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An Indian passport is a passport issued by order of the President of India to Indian citizens for the purpose of international travel. It enables the bearer to travel internationally and serves as proof of Indian citizenship as per the Passports Act (1967). The Passport Seva (Passport Service) unit of the Consular, Passport & Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, functions as the central passport organisation, and is responsible for issuing Indian passports on demand to all eligible Indian citizens. Indian passports are issued at 93 passport offices located across India and at 162 Indian diplomatic missions abroad.[2]

Indian Passport
Indian Passport cover 2015.jpg
The front cover of a contemporary Indian passport.
Date first issued 1920 (first version)
1986 (current version)
Issued by  India
Type of document Passport
Purpose Identification
Eligibility requirements Indian citizenship
Expiration 10 years after acquisition for those aged 18 or more; otherwise 5 years
Cost

Adult (36 pages): 1,500[1]
Adult (60 pages): 2,000[1]
Minor (36 pages): 1,000[1]

Note: If the application for a new passport is made under the Tatkaal (expedited processing), the additional Tatkaal fee of 2,000 is to be paid in addition to the regular application fee.[1]

In 2014, India issued more than 10 million passports, a number exceeded only by China and United States.[3] Approximately 60 million Indians hold valid passports as of November 2014.[4]

Contents

Types of passportsEdit

 
3 types of Indian passport
  •      Ordinary passport (dark blue cover) is issued to ordinary citizens for ordinary travel, such as for vacation, study and business trips (36 or 60 pages). It is a "Type P" passport, where P stands for personal.
  •      Official passport (white cover) is issued to individuals representing the Indian government on official business. It is a "Type S" passport, S standing for service.
  •      Diplomatic passport (maroon cover) is issued to Indian diplomats, top ranking government officials and diplomatic couriers. It is a "Type D" passport with D standing for diplomatic.

In addition, selected passport offices in India as well as overseas missions are authorized 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 Puducherry. These two passports respectively permit travel to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka only and are not valid for travel to other foreign countries. India stopped issuing the Indo-Bangladeshi passport in 2013.[5]

Tatkaal and SVPEdit

Tatkaal passports (for urgent needs),[6] and Short validity passports (SVP)[7] are also available, and these are generally considered Ordinary passports once issued.

Physical appearanceEdit

Contemporary ordinary Indian passports have a black or deep bluish-black cover with golden coloured printing. The Emblem of India is emblazoned in the centre of the front cover. The words "पासपोर्ट" in Devanagari and "Passport" in English are inscribed above the Emblem whereas "भारत गणराज्य" in Devanagari and "Republic of India" in English are inscribed below the emblem. The standard passport contains 36 pages, but frequent travellers can opt for a passport containing 60 pages.

Identity Information PageEdit

 
Bio-data page of an Indian passport issued since 2013
 
Bio-data page of an Indian passport issued prior to 2013
  • The Bio data page contains the following information:
    • Type: "P"- Stands for "Personal", "D"- Stands for "Diplomatic", "S"- Stands for "Service"
    • Country code: IND
    • Passport number
    • Surname
    • Given name(s)
    • Nationality
    • Sex
    • Date of birth
    • Place of birth
    • Place of issue
    • Date of issue
    • Date of expiry
    • Photo of passport holder
    • Ghost picture of the passport holder (only passports issued since 2013)
    • Signature of the passport holder
    • The information page ends with the Machine Readable Passport Zone (MRZ).
  • The Demographics page at the end of the passport book contains the following information:
    • Name of father or legal guardian
    • Name of mother
    • Name of spouse
    • Address
    • Old passport number
    • File number

Passport noteEdit

The passports contain a note from the President of India addressing the authorities of all territories:

The note bearing page is typically stamped and signed by the issuing authority in the name of the President of the Republic of India.

LanguagesEdit

The text of Indian passports is printed in both Hindi and English, two official languages of the Union.

Emigration checkEdit

 
A page in the Indian passport with Emigration check note.

Holders of Emigration Check Required (ECR) type passports need a clearance called an Emigration Check from the Government of India's Protector of Emigrants when going to selected 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 type passport holders travelling on a tourist visa do not need a clearance; this is known as an Emigration Check Suspension.

Emigration Check Not Required (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.

FeaturesEdit

Since 25 November 2015, Indian passports that are handwritten or with an original date of expiry extending to 20 years have not been valid under ICAO travel regulations.[8] With more recent Indian passports the personal particulars of the passport holder, that were hitherto printed on the inner cover page, are printed on the second page of the document. Another added security feature in the newer non-handwritten passports is a ghost picture of the holder found on the right side of the second page. Apart from stymieing criminals from printing fake passports, recent changes also help prevent smudging of the document because of inkjet printers.[9][10]

FeesEdit

The price of a standard passport in India:[11]

  • 1500 – Fresh issuance or reissue of passport (36 pages, standard size) with 10 year validity.
  • 2000 – Fresh issuance or renewal of passport (60 pages, 'jumbo' size) with 10 year validity.
  • 3500 – First time applicant or renewal with expedited ('tatkaal') service (36 pages) with 10 year validity.
  • 4000 – First time applicant or renewal with expedited ('tatkaal') service (60 pages) with 10 year validity.
  • 1000 – Fresh passport issuance for minors (below 18 years of Age) with 5 year validity or till the minor attains the age of 18, whichever is earlier.
  • 3000 – Duplicate passport (36 pages) in lieu of lost, damaged or stolen passport.
  • 3500 – 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.

IssuanceEdit

Passport Seva KendraEdit

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. The applicant has to apply for fresh/reissue of passport through the Passport Seva system at one of the 77 Passport offices known as "Passport Seva Kendra"s operating throughout the country.

