The Government of India is easing up the process of applying for a passport. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced its new passport policy today (23 December) with the aim to “streamline, liberalize and ease the process of issue of passport” so as to “benefit the citizens of India applying for a passport”.
Here are some of the notable rule changes:
Proof of date of birth
Earlier all passport applicants born on or after 26 January 1989 had to submit their birth certificate as proof of date of birth. With the new rule, that won’t be necessary. Applicants can now submit, if not a Birth Certificate, a transfer/school leaving/matriculation certificate, a PAN Card, Aadhaar Card/E-Aadhaar, driving licence, Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC), among other such documents.
Only one parent’s name required
Applicants can either provide the name of the father, mother or legal guardian, i.e., only one parent and not both. This was a policy recommendation of an Inter-Ministerial Committee that has been accepted by the MEA.
No spouse name required for separated/divorced persons
The applicant doesn’t have to provide the name of his or her spouse if they have separated or are divorced. They would also not be required to provide the Divorce Decree.
Orphaned children have an alternative to birth certificate
Those orphaned children who don’t have a birth certificate to show proof of their date of birth can now simply submit an official declaration given by the head of the orphanage or child care home confirming their date of birth.
Passport for sadhus or sanyasis
Sadhus or sanyasis can apply for a passport with the name of their spiritual guru instead of the name(s) of their biological parent(s). But they would also have to provide at least one public document such as Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC), PAN card, Aadhaar card and so on which states the name of the guru against the column(s) for the name of the parent(s).
These and other changes are soon set to come into force.
Read here for the full set of new passport rules.
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