Passport is issued by the Indian Government certify that holders are citizens of the Republic of India by birth or naturalization. This is as per the Passports Act, 1967. The CPV (Consular Passport & Visa) Division of the External Affairs Ministry works as central passport organization and it is also responsible for Indian passport issuance. The issuance of passport happens across 37 different locations around the country. There are 162 diplomatic missions abroad where Indian Passport is issued. These include consulates, High Commissions and Embassies.
Why is a Passport Important?
A passport is a document issued by the government of the holder’s country certifying the holder’s identity and citizenship. It is necessary if an individual wishes to travel to a foreign country as it serves as the only acceptable form of identification. It can also be used as an identity document within the holder’s country or overseas.
Along with the Women and Child Ministry, MEA has offered a host of changes to the passport rules. Some of the interesting rules are:
- An applicant can provide the name of only one parent or legal guardian that allows single parents to apply for passports for their children.
- The total number of annexes has been brought down to 9 from 15 (prescribed in the Passport Rule, 1980)
- An in-country domestically adopted individual can give a declaration on a plain paper confirming the adoption instead of submitting the registered adoption deed.
- Orphaned children can submit a declaration given by the head of the orphanage or child care home that confirms the date of birth of the applicant.
- Seers and mendicants can provide the name of their spiritual guru as their biological parent’s name, however, they are required producing either the Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC), PAN card, or Aadhaar card wherein the name of the guru has been mentioned against the parent’s name section.
- Some of the Annexes have been removed while some of them are merged to ease the process.
- The self-declaration can be provided on a plain paper and no attestations are required.
- The passport application form does not ask for the name of an individual’s spouse if he/she is a divorcee.
New Passport Application Rules in India
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has announced new rules pertaining to the proof of Date of Birth (DOB) for passport applications. As per the new rules, an individual can apply for a passport by using various types of documents as proof of DOB. MEA has reviewed the existing rules that will help an individual to apply for a passport easily. MEA will also enable the passport head offices to function as a Passport Seva Kendra (PSK).
Prior to the announcement of new rules, any applicant born on or after 26/01/1989 was required to provide the Birth Certificate as the proof of DOB. Under the new rules, an individual can provide any of the following document as proof of DOB:
- A birth certificate issued by the municipal corporation or the registrar of births and deaths.
- A transfer certificate/school leaving/matriculation certificate issued by the school last attended.
- A Policy Bond issued by the Public Life Insurance firms
- A Voter ID card or Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
- The Permanent Account Number (PAN) issued by Income Tax (IT) Department.
- The Aadhaar Card/E-Aadhaar issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
- A vehicle driving license issued by the state government’s Regional Transport Department (RTO).
- Service record extracts or Pay Pension Order with DOB (Applicable for government employees).
There are 3 main types of passports issued by GOI under the Passport Act, 1967. They are –
1. Type P / Ordinary passport– ‘P’ denotes ‘Personal’. These are Ordinary passports issued to ordinary individuals. They are general purpose passports that citizens normally use for travel on holiday or business.
2. Type S / Official passport– ‘S’ denotes ‘Service’. These are Official passports issued to people travelling abroad on official government/state work.
3. Type D / Diplomatic passport – ‘D’ denotes ‘Diplomat’. These are Diplomatic passports issued to people who always travel on official government work including those posted abroad.