The Minister of External Affairs made a press release on December 23, 2016 announcing the new rules to apply for an Indian passport. Changes have been made in several categories including orphaned children, single mothers, government employees and sadhus. Some of these changes have made it way more convenient and organized for Indians to get a passport. For example, earlier, all applicants born on or after January 26, 1989, were mandated to submit a Birth Certificate as proof of Date of Birth (DOB). But now, there are eight different documents can be submitted as proof of Date of Birth. Earlier, the names of both parents were mandatory to be provided at the time of applying for the passport but now, you can make do with only one parent or legal guardian. This means that the process will become much easier for single mothers who were required to enter the father’s name during passport applications in the past.
Here are all the rules as per the MEA website:
1. In order to streamline, liberalize and ease the process of issue of passport, the Ministry of External Affairs has taken a number of steps in the realm of passport policy which is expected to benefit the citizens of India applying for a passport. The details of these steps are given below:-
PROOF OF DATE OF BIRTH
2. As per the extant statutory provisions of the Passport Rules, 1980, all the applicants born on or after 26/01/1989, in order to get a passport, had to, hitherto, mandatorily submit the Birth Certificate as the proof of Date of Birth (DOB). It has now been decided that all applicants of passports can submit any one of the following documents as the proof of DOB while submitting the passport application:
(i) 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;
(ii) Transfer/School leaving/Matriculation Certificate issued by the school last attended/recognized educational board containing the DOB of the applicant;
(iii) PAN Card issued by the Income Tax Department with the DOB of applicant;
(iv) Aadhar Card/E-Aadhar having the DOB of applicant;
(v) 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 DOB;
(vi) Driving licence issued by the Transport Department of concerned State Government, having the DOB of applicant;
(vii) Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India having the DOB of applicant;
(viii) Policy Bond issued by the Public Life Insurance Corporations/Companies having the DOB of the holder of the insurance policy.
REPORT OF THE INTER MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE
3. A three-member Committee comprising of 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 mother/child has insisted that the name of the father should not be mentioned in the passport and also relating to passport issues to children with single parent and to adopted children. The Report of the Committee has been accepted by the Minister of External Affairs.
The following policy changes have been made inter-alia on the basis of the recommendations of this Committee:
(i) The online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of father or mother or legal guardian, i.e., only one parent and not both. This would enable single parents to apply for passports for their children and to 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.
(ii) The total number of Annexes prescribed in the Passport Rule, 1980, has been brought down to 9 from the present 15. Annexes A, C, D, E, J, and K have been removed and certain Annexes have been merged.
(iii) All the annexes that are required to be given by the applicants would be in the form of a self declaration on a plain paper. No attestation/swearing by/before any Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate would be henceforth necessary.
(iv) Married applicants would not be required to provide Annexure K or any marriage certificate.
(v) The Passport application form does not require the applicant to provide the name of her/his spouse in case of separated or divorced persons. Such applicants for passports would not be required to provide even the Divorce Decree.
(vi) Orphaned children who do not have any proof of DOB such as Birth Certificate or the Matriculation Certificate or the declaratory Court order, may now submit a declaration given by the Head of the Orphanage/Child Care Home on their official letter head of the organization confirming the DOB of the applicant.
(vii) In case of children not born out of wedlock, the applicant for the passport of such children should submit only Annexure G while submitting the passport application.
(viii) In case of issue of passport 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 a plain paper confirming the adoption.
(ix) Government servants, who are not able to obtain the Identity Certificate (Annexure-B)/ No-Objection Certificate (Annexure-M) from their concerned employer and intend to get the passport on urgent basis can now get the passport by submitting a self-declaration in Annexure-‘N’ that he/she has given prior Intimation letter to his/her employer informing that he/she was applying for an ordinary passport to a Passport Issuing Authority.
(x) Sadhus/ 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 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).
4. Necessary notifications would be soon published in the Official Gazette to give effect to these changes. Instructions are also being issued to the Passport Issuing Authorities in India and abroad on these revised regulations.
5. The Ministry of External Affairs expects that the above changes in the Passport Rules would further ease the process for passport applicants in getting their Passport. At the same time, it would enable this Ministry to continue to deliver passport related services to the citizens in a timely, transparent, more accessible, reliable manner and in a comfortable environment through streamlined processes and committed, trained and motivated workforce.
Disclaimer: This information is true to our knowledge at the time of writing of the article. For recent updates, kindly check the MEA website.
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