From getting together 15 annexes, getting them signed by an officer, to lining up at the passport office…the Indian Passport process was known to be a daunting experience. This is all about to change! In keeping with the modern and tech savvy image of the current government, the Ministry of External Affairs has introduced a number of new changes to the passport process. A liberal move indeed—getting a passport will now be much easier and quicker!
Below are the changes that have been introduced:
1. Proof Of Date Of Birth
Then: All the applicants born on or after 26/01/1989, had to submit the Birth Certificate as the proof of Date of Birth (DOB).
Now: All applicants of passports can submit any one of the following documents as the proof of DOB while submitting the passport application:
(i) Birth Certificate (BC) issued by the Registrar of Births & Deaths or the Municipal Corporation or any other prescribed authority whosoever has been empowered under the Registration of Birth & Deaths Act, 1969 to register the birth of a child born in India.
(ii) Transfer/School leaving/Matriculation Certificate issued by the school last attended/recognized educational board containing the DOB of the applicant.
(iii) PAN Card issued by the Income Tax Department with the DOB of the applicant.
(iv) Aadhar Card/E-Aadhar having the DOB of the applicant.
(v) Copy of the extract of the service record of the applicant (only applicable for Government servants) or the Pay Pension Order (applicable for retired Government Servants), duly attested/certified by the officer/in-charge of the Administration of the concerned Ministry/Department of the applicant, having his DOB.
(vi) Driving Licence issued by the Transport Department of the concerned State Government, having the DOB of the applicant.
(vii) Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India having the DOB of the applicant.
(viii) Policy Bond issued by the Public Life Insurance Corporations/Companies having the DOB of the holder of the insurance policy.
2. Name of Only Parent or Legal Guardian
A big change was introduced following an internal report examining various issues pertaining to passport applications where mother/child have insisted that the name of the father should not be mentioned in the passport and, passport should be easily issued to children with single parent and to adopted children.
Then: Providing the names of both the parents was mandatory at the time of applying for the passport.
Now: The online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of the father or the mother or the legal guardian. 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 must not be printed at the request of the applicant.
3. Reduction of Annexes
Then: A total number of 15 annexes were mandatory earlier.
Now: The total number of Annexes have been brought down to 9. Annexes A, C, D, E, J, and K have been removed and certain Annexes have been merged.
4. No attestation required
Then: All annexes earlier provided had to be attested by a Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate.
Now: 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.
5. Marriage Certificate
Then: Married applicants were not required to provide a marriage certificate.
Now: 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.
Some Other Changes:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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) 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, Aadhar Card, etc. wherein the name of the Guru has been recorded against the column(s) for parent(s) name(s).
Was the long cumbersome process of acquiring a passport holding you back? Not anymore! Get your passport ready and gear up for the ultimate adventure—travel!
For more details on the changes introduced, take a look at the Ministry of External Affairs site here.