Passports no longer your address proof!

File Image for Representational Purposes

File Image for Representational Purposes

Passports now are issued in three colours.

India will soon have passports which do away with mandatory mention of father's name in passports and, with the last page removed, will also stop serving as valid proof of address, announced the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). This was stated by the MEA on Friday.

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The last page of the passport, which would be discontinued, contains information such the name of the passport holder's father, mother, spouse, address, Emigration Check Required (ECR) and old passport number with date and place of issue. As a outcome, the document that shows citizenship will cease to be a valid proof of address photo copy of which is now taken for use at government and private offices.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, Surendera Kumar, under-secretary of policy and legal matters at the consular, passport and visa division of the ministry confirmed that the change could happen when the "next series" of passports is being issued. This would mean that the new passports will no longer be useful as a proof of address for various applications. The first page of the passport features the photograph of the holder.

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The ministry is also considering some changes in the colour of passports. Currently, Indian passports are issued in three colours - white for government officers and those travelling on work allotted by the Centre, red for diplomats and blue for other citizens.

"Those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport", MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to a query regarding the decision. The Controller General said that persons obtaining new passports would be issued with the new document while those holding the current passports could use them until the validity ended. The statement came even as it was declared that the passports for the Emigration Check Required (ECR) category will be issued with orange jackets. According to Indian Express, MEA is considering keeping the last page of the passport, which now contains many details of the holder including the address, blank.

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The government has been constantly improving the ease with which the passport can be delivered to the seekers through its Passport Seva Kendras that it has opened across the country in recent years. For this situation as well, existing ECR identifications will be valid.

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