NEW DELHI: The Government has asked the holders of handwritten passports residing in India and abroad to apply for and get the machine-readable passport as the deadline set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for MRPs globally expires on Tuesday. Foreign Governments will deny visa or entry to any person travelling with a non-MRP passport.
A machine-readable passport (MRP) is a machine-readable travel document (MRTD) that enhances security and handling as also prevents forgery. The personal details
are encoded in the optical character recognition format. Most of the countries had switched to MRPs long ago. Three types of formats are used worldwide. The
machine-readable zone of type 3, which is the commonly used format, spans two lines, each line of 44 characters. The encryption will have name, passport number,
nationality, date of birth, sex, passport expiration date and personal identity number.
Way back in 2013 the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had set a deadline of November 24, 2015 for globally phasing out all non-Machine
Readable Passports (MRPs). From November 25, 2015 onwards, foreign Governments were to deny visa or entry to any person travelling with a non-MRP
All handwritten passports with pasted photos earlier issued by the Government of India are considered non-MRP passports. All 20-year validity passports were also in this category. The Government started issuing MRP passports since 2001. All new Indian passports
are ICAO-compliant MRP passports.
Indian citizens residing in India and abroad and holding
handwritten passports as well as the 20-year passports with validity beyond the November 24, 2015 were advised to 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 details see:
Indian passport website
or dial toll free national call centre number 1800-258-1800