All About Finland's Digital Passport Initiative

Finland has begun testing these digital passports or "Digital Travel Credentials" (DTCs) in Helsinki, in collaboration with Finnair, airport operator Finavia, and the Finnish Police
For representational purposes
For representational purposesWikimedia Commons

Finland has achieved a significant milestone as the first European country to pilot digital passports worldwide. These digital passports are set to simplify international travel, saving time and sparing travellers from lengthy queues.

This groundbreaking initiative, "Digital Travel Credentials" or DTCs, transforms your phone into a passport. The trial program is currently underway in Helsinki through a partnership between Finnair, airport operator Finavia, and the Finnish police.

Will Others Follow?

Currently, the program is exclusively open to Finnish citizens, with flights to London, Edinburgh, and Manchester starting in late August. However, Finland is not alone in exploring this method. The European Commission reached out to several European countries last year to explore similar initiatives. Croatia has volunteered for a similar pilot project, scheduled to take place in Zagreb later this year.

How Does It Work?

Finnish volunteers interested in participating must follow a simple process. They first register with the Finnish police and download a designated app. Next, they schedule an appointment at the police station near Helsinki Airport in Vantaa. During the meeting, volunteers need to bring a hard copy of their passport and complete a consent form. A photo is taken for verification purposes.

Once these steps are completed, volunteers can use the digital travel credentials (DTCs) on flights either departing from Helsinki Airport to the UK or on direct Finnair flights heading to Helsinki Airport.

Moreover, volunteers are required to submit their information to the Finnish Border Guard via the app between 36 and four hours before their departure. A dedicated line is set up for volunteers at Helsinki's passport control. It's important to note that the Finnish Border Guard assures that these digital passports facilitate swift border crossings without compromising security.

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