If your passport was initially issued for short-term and later extended by handwritten endorsement (as shown in the image), it is time to renew them.
Recently, India’s diplomatic missions worldwide had asked people with hand-written passports to apply for machine-readable passports.
This was to meet International Civil Aviation Organisation’s deadline of November 24, 2015 to globally phase out all non-machine readable passports.
The confusion over renewal date
In the past, embassies used to extend short-term passports to full validity through handwritten endorsements instead of issuing new booklets.
Even though these passports are machine readable, their renewed expiry dates were not printed and hence not readable by machines.
One of our readers Mukesh Kumar Duggal, was in confusion over this as his passport was machine-readable (as it had the <<< characters), but the printed date was expired (see image).
To clarify the issue, Mukesh emailed to Indian Embassy in Qatar and the reply he received from Consular Services was this :
Subject: Re: Fw: Query on passport validity
No, This won’t be valid after the stipulated time given and hence you have to apply for a new passport. Hope this clears your query.
To sum it up, even if you have a machine-readable passport, make sure the printed date is valid. If the date is handwritten, please renew it at the earliest.
Here is our step-by-step guide on how to renew Indian Passport in Qatar.
Special thanks to Mr. Mukesh Kumar Duggal, who wanted to share his experience with fellow expatriates.