This post was originally published on 24 December 2016.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday announced new Passport Rules that are more relaxed and in sync with the modern times.
Now PAN Card, Aadhar Card, Driving license would serve as the proof of date of birth of the Passport Applicant.
Procedure has become easier for single parents to apply for passports for their children. The Passport acquisition has been made smoother for children, who are orphaned, adopted or born out of wedlock.
“In order to streamline, liberalize and ease the process of issue of passport, the Ministry of External Affairs has taken a number of steps in the realm of passport policy which is expected to benefit the citizens of India applying for a passport,” the Ministry said in a press release.
Here are the 10 major changes to the passport procedures:
1. Proof of Date of Birth
Birth Certificate as the proof of Date of Birth (DOB) is not mandatory any more. Instead, the applicants can submit ANY ONE of the following documents:
- Birth Certificate issued by the Registrar of Births & Deaths or the Municipal Corporation or any other prescribed authority
- Transfer/School leaving/Matriculation Certificate issued by the school last attended/recognized educational board
- PAN Card issued by the Income Tax Department
- Aadhar Card / E-Aadhar
- Driving License
- Election Photo Identity Card
- Policy Bond issued by the Public Life Insurance Corporations/Companies
In case of Government servants, copy of the extract of the service record of the applicant or the Pay Pension Order (in respect of retired Government Servants), duly attested/certified by the officer/in-charge of the Administration of the concerned Ministry/Department of the applicant, can also be accepted.
2. Only one parent’s name is enough
The online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of father or mother or legal guardian, i.e., only one parent and not both.
This would enable single parents to apply for passports for their children and to also issue passports where the name of either the father or the mother is not required to be printed at the request of the applicant.
3. Less number of Annexes
The total number of Annexes prescribed in the Passport Rule, 1980, has been brought down to 9 from the present 15. Annexes A, C, D, E, J, and K have been removed and certain Annexes have been merged.
All the annexes that are required to be given by the applicants would be in the form of a self-declaration on a plain paper. No attestation/swearing by/before any Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate would be henceforth necessary.
4. No need for marriage certificate
Married applicants would not be required to provide Annexure K or any marriage certificate. This would be needed only if they wish to add spouse name in passport.
5. Spouse name not required
The Passport application form does not require the applicant to provide the name of her/his spouse in case of separated or divorced persons.
Such applicants for passports would not be required to provide even the Divorce Decree.
6. Orphaned children
Orphaned children who do not have any proof of DOB such as Birth Certificate or the Matriculation Certificate or the declaratory Court order, may now submit a declaration given by the Head of the Orphanage/Child Care Home on their official letter head of the organization confirming the DOB of the applicant.
7. Children not born out of wedlock
In case of children not born out of wedlock, the applicant for the passport of such children should submit only Annexure G while submitting the passport application.
8. Adopted children
In case of issue of passport to in-country domestically adopted children, submission of the registered adoption deed would no longer be required. In the absence of any deed to this effect, the passport applicant may give a declaration on a plain paper confirming the adoption.
9. Urgent passports for government employees
Government servants, who are not able to obtain the Identity Certificate (Annexure-B)/ No-Objection Certificate (Annexure-M) from their concerned employer and intend to get the passport on urgent basis can now get the passport by submitting a self-declaration in Annexure-‘N’ that he/she has given prior Intimation letter to his/her employer informing that he/she was applying for an ordinary passport to a Passport Issuing Authority.
10. Sadhus can apply with Guru’s name
Sadhus/ Sanyasis can apply for a passport with the name of their spiritual Guru mentioned in the passport application in lieu of their biological parent(s) name(s).
This is subject to their providing of at least one public document such as Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India, PAN card, Adhar Card, etc wherein the name of the Guru has been recorded against the column(s) for parent(s) name(s).
According to MEA, necessary notifications would be soon published in the Official Gazette to give effect to these changes.
Instructions are also being issued to the Passport Issuing Authorities in India and abroad on these revised regulations.
“The Ministry of External Affairs expects that the above changes in the Passport Rules would further ease the process for passport applicants in getting their Passport.
“At the same time, it would enable this Ministry to continue to deliver passport related services to the citizens in a timely, transparent, more accessible, reliable manner and in a comfortable environment through streamlined processes and committed, trained and motivated workforce,” MEA said in the release.
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