The front cover of a contemporary Indian passport.
Identity Information Page
|Type of document||Passport|
|Purpose||Identification and travel.|
|Eligibility requirements||Indian citizenship|
|Expiration||10 years from acquisition for adults, 5 years for minors|
The Indian passport is the primary travel document issued by the Government of India to its citizens. It enables the bearer to travel internationally and serves as proof of Indian citizenship as per the "The Passports Act" (1967). The Consular Passport & Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, functioning as the central passport organisation, is responsible for issuance of Indian passports on demand to all eligible Indian citizens. Passports are issued at 37 locations across the country and at 162 Indian missions (High Commissions, Embassies and Consular posts) abroad.
Types of passports
- Regular passport (Deep Blue) - Issued to regular citizens for ordinary travel, such as for vacation, study and business trips (36 or 60 pages). It is a Type "P" passport - P stands for personal.
- Official passport (White cover) - Issued to individuals representing the Indian government on official business. It is a Type "S" passport - S stands for Service.
- Diplomatic passport (Maroon cover) - Issued to Indian diplomats, top ranking government officials and diplomatic couriers. It is a Type "D" passport - D stands for Diplomat.
- Hajj passport - Issued to Indian Muslims not holding ordinary passport, for Hajj pilgrimage.
In addition, selected passport offices in India as well as overseas missions are authorised to issue Regular Indo-Bangladesh passports and Indo-Sri Lankan passports, to Indian nationals resident in West Bengal, the North Eastern States, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. These two passports respectively permit travel to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka only and are not valid for travel to other foreign countries.
Indian passports have a deep blue cover with golden colored content. Emblem of India is emblazoned in the centre of the front cover. The words 'पासपोर्ट' (Hindi) and 'Passport' (English) are inscribed above the Emblem whereas 'भारत गणराज्य' (Hindi) and 'Republic of India' (English) are inscribed below the emblem. The standard passport contains 36 pages, but frequent travellers can opt for a passport containing 60 pages.
Passport holder identity
Until very recently, Indian passports had the bearers particulars written by hand, with the passport picture glued to the cover page. They also lacked the Machine Readable feature available for other country passports. These older passports looked very unprofessional and the newer passports have identity information printed on both front and back cover ends. Both of these pages are laminated to prevent modification.
- The opening cover end contains the following information:
- Photo of Passport Holder
- Signature of the passport holder
- Type ('P'- Stands for "Personal", 'D'- Stands for "Diplomat", 'S'- Stands for "Service")
- Passport number
- Date of Birth
- Place of birth
- Place of issue
- Date of issue
- Date of expiry
The information page ends with the Machine Readable Passport Zone.
- The closing end contains the following information:
- Name of father/legal guardian
- Name of mother
- Name of spouse
- File no.
The passports contain a note from the President of India addressing the authorities of all states, identifying the bearer as a citizen of the Republic of India and requesting and requiring that the bearer be allowed to pass freely without any hindrance and be assisted and protected in any need. The note inside of Indian passports states:
|“||These are to request and require in the Name of the President of the Republic of India all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford him or her, every assistance and protection of which he or she may stand in need.
|“||इसके द्वारा, भारत गणराज्य के राष्ट्रपति के नाम पर, उन सब से जिनका इस बात से सरोकार हो, यह प्रार्थना एवं अपेक्षा की जाती है कि वे वाहक को बिना रोक-टोक, आज़ादी से आने-जाने दें, और उसे हर तरह की ऐसी सहायता और सुरक्षा प्रदान करें जिसकी उसे आवश्यकता हो ।
The note bearing page is typically stamped and signed by the issuing authority in the name of the President of Republic of India.
New additional security features
Personal particulars of the passport holder, hitherto printed on the inner cover page, would be printed on the second page of the document. Another added security feature in the new type of passport is the ghost picture of the holder, which will be found on the right side of the second page.
The sign and seal of the Regional Passport Officer, hitherto appearing on page 1, will be shifted to the front inner cover. The family details of the passport holder — names of father, mother and spouse — and address, which hitherto appeared on the back inner cover, will be shifted to the penultimate page of the passport document — page 35 of a 36-page passport booklet.
Indian passport holders are classified as either ECR (Emigration Check Required) or ECNR (Emigration Check Not Required).
Holders of ECR passports need a clearance called an Emigration Check from the Government of India's Protector of Emigrants when going to select countries on a work visa. This is to prevent the exploitation of Indian workers (especially the unskilled and less-educated) when going abroad, particularly to Middle Eastern countries. ECR passport holders travelling on a tourist visa do not need a clearance; this is known as an Emigration Check Suspension.
