Phasing out of handwritten Indian passports
› Phasing out of handwritten Indian passports
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 24`" 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 crore Indians hold valid passports.
- Indian citizens residing In India and abroad and holding such passports with validity beyond the 24'" 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.
- All Passport Issuing Authorities have instituted a simple and
fast-track procedure for renewal of passports. For more details related to passport services, website - www.passportindia.gov.in - or the National Call Centre (1800258-1800 - Toll Free) may be accessed. Indian citizens living abroad should visit the website of respective Indian Mission/Post.
October 29, 2015