The Government of India has advised to the Indian citizens living in India as well as abroad and holding the valid Indian passport, to urgently replace their old passports with the new ones before the 24th November 2015. The notification says that the Indian citizens residing in India and Abroad and holding the Indian passports with validity beyond the 24th November 2015 should apply for re-issue of their passports well before the deadline in order to avoid any inconvenience in obtaining a valid visa or international travel.
According to the sources, the government of India has advised the Indian passport holders staying in India as well as abroad to get their old handwritten passport replaced with the new machine readable passport before the deadline set by the government otherwise after the deadline no country will accept your passport. The move is aimed to achieve the objective of globally phasing out of all non-machine Readable Passports (MRPs) by 24th November 2015 set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (IACO).
The sources revealed that, Government of India has been issuing the Machine readable passports since 2001 however the passports which have been issued prior to 2001 with the validity of 20 years will now fall in the category of non-MRPs that means once the new norms become applicable globally you will not be able to use the old passport anymore.
According to the sources, there are estimated 2.50 lakh Indian passports exists in the market which are issued prior to 2001 and all are handwritten passports and they are still in circulation as per the available data assessed by the end of October 2015 there are altogether 6.20 crore valid Indian passport holders.
The government of India has taken proper steps towards making the process of getting new machine readable passports easily and they have advised that all passport issuing authorities in India and abroad to adopt the simple and fast track procedure for renewal of passports. But in case you still need any further assistance related to Indian passport services please do log on to www.passportindia.gov.in (for the people staying in India) and in case you are staying in Australia or anywhere else abroad then please visit the following websites, for Melbourne please visit www.cgimelb.org and in case of Sydney please visit www.cgisydney.org
Edited by Goa Prism News Desk