ECNR status passports are granted to:
- Indian nationals born abroad;
- Indian nationals holding at least a matriculation certificate;
- all holders of diplomatic or official passports;
- all gazetted government servants;
- all income-tax payers (including agricultural income-tax payers) in their individual capacity;
- all graduate and professional degree holders (such as doctors, engineers, chartered accountants, scientists, lawyers, etc.);
- spouses and dependent children of category of certain holders of ECNR passports;
- seamen in possession of a CDC;
- Sea Cadets and Deck Cadets who have:
- passed their final examination on a three-year B.Sc. Nautical Sciences Course at T.S. Chanakya, Mumbai; and
- undergone three months' pre-sea training at any of the government-approved training institutes such as T.S. Chanakya, T.S. Rehman, T.S. Jawahar, MTI (SCI), or NIPM, Chennai, after production of identity cards issued by the Shipping Master at Mumbai, Kolkata, or Chennai;
- persons holding a Permanent Immigration Visa, such as visas issued by the UK, USA, or Australia;
- persons possessing a two years' diploma from any institute recognized by the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) or the State Council of Vocational Training (SCVT), or persons holding a three years’ diploma or equivalent degree from an institution such as a polytechnic recognized by the central or a state government;
- nurses possessing qualifications recognised under the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947;
- all persons above the age of 50 years;
- all persons who have been staying abroad for more than three years (whether in one continuous period or in aggregate), as well as their spouses;
- all children up to the age of 18 years.
In accordance with a ruling by the Ministry of External Affairs, passports issued from 2007 onwards do not have the ECNR stamp affixed; instead, a blank page 2 of the passport is deemed to have been ECNR endorsed. As a result, only ECR stamps are now affixed to Indian passports. For passports issued before January 2007, no notation in the passport means ECR. For passports issued in or after January 2007, no notation in the passport means ECNR. If Emigration Check is Required, there will be an endorsement in the passport regarding ECR.
Visa requirements for Indian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of India. According to the "Henley Visa Restrictions Index 2013," holders of an Indian passport can visit 52 countries and territories visa-free or with visa on arrival, and India is currently ranked 74th in terms of travel freedom, tied with Dominican Republic and Uzbekistan.
The cost of obtaining a standard passport in India (w.e.f. 1 October 2012):
- 1500 - Fresh or Renew passport (36 pages) with 10 year validity.
- 2000 - Fresh or Renew passport (60 pages) with 10 year validity.
- 3500 - Fresh or Renew passport (36 pages) with 10 year validity under Tatkal Scheme.
- 4000 - Fresh or Renew passport (60 pages) with 10 year validity under Tatkal Scheme.
- 1000 - Fresh passport for minors (below 15 years of Age) with 5 year validity or till the minor attains the age of 18, which ever is earlier.
- 3000 - Duplicate passport (36 pages) in lieu of lost, damaged or stolen passport.
- 5000 - Duplicate passport (60 pages) in lieu of lost, damaged or stolen passport.
Indian passports can also be issued outside India, for which fees varies by country.
New passport issuance system
In September 2007, the Indian Union cabinet approved a new passport issuance system under the Passport Seva Project. As per the project, front-end activities of passport issuance, dispatch of passports, online linking with police, and Central Printing Unit for centralised printing of passports will be put in place. The new system is trying to be 'timely, transparent, more accessible and reliable manner' for passport issuance though it has failed in many aspects. Delays in issuance of passport are quite common. The applicant has to apply for fresh/reissue of passport through the Passport Seva system at one of the 77 Passport Seva Kendras operating throughout the country.
e-Passport (biometric passport)
India has recently initiated the first phase of biometric e-passport for Diplomatic passport holders in India and abroad. The new passports have been designed locally by the Central Passport Organisation, the India Security Press and IIT Kanpur. It contains a security chip with all personal data and digital images. In the first phase new passports will have a 64KB chip carrying a photograph of the passport holder and in subsequent phases it will have a fingerprint. The new passport has already been tested with passport readers in the United States and has 4-second response time, while the US Passport has 10-second response time. It need not be carried in a metal jacket for security reasons. It will first need to be skimmed through a reader, after which it would generate an access code which then unlocks the chip for reader access.
The Indian missions in the UAE started issuing machine-readable passports (MRPs) - or electronic passports as they are called from 2006.
In India the e-passport is under its first phase of deployment and is restricted to Diplomatic passport holders. On 25 June 2008 the Indian Passport Authority issued the e-passport to the then President of India, Pratibha Patil.
- British Indian passport
- Visa requirements for Indian citizens
- Indian nationality law
- Overseas citizenship of India
- The Passports Act
- Interactive map of places that can be visited by an Indian passport holder
- "MEA CPV Division". CPV.
- "ECNR". ECNR.
- "International Visa Restrictions". Henley and partners. August 2013. Retrieved August 2013.
- "Indian Passport Fees". Government of India. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- NDTV.com: After US tests, India to get first e-passport
- "India to introduce biometric passports next year". secureidnews.com. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- Indian Passport Office (CPV official website)
- Passport ranking and list of Visa Free countries
- IATA Visa guide
- Wikivisa: India
- Passport Appointment
- Passport Services in Mobile App of Ministry of External Affairs India
- Types of Passports