The civil registry and migration department is due to announce a tender to upgrade passports, identity cards, and residence permits, so as to further prevent the occurrence of fraud.
According to a recent cabinet decision, the entire tender will be €41 million including VAT and will last for six years plus another five if successful from 2024 until 2035.
A report by Politis said that government has placed a high level of importance to this project, and is due to consider applications from international companies that meet the technical criteria.
The cabinet greenlighted the tender to be launched in the first three months of the year.
The new documentation is set to be available starting 2024, and will include biometric information, including photograph, fingerprints, and a digital signature.
Asked to comment on whether other kinds of biometric information will be available to authorities with the new documentation, the civil registry department declined to answer, Politis said..
Currently, passports, IDs, and residence permits contain the aforementioned information.
The interior ministry and its civil registry and migration department consider the project for the issuance of documentation as extremely important, since its execution will enable the state to meet its international and European obligations but also its obligation to citizens, by issuing modern documents with high security standards.
As Interior Minister Nicos Nouris pointed out in his proposal that he submitted before the cabinet: “Any partial or total removal of the possibility of issuing these documents, in addition to the issues of the credibility of the state, directly affects the lives and the daily life of the citizens and therefore such a thing would have particularly unpleasant consequences both for the state itself and for the citizens. In this context, the Ministry of the Interior has included its intention to upgrade the document issuing solution and to upgrade the documents themselves in its strategic planning for the years 2023 – 2025.”
However, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides set some conditions for the new tender, with one being that the budget allocated to be moved to 2024, and the other being that the new contract ensures cost recovery.
The fees for people to issue these new documents will be determined by the next government, taking office on March 1.
People, who have valid documentation, will not need to immediately change their passport, ID, or residence permit when the new ones begin to be issued.
They will be allowed to wait until their document expires.
Currently, Cypriot passports, IDs, and residence permits are issued by the Athens-based company Veridos Matsoukis A.E.