The Ministry of External Affairs just recently announced a new set of rules for applying for a passport. And we’ve summarized some of the major changes that these new rules have bought in.
DOCUMENTATION FOR PROOF OF BIRTH
As per the earlier rules, submitting a birth certificate was compulsory for all applicants born on/after 26th January 1989. But the new rules have bought in a relaxation in this regards. Now, any of the following documents containing the DOB of the applicant will suffice:
Birth Certificate (BC) issued by the Registrar of births and 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/recognised educational board
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
Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India
Policy bond issued by the public life insurance corporations/companies
DETAILS OF PARENT/LEGAL GUARDIAN:
In a welcome move, the new passport rules has done away with the mandate requiring names of both parents at the time of application. An applicant now only needs to provide the name of either one of the parents or the legal guardian. This makes it easier for children with single parents or orphans to apply for a passport. Provisions have also been made for spiritually oriented people (Sadhus/Sanyasis) who can now mention the name of their spiritual leader instead of their biological parents.
The total number of annexes has been bought down from 15 to 9. Annexes A, C, D, E, J, and K have been removed and some of them have also been merged. Lesser annexes means less trouble for you to collate documentation.
While all annexes needed attestation from a Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate previously, henceforth all these annexes can now be in the form of a self-declaration from the applicant on plain paper. This will spare you all the running around for attestation that you would have had to do previously.
The need for a marriage certificate has been discontinued (along with annexure K). Also, in case of a divorce the applicant will not be required to provide the name of their spouse. This is another interesting change that has been made taking into consideration changing societal norms.
WORK RELATED URGENT PASSPORTS:For urgent passports, if a government employee is unable to procure the NOC (no objection certificate) or identity certificate from their employers, they can submit a self-declaration stating that they have given a prior intimation letter to their employer informing that they are applying for an ordinary passport to a passport issuing authority.
To view the press release from the Ministry of External Affairs regarding the new passport rules, you can visit their website which has the complete details.
Overall, this move is set to make the application process easier and hassle-free for everyone. A welcome move, we say!
So don’t use your lack of passport as an excuse not to travel anymore. Apply for one now, and get going.