Ministryof External Affairs
(PatialaHouse, Tilak Marg, New Delhi)
Indiancitizens living in India and abroad are advised to apply for urgent re-issuanceof their passports in the following cases:-
The International Civil AviationOrganisation (ICAO) has set a deadline of the 24th November, 2015for globally phasing out of all non-Machine Readable Passports (MRPs). From the 25th November, 2015 onwards, foreignGovernments may deny Visa or entry to any person travelling on a non-MachineReadable Passport.
TheGovernment of India has been issuing Machine Readable Passports since 2001. ThePassports, however, issued before 2001 and particularly those issued during mid1990s with a validity of 20 years will fall in the category of non-MRPs. Allhandwritten passports with pasted photographs are also considered non-MRPs.
By theend of November 2014, it is estimated that there are approximately 2.86 lakhhandwritten passports in circulation. Approximately 6 crore Indian hold validpassports.
Indian citizens residing in India and abroad and holdingsuch passports with validity beyond the 24th November, 2015 areadvised to apply for re-issue of their passports well before the deadline in order to avoid anyinconvenience in obtaining valid visa or international travel.
(ii) PASSPORTS VALID FOR LESS THAN SIX MONTHS
Manyinternational travellers may not realise that having an unexpired passport issometimes not enough to obtain Visas or to enter certain foreign countries. Indian citizens travelling on Passportswhich may expire in less than six months should renew their passports before any upcoming international travel. It is especially important to checkthe passports needs of any minor who may be accompanying their parents aspassports for minors have a shorter validity period (5 years) than passportsfor adults (10 years). The universal practice in vogue now is; “Once your passport crosses the nine-yearmark, it is time to get new passport”.
(iii) EXHAUSTIONOF VISA PAGES
Somecountries do not accept passports which may have fewer than two pagesremaining. Please check your passport toensure that you have enough visa pages. There is no provision of additionalbooklets/pages and you will be required to apply reissuance of passportfollowing standard procedures. Frequent travellers may opt for Jumbo Passportcontaining 64 pages.
2. All Passport Issuing Authorities haveinstituted a simple and fast-track procedure for renewal of passports. For moredetails related to passport services, website – www.passportindia.gov.in - or the National Call Centre (1800-258-1800- Toll Free) may be accessed. Indian citizens living abroad should visitthe website of respective Indian Mission/Post.