The Ministry of External Affairs has announced various modifications to the passport rules, aimed at easing the process of issue of passport. Many new rules for various sections of society have also been announced. Rakesh Dubbudu from Factly takes a closer look.
The Government has announced new passport rules aimed at simplifying and easing the process of issue of passport. The new passport rules also simplify the process of application for single parents, orphaned children, sadhus, etc. The changes have thus been notified.
In one of the most major changes, eight (8) different documents will now be accepted as proof of Date of Birth (DOB). As per the existing provisions of the Passport Rules, 1980, all applicants born on or after 26th January 1989 must mandatorily submit a Birth Certificate as the proof of Date of Birth (DOB). Changing this rule, the government has now decided that applicants can submit any of the following eight (8) documents as the 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 or School-Leaving or Matriculation Certificate issued by the school last attended, or by the recognized educational board containing the DOB of the applicant.
- PAN Card issued by the Income Tax Department with the DOB of applicant.
- Aadhar Card/E-Aadhar having the DOB of 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 DOB.
- Driving licence issued by the Transport Department of the concerned State Government, having the DOB of the applicant.
- Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India having the DOB of applicant.
- Policy Bond issued by the Public Life Insurance Corporations/Companies having the DOB of the holder of the insurance policy.
Simplified rules for various sections of society
A three-member Committee, with 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/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 a single parent, and to adopted children. The Report of the Committee has been accepted by the Minister of External Affairs. Based on the recommendations of the committee, the government will make the following changes in the passport rules for various sections of society:
Provision for Single Parents: 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 allows single parents to apply for passports for their children and to also issue passports where the issuing authority cannot print the name of either the father or the mother, at the request of the applicant.
Number of Annexures reduced: The new rules bring down the total number of Annexures prescribed in the Passport Rule, 1980, to nine from the present 15. They have removed Annexes A, C, D, E, J, and K, and merged certain Annexes.
Only Self-Declaration from now on: All the required annexes will now be self-declarations on plain paper. No attestation/swearing by/before any Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate will henceforth be necessary.
No affidavit/Marriage Certificate required for married applicants: Applications now don’t require married applicants to provide Annexure K/marriage certificate.
Spouse’s Name not required for separated/divorced applicants: Passport applications now don’t require a spouse’s name for separated/divorced persons. There is even no requirement of the Divorce Decree.
Provision for Orphaned children
Orphaned Children without proof of DOB may now submit a declaration. The declaration – by the Head of the Orphanage/Child Care Home on their official letter head – confirms the applicant’s DOB.
Children not born out of a wedlock: Applications for children not born out of wedlock need only Annexure G.
For domestically adopted children: Applications for in-country domestically adopted children no longer requires submission of the registered adoption deed. In the absence of a deed, the passport applicant may give a declaration on a plain paper confirming the adoption.
Government Servants without a NOC: Government servants sometimes cannot obtain the Identity Certificate (Annexure-B)/NOC (Annexure-M) from their employer. They can now get the passport by submitting a self-declaration in Annexure-‘N’. The declaration must state that they have informed their employer, that they are applying for an ordinary passport.
For Sadhus/ Sanyasis: Sadhus/Sanyasis can apply for a passport mentioning their spiritual Guru’s name instead of their biological parent(s) name(s). They must provide at least one public document such as Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC), PAN card, Aadhar Card, etc.. The document must record the name of the Guru against the column(s) for parent(s) name(s).