Saturday, January 13, 2018

Indian passports may no longer be used as address proof

The Indian passport is set to go through a lot of changes, if the proposal of the ministry of external affairs is implemented.

They will no longer be valid proof of address; a Hindustan Times report says. Reason: The current last page with the passport holder's address and the names of the guardian will be dropped. 

What's more, to make immigration and screening more efficient, orange coloured passports may be issued for individuals in the emigration check required (ECR) category.

Surendera Kumar, under-secretary of policy and legal matters at the consular, passport and visa division of the ministry, was quoted in the report as saying that, "The decision to keep the last page of the passport blank has been taken" to protect the details contained.

Though not printed, the details will be saved on official systems and remain accessible for immigration officials and agencies concerned by scanning a barcode present, a report in CN Traveler said.

Apart from this, the ministry is also mulling changing colour of some passports of a specific category. At present, Indian passports are issued in three colours: white for government officers or to those people who visit other countries for the official work of the government; red for diplomats; and blue for all others across two categories - those who require emigration check (ECR) and those who do not (ECNR), the Hindustan Times report says.

Those in the ECR category will have orange passports, Kumar said. This will increase the speed of the process of emigration as the colour of the passport will make it clear whether the emigration check is required or not. In this case too, existing ECR passports will be valid, according to the report.