Biometric passportEdit

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 readers, after which it would generate an access code which then unlocks the chip for reader access.[12]

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.[13] As of 2016, the Government has plans to issue e-passports to all of its citizens. Also the Government has authorized Indian Security Press to float a global three-stage tender for procurement of ICAO-compliant electronic contactless inlays along with its operating system, which is required for the manufacture of biometric Passports.[14] The necessary procurement have been initiated by India Security Press, Nasik by calling for Global tender for the supply of electronic contactless inlays.[15] The actual transition to the new age passport is expected to commence on the successful completion of the tendering and procurement process.[16]

Visa requirementsEdit

 
Visa requirements for Indian citizens
  India
  Visa free
  Freedom of movement
  Visa issued upon arrival
  Electronic/Pre Arrival Authorisation or eVisa
  Visa available both on arrival or online
  Visa required prior to arrival

Visa requirements for Indian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of India. As of 21 October 2018, Indian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 60 countries and territories, ranking the Indian passport 81st in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index.[17] Furthermore, Indian citizens may live and work freely in Nepal under the terms of the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

Foreign travel statisticsEdit

According to the statistics these are the numbers of Indian visitors to various countries in 2015 (unless otherwise noted):

Foreign travel statistics
Destination Number of visitors
  American Samoa[note 1][18] 63
  Angola[19] 9,170
  Antarctica[note 2][20] 292
  Antigua and Barbuda[note 2][21] 366
  Australia[note 2][22] 302,200
  Austria[note 3][note 1][23] 147,300
  Azerbaijan[note 1][24] 6,012
  Barbados[note 3][note 1][25] 900
  Belgium[note 1][26] 44,898
  Bhutan[note 2][27] 172,751
  Bolivia[note 1][28] 1,338
  Bosnia and Herzegovina[note 2][29] 1,700
  Botswana[30] 17,413
  Brazil[note 2][31] 16,916
  Cambodia[note 1][32] 46,131
  Canada[note 2][33] 261,801
  Cayman Islands[note 2][note 4][34] 292
  Chile[note 2][35] 4,468
  China[note 1][36][37] 799,100
  Colombia[38] 5,402
  Congo[note 5][39] 2,373
  Costa Rica[note 2][40] 7,415
  Croatia[note 2][41] 55,745
  Dominica[42] 97
  Dominican Republic[note 2][43] 4,649
  France[44] 524,055
  French Polynesia[note 2][45] 379
  Georgia[note 2][46] 59,732
  Germany[note 1][47] 231,244
  Guam[note 2][note 4][48] 8
  Hong Kong[note 2][49] 392,853
  Hungary[note 3][note 1][50] 33,134
  Indonesia[note 1][51] 422,045
  Israel[note 2][52] 58,000
  Italy[note 1][53] 225,000
  Jamaica[note 2][54] 1,834
  Japan[55] 103,084
  Jordan[note 1][56] 57,720
  Kazakhstan[note 2][57] 21,890
  Kyrgyzstan[note 2][58] 19,600
  Laos[note 1][59] 8,249
  Latvia[note 3][note 2][60] 5,476
  Lebanon[note 1][61] 15,610
  Macao[note 2][62] 148,121
  Madagascar[63] 2,234
  Malaysia[note 2][64] 552,739
  Maldives[note 2][65] 83,019
  Mali[note 6][66] 1,500
  Mauritius[note 2][67] 86,294
  Mexico[note 1][68] 59,020
  Mongolia[note 2][69] 1,888
  Montenegro[note 6][note 3][70] 1,131
  Myanmar[71] 34,628
    Nepal[note 7][72] 75,124
  Netherlands[note 2][73] 155,000
  New Zealand[note 2][74] 61,440
  Oman[note 2][75] 321,161
  Panama[76] 6,748
  Papua New Guinea[note 1][77] 4,293
  Peru[note 2][78] 7,201
  Philippines[note 2][79] 107,278
  Qatar[note 2][80] 333,708
  Romania[note 1][81] 16,753
  Russia[note 2][82] 130,400
  Seychelles[note 2][83] 13,518
  Singapore[note 2][84] 1,272,069
  Slovakia[note 1][note 3][85] 6,805
  South Africa[86] 85,639
  South Korea[note 2][87] 123,416
  Spain[note 2][88] 141,122
  Sri Lanka[note 1][89] 356,729
  Suriname[note 2][90] 1,045
  Swaziland[note 1][91] 6,867
  Taiwan[note 2][92] 40,846
  Tanzania[note 1][93] 69,876
  Thailand[note 2][94] 1,411,942
  Timor-Leste[note 6][note 7][95] 799
  Turkey[note 2][96] 86,996
  Ukraine[note 2][97] 23,173
  United Arab Emirates[note 2][98] 2,073,000
  United Kingdom[note 2][99] 525,000
  United States[note 1][note 8][100] 1,967,181
  Uzbekistan[note 9][101] 18,100
  Zambia[102] 25,517
  Zimbabwe[103] 5,421
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Data for 2016
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar Data for 2017
  3. ^ a b c d e f Counting only guests in tourist accommodation establishments.
  4. ^ a b Data for arrivals by air only.
  5. ^ Data for 2012
  6. ^ a b c Data for 2014
  7. ^ a b Data for arrivals by air only.
  8. ^ Total number includes tourists, business travelers, students, exchange visitors, temporary workers and families, diplomats and other representatives and all other classes of nonimmigrant admissions (I-94).
  9. ^ Data for 2015

Gallery of historic imagesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit