Per the directive from “The International Civil Aviation Organization” (ICAO), all non-Machine Readable Passports (MRPs) are going to be phased out by 24th November 2015. Thereafter, a person carrying a non-MRP passport can be denied visa or an entry in to a country.
A public notice for this new regulation from ICAO was issued by Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs on 9th December 2013. Per this notice, following passport cases will fall under non-MRP category:
1. All handwritten passports with pasted photos issued by Government of India are considered non-MRP passports.
2. All 20-year validity passports will also be considered as non-MRP passports.
The aforementioned public notice appeals to the non-MRP passport holders to re-apply for new ICAO-compliant MRP passports before the 24th November 2015 deadline.
Indian citizens residing in India and abroad and holding handwritten passports as well as 20-year passports with validity beyond the 24th November 2015, should, therefore, apply for re-issue of passports and obtain MRP passports well before the deadline in order to avoid any inconvenience in obtaining foreign visa or immigration problem.
For more details related to passport services you can either visit Indian Passport website or call the National Call Centre at toll free number 1800-258-1800.
PS: All Indian passports issued since 2001 are ICAO-compliant MRP passports.
Image Credit- The Hindu News