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  • Indian Passport To Get New Look: From Blue To Orange

    May be 2018 is the year of change! Well, this is the case as far as Indian passports are concerned. The Indian government has decided to start issuing orange-colored passports henceforth and also put an end to printing the address page, which is the last page in the passport. This means, the passport will get a revamped look and will not look anything like it did before.

    As per directions issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, for those to fall under the category of Emigration Check Required (ECR), there will be an orange colored jacked attached to the passport. The main objective of the ECR stamp is to encourage safety for those who are not skilled or educated formally. This basically protects people who fall in this list against any kind of exploitation in other countries when they apply for jobs. This move also aims to hasten the ECR verification process and issuing of travel or other visas, while also helping the speeding up of the emigration process.

    Types Passports Issued In India

    Regular passport Diplomatic passport Official passport
    • Cover is navy blue
    • This is for regular travel
    • Leisure or business related trips
    • Cover is maroon
    • Only issued to diplomats
    • Other high profile government officials are likely to be issued this passport
    • This has a white exterior
    • This is given to those who represent the government of India

    As far as the other change is concerned, the government may stop printing the address page in the passport. What this means is that details of the document holder such as name of father, mother spouse, address and date of birth may not be there in the passport anymore. Also, if this change is implemented, the passport will not serve a legal proof of address anymore.

    Not just this, all Non Resident Indians (NRIs) will soon need to find other documentary evidence that displays the name of their parents. This document will henceforth need to be attested.

    It will, however, take time for this move to be implemented because new booklets will have to be designed and printed. Till such time, old passports will still continue to be valid and the last page will be printed.

    When the new rule is implemented, all those who require emigration clearance will be required to use the orange passport and those who do not will have to use the blue passport. There are two categories as far as emigration endorsement is concerned in Indian passports:

    • Emigration Check Required (ECR)
    • Emigration Check Not Required (ECNR)

    As far as ECR is concerned, those with this type of passport are required to offer additional information and documentation in case those in this category are seeking employment opportunities in a foreign country. In order to travel to countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Thailand, Syria, Arabia, Sudan, Qatar, Oman, Malaysia, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Indonesia, Kuwait, Brunei, Bahrain, and Afghanistan, Indians need to apply for an ‘Emigration Clearance’, according to the Emigration Act, 1983.

    This ECR category basically applies to the unskilled labor force across the country, who apply for work-related visas in foreign countries.

    For a long time, Indians have been using the humble passport as a document of address proof. With this move, seems like this may no longer be the case. On the other hand, it is said that this change will only come into being when the next set of passports are printed. The last page of the passport will be blank after this move has been implemented. At present, details of the passport holder and photo is on the first page, while the last page contains address and details of spouse and parents. The colors for passports in India are white, navy blue and maroon. Maroon passports are diplomatic passports that are issued by the government, while white colored passports are issued to those who represent the government of India in other countries. Apart from this, the regular passport is for those who are regular travelers and visit foreign countries either on a business or a travel visa.

    *Disclaimer

    News About Indian Passport

    • Will Color Coded Passports Make Indians Feel Discriminated?

      We keep reading that “Orange is the new black”. Recently, this line is used a lot as the Foreign Ministry of India formed new rules related to the passport Indians carry. According to the new rules, citizens who need emigration checks will carry orange colored passports going forward. This new move is supposed to protect vulnerable laborers from being exploited abroad.

      But many critics in India feel that this new move could create discrimination against poor and illiterate workers and effectively render millions of Indians second-class citizens.. Critics also feel that this will create a visible gap between the rich and the poor.

      12 February 2018

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