documents proving the identity of the person and registering his/her place of residence.
Until today, the inconsistency of the data bases of the internal passports (on paper) and the foreign passports (on electronic media) could be used for the criminal ends. For example, it was possible to receive a foreign passport on the basis of a stolen internal passport.
Law №3224 provides an opportunity for all Ukrainians to receive instead of the old-style internal passport the new biometric ID-card, which from January 2016 were issued only to Ukrainian citizens who have reached the age of 16 years.
Now the ID-cards will receive all citizens more then 14 years old, and for the first time they will be issued free of charge. The electronic chip in the ID-card can contain fingerprints in digitized form, but it will be mandatory when receiving a foreign passport; when a person will receive an internal passport/ID-card the fingerprints will be recorded only at the request of the card holder.
Also on the chip in the ID-card will be recorded the digital signature of the citizen (its creation will be free).
MIA plans to stretch the full transition to the ID-cards over period of ten years, and during this time a citizen of Ukraine will be able to choose what type of document to use in order to prove his/her identity.
"The introduction of ID-cards provides a lot of possibilities for further development in the decades ahead because the chip can be complemented with various modern services. For example, ID-cards can be used for electronic voting or for receiving administrative services on-line" - said Arsen Avakov.
According to the law №3224 local councils will have the right to independently determine the categories of citizens who will be exempt from the fees for the execution of passports. It may be, for example, the participants of ATO, orphans, etc.
New passports/ID-cards are better protected both against counterfeiting (due to the electronic chip and the Unified Register), and against unauthorized use.
The TsNAPs (centers of administrative services), and the SMSU (State Migration Service of Ukraine) offices will execute and issue the internal and foreign passports. This will allow to significantly expand coverage, reduce queues and thus eliminate corruption.
As the Minister of Internal Affairs stressed: "If we will not accomplish this technological revolution now, will not catch up to the modern world - we risk to fall behind forever! New high-tech ID-cards carry a huge potential for development. The introduction of the ID-cards is a serious and necessary investment in the future! Step by step, we are creating a European Ukraine".
Department of communication of MIA-Ukraine