IMPORTANT NOTICES REGARDING PASSPORTS
Handwritten passports being phased out
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has set a deadline of the 24th November 2015 for globally phasing out all non-Machine Readable Passports (MRPs). From 25th November 2015 onwards, foreign Governments may deny visa or entry to any person travelling with a non-MRP passport.
All handwritten passports with pasted photos earlier issued by Government of India are considered non-MRP passports. All 20-year validity passports will also fall in this category. The Government started issuing MRP passports since 2001. All new Indian passports are ICAO-complaint MRP passports.
Indian citizens holding handwritten passports as well as 20-year passports with validity beyond the 24th November 2015, should, therefore, apply for re-issue of passports and obtain MRP passports well before the deadline in order to avoid any inconvenience in obtaining foreign visa or international travel.
Passports valid for less than six months
Many international travelers may not realize that having an unexpired passport is sometimes not enough to obtain visas or to enter certain foreign countries. Indian citizens travelling on passports which may expire in less than six months should renew their passport before any upcoming international travel. It is especially important to check the passports needs of any minor who may be accompanying their parents as passports for minors have a shorter validity period (5 years) than passports for adults (10 years). The universal practice in vogue now is: “Once your passport crosses the nine-year mark, it is time to get new passport”.
Exhaustion of visa pages
Some countries do not accept passports which may have fewer than two pages remaining. Please check your passport to ensure that you have enough visa pages. There is no provision of additional booklets/pages and you will be required to apply reissuance of passport following standard procedures. Frequent travelers may opt for Jumbo Passport containing 64 pages.
For more details related to passport serviceswithin India, Passport website (www.passportindia.gov.in) or the National Call Centre (toll free number 1800-258-1800) may be accessed.