New Passport Rules 2017

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), which is the sole governing body authorised with the task of issuing Indian passport, has amended rules yet again in an attempt to make the application process less fraught.

The new changes, which were announced in December 2016, will make it easier for categories such as orphans, single mothers and government employees to receive their passports with minimum hassle.

List of Changes

The MEA has made a number of changes with regard to documentation to be submitted, which are listed below:

1. Substitute for date of birth certificate

  • Applicants who are born after January 1st, 1989 had to submit birth certificates in order to obtain a passport. Now, however, applicants can submit any one from the list of options provided when applying for a passport:
  • Birth certificate as issued by the Registrar of births and deaths or the Municipal Corporation or any other authority empowered to issue the same under the Registration of Births and Death Act of 1969 to register a child’s birth in India.
  • PAN card.
  • Aadhaar card or E-aadhar card mentioning the applicant’s date of birth.
  • Transfer certificate/school leaving certificate/matriculation certificate issued by the school last attended by the applicant and recognised by an educational board.
  • Driving licence.
  • Election photo identity card (EPIC).
  • Policy bond issued by a public life insurance company mentioning the applicant’s date of birth.

2. Name of only one parent or legal guardian mandatory

Applicants can now choose to fill in the details of only one legal guardian or parent, making it easier for single parents to obtain a passport for their child/children. It is now no longer mandatory for the father’s name to be mentioned in the passport application form. This is especially true in the case of children being raised by single mothers and adopted children. This change was implemented after a special committee was set up to examine issues relating to passport applications for adopted children and children of single parents.

3. Reduction in number of annexures

Earlier, passport forms had 15 annexures, however this has now been reduced to 9 as some have been merged.

4. No attestation required on annexures

Previously, passport application form annexures required to be attested by a notary/executive Magistrate/first class judicial Magistrate. However, the new changes stipulate that there is no requirement for attestation of annexures. A self-attestation on plain paper is all that is required.

5. Marriage certificate not required in case of separated/divorced applicants

Earlier, the passport application form mandated the submission of the marriage certificate for all married persons, even if they were separated or divorced. The new rule states that a marriage certificate need not be attached for applicants who are separated or divorced. The applicant is also not required to provide the name of his/her former spouse on the application form.

6. Orphaned children

In the case of orphaned children without proof of their date of birth such as a court order or a matriculation certificate, a declaration by the Head of the orphanage/child care home on the organisation’s official letterhead can be submitted in that regard.

7. Government servants

Government servants who are unable to obtain annexure B/no-objection certificate (annexure M) from their superiors and are in urgent need of a passport may submit a self-declaration in annexure-N stating that the applicant has provided prior intimation to his/her employer informing them that he/she is applying for an ordinary passport. This annexure-N is to be submitted to the passport issuing authority at the time of applying for an ordinary passport.

The above changes are effective immediately at all passport issuing centres and Passport Seva Kendras.

News About Passport Application Process

  • Passport will no longer serve as an address proof

    Soon, passports will not be accepted as proof of address with the Ministry of External Affairs stating that the last page of the passport, containing the address and the name of the parents, will not be printed anymore. A new series of passports without the aforementioned details is being currently designed.

    Furthermore, the officials have also stated that those who fall under the Emigration Check Required (ECR) category will be given passports with orange covers to speed the process at airports. As for those who come under the ECNR (Emigration Check Not Required) category, they will continue to get blue passports.

    The decisions were made after a joint panel comprising officials from the foreign ministry and the Ministry of Women and Child Development considered the requests for omitting the father’s name in the passport. This was particularly the case for single parents and parents with adopted children.

    12 February 2018

  • Centre merges the Regional Passport Offices of Malappuram and Kozhikode

    As a part of the policy decision, Centre directs Kerala High Court to merge the Regional Passport Offices of Malappuram and Kozhikode. Considering the cost involved in both the Regional Passport Offices, the government decided to cut cost by making each of the Regional Passport Offices more efficient in terms of operations. The residents of Malappuram will need to visit Kozhikode to carry out passport applications for various requirements.

    29 November 2017

  • Passport office in Malappuram shuts down

    In an effort to cut expenses and utilize manpower effectively, the Central Government has closed down the passport office in Malappuram. The office was handling over a thousand applications each day which was closed down after clearing out all the pending application. This could affect the residents in Malappuram since now they have to travel further to carry out passport applications.

    23 November 2017

  • Athletes Biological Passports to be introduced by NADA

    National Anti-Doping Agency (Nada) has developed Athletes Biological Passports (ABP) to curb usage of dope by athletes in the nation. The ABP is an electronic record of athletes which contains the biological profile. The biological markers of doping and doping test results are collected over a period of time to indicate any changes pertaining to doping. Once the ABP is ready, it will represent few of the top athletes in the nation.

    13 November 2017

  • Flexible passport rules increases its demand

    Following the amends that eased the passport application process, the government has noticed an increase in the passport applications. Earlier, the birth certificate was one of the mandatory documents for the passport application process, however, the new policy allows flexibility of furnishing other types of documents instead of the birth certificate. Moreover, divorcees can now apply for a passport without mentioning the name of their spouse, the application process can be carried out by furnishing either of the parent’s name. While these have eased the passport application process, it has also contributed to the increased number of applications. The government of India has already launched many Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK) throughout the nation to ensure smooth and efficient passport-related services for the citizens. With the help of POPSK and the eased policies, the passport application can be submitted easily without any issues.

    24 August 2017

  • Passport fee is reduced for senior citizens and minors

    The Government of India has reduced the passport fee for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) over 60 years of age. A 10% discount in the passport fee will be applicable for senior citizens and minors below eight years of age. The passport will be printed in both Hindi and English. The Ministry of External Affairs is yet to confirm the date from which this policy will be applicable. The applicants who do not have a birth certificate can use their Aadhaar or PAN to furnish the proof of birth and age section. The government has taken more initiatives to ensure a smooth passport application process.

    16 August 2017

  • Government launches new Passport Seva Kendras and Post Office Passport Seva Kendras

    The Ministry of External Affairs and the Department of Posts (DOP) have extended passport related services through Passport Seva Kendras and Passport Seva Kendras across the nation. The initiative is still in progress since its being carried out in different phases. After the completion of phases 1 which helped in managing the increasing demand for passports, the government took the initiative of phase 2 to ensure the applicants do not have to travel more than 50 kilometers for passport related services. Considering the fact that post offices in India have the widest reach even in the rural areas, the government considered it to one of the prime factors for offering passport related services through the post offices. Under this initiative, the government will utilize the infrastructure available at the post office while the procurement of equipment, installations, etc. are provided to the post office by the government. Currently, there are over 90 Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) and 200 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK) catering to the increasing demand for passports in India.

    27 July 2017

  • Kasaragod gets its first POPSK

    The Kasaragod head post office will soon be Malabar’s first Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK). The Kasaragod POPSK will be under the jurisdiction of the Kozhikode Passport Office and will offer its patrons Passport-related services in a timely, transparent manner. The POPSK will open on 1st April with a single counter for a representative for Tata Consultancy Services and a verifying officer from the Passport Office, the response received from this counter will determine whether this operation should be scaled up. The new POPSK will only facilitate applications for fresh Passports and reissue of Passports. In the first phase of the POPSK project, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has allotted 56 POPSKs across the country. The POPSK in Kasaragod is one of three in the state of Kerala. The project, which is a joint venture between the MEA and Department of Posts, was inaugurated in Mysuru in Karnataka and Dahod in Gujarat in January. The aim of the project is to increase the penetration of Passports across the country by making it more accessible to apply for a Passport.

    31 March 2017

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