Updated January 2023
A passport is the most essential document for travelling to any part of the world. Henceforth, the passport issuance process can be a crucial and vital step to go through before travelling. However, to streamline, liberalise and ease the process of issuance of passports, the Ministry of External Affairs in India has taken a number of steps in the realm of passport policy expected to benefit the citizens of India applying for a passport.
Here are the latest news and development concerning the Indian passport rules.
India passport rule news
Starting from 1 January 2023, India has been removed from Serbia’s visa-free countries list.
However, Indian nationals who already possess a Schengen visa, a UK visa, a US visa, or a residency permit from one of these countries will not be impacted by Serbia’s new modification in visa regulations. Indian passport holders with visas or permits for these countries would still be permitted access into Serbia without a visa on or after January 1 for up to 90 days.
India passport rule
The new passport rules, as announced by the Ministry of External Affairs to streamline and ease the process of issuance of passports for applicants, are as follows:
Proof of date of birth
As per the extant statutory provisions of the Passport Rules, 1980, all the applicants born on or after 26 January 1989, are mandatorily required to submit their Birth Certificate as proof of Date of Birth (DOB) to get a passport.
Applicants can submit any one of the following documents as proof of DOB while submitting the passport application:
- 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.
- Transfer/School leaving/Matriculation Certificate issued by the school last attended/recognized educational board containing the Date of Birth (DOB) of the applicant
- PAN Card issued by the Income Tax Department with the Date of Birth (DOB) of the applicant
- Aadhar Card/E-Aadhar having the Date of Birth (DOB) of the applicant
- Copy of the extract of the service record of the applicant (only in respect of Government servants) or the Pay Pension Order (in respect of retired Government Servants), duly attested/certified by the officer/in-charge of the Administration of the concerned Ministry/Department of the applicant, having his Date of Birth (DOB).
- Driving license issued by the Transport Department of the concerned State Government, having the Date of Birth (DOB) of the applicant
- Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India having the Date of Birth (DOB) of the applicant
- Policy Bond issued by the Public Life Insurance Corporations/Companies having the Date of Birth (DOB) of the holder of the insurance policy.
Report of the Inter Ministerial Committee
A three-member Committee comprising the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development was constituted to examine various issues pertaining to passport applications where the mother or child had insisted that the name of the father should not be mentioned in the passport and also relating to passport issues to children with a single parent and to adopted children.
The Report of the Committee was accepted by the Minister of External Affairs, and the following policy changes have been made inter-alia on the basis of the recommendations of this Committee:
- The online passport application form requires the applicant to provide the name of the father or mother or legal guardian, that is, only one parent and not both. This would enable single parents to apply for passports for their children and also issue passports where the name of either the father or the mother is not required to be printed at the request of the applicant.
- The total number of Annexes prescribed in the Passport Rule, 1980, has been brought down to nine (9) from the previous fifteen (15). Annexes A, C, D, E, J, and K have been removed and certain Annexes have been merged.
- All the annexes that are required to be given by the applicants would be in the form of a self-declaration on plain paper. No attestation or swearing before any Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate would be necessary.
- Married applicants would not be required to provide Annexure K or any marriage certificate.
- The Passport application form does not require the applicant to provide the name of their spouse in case of separated or divorced persons. Such applicants for passports would not be required to provide even the Divorce Decree.
- Orphaned children who do not have any proof of Date of Birth (DOB) such as a Birth Certificate or Matriculation Certificate or the declaratory Court order, may now submit a declaration given by the Head of the Orphanage or Child Care Home on their official letterhead of the organization confirming the Date of Birth (DOB) of the applicant.
- In case of children not born out of wedlock, the applicant for the passport of such children should only submit Annexure- G while submitting the passport application.
- In the case of the issue of passports 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 plain paper confirming the adoption.
- Government servants, who are not able to obtain the Identity Certificate (Annexure-B) or No-Objection Certificate (Annexure-M) from their concerned employer and intend to get the passport on an urgent basis can now get the passport by submitting a self-declaration in Annexure-‘N’ that they have given prior Intimation letter to their employer informing that they were applying for an ordinary passport to a Passport Issuing Authority.
- Sadhus or 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 an Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India, PAN card, Adhar Card, etc wherein the name of the Guru has been recorded against the column(s) for parent(s) name(s).
Indian passport rule for minors
When applying for a passport, applicants under the age of 18 are considered minors in India. According to the new passport rules issued by the Indian government, a minor must be in possession of their own passport, and the endorsement of their name in their father’s passport is no longer permissible.
The validity of a minor’s passport is restricted to five years or till they attain the age of 18. However, minors aged between 15 to 18 years can apply either for a 10-year validity passport or for a passport that is valid till they attain the age of 18 years. Furthermore, minors are given a 36-page passport booklet.
Please note that a minor’s passport can be applied for by a parent or guardian. Therefore, the minor’s legal guardian or parent must consent to the granting of a minor’s passport.