Government of India
Ministry of External Affairs
CPV Division, New Delhi
PUBLIC ADVISORY ON PHASING OUT OF HANDWRITTEN PASSPORTS
- Indian citizens living in India and abroad are advised to urgently replace their handwritten passports with machine-readable passports. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has set a deadline of the 24th November, 2015 for globally phasing out of all non-Machine Readable Passports (MRPs). Thereafter, foreign Governments may deny Visa or entry to any person travelling on a non-Machine Readable Passport.
- The Government of India has been issuing Machine Readable Passports since 2001. The Passports, however, issued before 2001 and particularly those issued during mid-1990s with a validity of 20 years will fall in the category of non-MRPs. By the end of October 2015, it is estimated that there are approximately 2.50 lakh handwritten passports still in circulation. Approximately 6.20 croreIndians hold valid passports.
- Indian citizens residing in India and abroad and holdingsuch passports with validity beyond the 24th November 2015 are advised to apply for re-issue of their passports well before the deadline in order to avoid any inconvenience in obtaining valid visa or international travel. Needless to mention, travel on ICAO-compliant machine readable passports will facilitate hassle-free and safe journey.
4. All Passport issuing Authorities have instituted a simple and fast-track procedure for renewal of passports. For more detailsrelated 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 visit the website of respective Indian Mission/Post.