The 2019 versions of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) passport and MSAR travel document permit will be launched on December 3, Identification Services Bureau (DSI) Director Ao Ieong U announced during a press conference at China Plaza on Wednesday afternoon.
While the passports are for permanent residents, the travel document permits are for non-permanent residents.
According to Ao Ieong, about 426,000 MSAR have been issued. The number of travel document permits stands at over 20,000.
Ao Ieong noted that both documents will have more up-to-date security features, new anti-counterfeiting technology and new designs. The press conference was hosted by DSI Director Ao Ieong, Deputy Director Lo Pin Heng and Travel Documents Department Chief Kun Sin Yin.
The new versions are needed because the current documents’ security features, anti-counterfeiting technology and designs have been in use since 2009 already, according to Ao Ieong.
The bureau decided to update the documents as it wants them to be “more recognised” by the international community and to ensure that Macau conforms to the international standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as “Macau China became one of the members inscribed on the International Civil Aviation Organisation Public Key Directory” in 2010, Ao Ieong pointed out.
Ao Ieong said the main security features include a laser perforated technology image showing the holder, the MSAR emblem and a lotus pattern, a multicoloured UV printing technology with more diversified and delicate patterns, and updated encrypted chips.
The lotus flower is Macau’s official emblem.
The anti-counterfeiting patterns show three of Macau’s landmark sketches – the Guia Lighthouse, Ruins of St. Paul’s and A-Ma Temple which each is depicted with one of the city’s three Macau-Taipa bridges, Ao Ieong said.
Under normal lighting, the designs of the documents look like a normal day view of the city. Under UV rays, a multi coloured night view of Macau is shown with a sky and fireworks background, Ao Ieong said. She added that the designs were created by the bureau’s design staff and were changed many times to achieve “more delicate outcomes”.
Considering the increasing production costs in recent years and in an effort to better manage the costs involved, the bureau decided to increase the prices of the MSAR passport and travel permit to 430 patacas and 360 patacas respectively, according to Lo.
According to the Macau Post Daily, Kun said that residents can apply for renewals starting from December 3 by using the bureau’s self-service kiosks or by seeking assistance from its service counters. She added that the bureau will launch an online application service at the end of this year, aiming to provide better and more convenient services to the public.