New Passports can’t be used as Address Proof

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External Affairs Ministry has said that last page will not be printed anymore. However, this passport may no longer be valid proof of address. If you’re surprise what the reason is? Well, government announced it will end printing family and address details in passports and offer new jacket colour, based on an emigration check requirement status. This article helps you to know new changes for Indian passport.

What types of changes has government decided to bring to Indian Passport?

Indian Government has decided to keep last page of its citizen’s passport blank. As of now, on last page of passport which contains details like name of father, legal guardian, mother, spouse, address, Emigration check required (ECR) and any old passport number with date and place of issue. As passport’s last page will not be printed now.

As per new changes, passport holders with an ECR status will be issued a passport with an orange coloured jacket and those with non-ECR status will get blue coloured passports. With international standards, Indian passports may not include any details printed on its last page. Also Read Passports may come without information on the last page. Also read How to get Police Verification for Passport online

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Why did government decide to do this?

Committee has been set up which includes officials of Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Women and Child Development. This has been done to look at various issues relating to passport applications, such as mother / child had insisted that name of father should not be mentioned in passport.

Also, issues relating to children passport with single parent and adopted children. Following to that, government should look at possibility of doing away with printing of information contained in passport booklet such as names of father/legal guardian, mother, spouse and address contained in last page of passport.

When will this be implementing by government?

There is no specific date for implementation has been given by government.  Soon New passports will be designed by Indian Security Press, Nasik. Till the time new passport booklets are designed, passports will continue to be printed with last page. Existing passports continue to remain valid till date of expiry in passport booklet and new passport will be handed after existing ones expire.

Last page of passport, which also contains emigration status, will be blank in new series booklet. Passport office, as well as immigration department and security agencies have details of passport holder in their data basis, which is why this change will not affect authorities much.  Now, all passports have bar code from which information can be accessed by scanning. Read How to apply for Indian passport under new rules 

What types of passports are now issued by government?

There are three types of passports are issued by government. Now, passports are issued in three colours like white passport issued for government officers, red passports issued for diplomats and all other passports are blue.

  • Regular Passport: this has navy blue cover passport and it is issued to citizens for ordinary travel like vacations and business trips.
  • Diplomatic Passport- this has red cover passport and is issued to Indian diplomats, top-ranking government officials (above joint secretary) and diplomatic couriers.
  • Official Passport- It is issued to individuals on behalf of Indian government on official business and this has white cover passport.

What is ECR Status?

As per Emigration Act, 1983, Indian passport holders need an Emigration Clearance from Protector of Emigrants (POE) office for going to certain countries. Thus, all regular passports are allowed with an Emigration Check Required (ECR) status or with Emigration Check Not Required (ECNR) Status.

As per Act, Emigration means any Indian Citizen leaving India with taking up employment in certain foreign countries.  These countries include Bahrain, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Brunei, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Thailand, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Who qualifies for ECNR Status?

There are 14 types of citizens who automatically qualify for an ECNR status such as all income tax payers, persons who are below 18 years and above 50 years of age and all persons having 10th standard qualification and above. An idea behind ECR is to make sure safety of uneducated and unskilled Indian citizens from most underprivileged socio-economic strata, against current legal conditions in certain foreign countries.

How ECR noted in passport?

Before January 2017, passport issued with no note on last page of passport that means Emigration Check required (ECR). But passports issued after January 2007, no note in passport means Emigration Check Not Required (ECNR). So if an ECR need, there will be an approval in last page of passport. Now, this system will replace with an orange-coloured passport will make immigration checks easier and more efficient, besides it helps holders in foreign countries.

Decision to keep last page of passport blank to protect details contained. An official from the passport and visa division of the ministry confirmed that some changes could happen when the passports in the next series are issued.

Why governments plan to give an orange-coloured passport to citizens with an ECR status?

Those issuing of orange-coloured passports to people with ECR status claim amounts to prejudice and setting apart of Indian citizens on basis of their socio-economic status. However, Indian citizens who going to jobs in gulf countries would be treated as second-class citizens because of passport colour. As new navy blue passport is designed with ECNR/ECR status.

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