A passport is the most important document for any citizen and has often made many go through a lot of hassles due to a list of factors revolving around collating documents, verification, etc. However, in a welcome move, the Ministry of External Affairs has recently announced a new set of rules for passport application, which will indeed ease out the process to a great extent. Below are some of the major changes in rules that have been introduced—
- Document for proof of birth
Earlier, it was compulsory for an individual to provide his or her birth certificate for proof of birth if he or she had been born on or after 26th January 1989. However, now any of the following documents can be provided to validate one’s date of birth (DOB):
-Birth certificate of the individual issued by the Registrar of births and deaths/Municipal Corporation/any other authority that has the power to issue a BC under the wing of Registration of Birth & Deaths Act, 1969, to register the birth of any child that has been born in India.
-Matriculation certificate/Transfer certificate/School leaving certificate, that has been issued by any recognized educational board or school last attended.
-Individual’s Aadhar card or E-aadhar
-Individual’s PAN card
-Individual’s Election Photo Identity Card that has been issued by the Election Commission of India.
-Any policy bond that has been issued by the public life insurance companies or corporations.
-In case of government servants: Extract of service record’s copy of the individual; in case of retired government servants: Pay pension order; duly attested or certified by the officer or in-charge of the administration of the concerned ministry or department of the individual.
- Details of individual’s both parents or legal guardian
Previously, it was mandatory to have names of both parents mentioned, for passports of kids, but in the new set of rules, it is now required to only have one parent’s name or the name of the legal guardian. This will make it easy for kids with single parents as well as orphans to apply for a passport without any hassle. There’s also a new provision introduced, through which saints can apply for passports, mentioning the name of their spiritual leader instead of biological parents.
- Number of Annexes & Attestation
Earlier, there were a total of 15 annexes in the passport application process, which has now been brought down to only 9. Annexes A, C, D, E, and J, have been omitted, while some of them have been merged. With lesser annexes, one’s hassle for document collation will also lessen. Also, earlier the annexes were mandated to be attested from a Notary or First class judicial magistrate or an Executive magistrate, but now the rule has been called off, and instead, one can now have a self-declaration of all the annexes on a plain paper.
- Married or divorced individuals
Along with annexure K, the need for marriage certificate has been discontinued. Also, in case there’s an individual who had a divorce, he or she would not have to mention their spouse’s name anymore.
- Urgent passports that are work related
In case of requirement for urgent passports, if there’s a government employee who is not able to obtain an identity certificate or a no objection certificate (NOC) from his or her employer, he or she can now submit a self-declaration letter, stating that they have already given their employer, a prior intimation letter, informing it to them that they’re applying for a passport to a passport issuing authority.
Well, with a list of welcome changes in rules, it can be expected that applicants will have a more hassle-free experience now when they apply for passports. You can also visit the website of Ministry of External Affairs, to have a broader understanding of these rules.
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