As November arrives, Indian passport holders currently holding non-machine readable passports (non-MRPs) are reminded to apply for re-issuance of their passport before the November 24, 2015 deadline. Beginning November 25, 2015, non-MRP holders may be denied a visa or entry into a foreign country.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) announced plans for this phase-out back in December 2014. Foreign governments that comply with the ICAO regulations may not issue visas or grant entry to people traveling with non-machine readable passports after November 24. This phase-out particularly affects those who obtained a non-machine readable passport before 2001 with a 20-year validity that has not yet expired. Such non-machine readable and/or handwritten passports issued in India before 2001 will be of no value after November 24 this year.
It is estimated by the Government of India that about 286,000 people were holding handwritten passports at the end of November 2014. If any of those Indian passport holders (including those living in India, USA, or any other country) are still holding such handwritten passports with validity beyond November 24, 2015, they should immediately apply for a re-issuance of their passports to avoid denial of visas or entry into foreign countries following the ICAO deadline. Indian passport holders who need more information on this may contact the Indian Embassy or its Consulates in USA.
To apply for re-issuance of your Indian non-MRP, visit Passport Services on the Government of India website and apply before November 24, 2015.
For more information about Indian passports, visit our NRI Services section.