Passport can be defined as a document of identity and a prima facie evidence of nationality. It controls the exit from the state to which one belongs and cannot enter into another state. In general, passport can be defined as the document that identifies the holder and provides evidence of his nationality.[i]
In India, The Passports Act of 1967[ii] deals with the matters regarding the issue of passports and travel documents and the Act regulates the departure from India of Citizen of India and other persons and for other matters incidental.
Need for a passport:
Passport is a document and when the holder goes to a foreign land the bearer is recognised in the foreign land as a citizen of the country which issued the passport. Passport certifies the citizenship and allegiance of the bearer and the bearer may be allowed to pass freely and safely.
Types of passports:
The classification of passports is given under Section 4 of the Act. They are:
- Ordinary Passport
- Official Passport
- Diplomatic Passport
Travel documents are a form of identification that the governments issue to the citizens so that they can cross international borders. According to section 2 (e) of the Act, travel documents means a travel document issued or deemed to have been issued under the Act.
The following class of travel documents may be issued under this Act. They are:
- Emergency certificate authorising a person to enter India.
- Certificate of identity for the purpose of establishing the identity of a person.
- Such other documents or certificates as may be prescribed.
Form of application of passport:
- An application for the issue of the passport or travel document or for the renewal thereof or for any miscellaneous service may be made in the appropriate form as mentioned in the Part I of Schedule III and also in accordance with the procedures and instructions that has been set out in the form.
- The application must be the one printed and supplied by the Central Government or by any person specified by the Central Government through notification.
- The passport authority may require the applicant to furnish any additional information documents or certificates which the authorities may consider necessary for the proper disposal of the application. [iii]
Changes of details in passport:
When any person wishes to change any personal particulars in the existing passport, he/ she can apply for another passport in lieu of the existing passport. This service is provided online through the Passport Seva Kendra, official website run by the Ministry of External Affairs of Government of India.
In the home page of the online portal of Passport Seva Kendra, click on the document advisor for the passport renewal and few options may appear and on selecting the options the list of documents that are needed to be produced will appear on the screen.
For passport re-issue:
- A Print out of the online form that is available in the official website along with the Application Reference Number (ARN)
- Original old passport.
To change address:
- No other document other than the photocopy of the first page of the passport, last page of the passport and the page that contains ECNR information.
- Any proof for current address statement such as any utility bills, bank statement or voter Ids etc., and these bills must be dated at least 2 years which must be of current year and previous year.
- A proof of gas connection which must be of at least 2 months.
- Ration card with address
- Bank statements including the passbook which contains the address of the applicant which contains the transactions for 1 year.
- Any cards which includes Aadhar card.
To change date of birth:
In order to change the date of birth in the passport, the applicant must bring the original genuine birth certificate that was issued by the competent authority.
Date of birth contained in documents like school certificate will not be accepted
In certain exceptional cases, official documents proving correct date of birth may be taken into consideration.
As per the provisions in the act and rules, a fine amount is payable by the applicant.
Passport of minor:
In case of the minor, it is presumed that the consent of both the parents are available, unless specifically mentioned otherwise. Documents for the address proof can be produced by the parents and self attested by them. In case of parents possessing passport, then the original and self attested copies of the same can be produced. The essential documents can be attested by the parents. They are eligible for non ERC passport till their majority.
ERC and Non ERC passport:
The classification or ERC and NON ERC is based on the educational qualification.
ERC stands for Emigration Check Required. This status will be printed in the passport of the applicant who will fall within this category. The passport will fall within this category when the applicant has not passed 10th grade
Non ERC/ ERNC mean Emigration Check not required and no specific of the same in the applicant’s passport. The applicant who has passed higher education can avail Non ERC passport.
The validity of the minor’s passport is restricted to the 5 years from its issuance or till 18 years of age whichever is earlier. After that period they can apply for a re issue of passport after such period
Minors between the ages of 15 to 18 can apply for 10 year validity passport or for a passport that is valid till they attain 18 years.
Any change of date of birth in the minor’s passport can be made anytime during their minor or first time when they apply for re issue after their majority.
Online passport services:
Any person who wants to avail any services for passport related issue can reach out online through passport seva Kendra[iv] or through mPassport Seva App[v] which gives clear information about all the passport related queries.
To add or change spouse name:
If an applicant would like to add their spouse name, he / she must carry the original and photocopy of the marriage certificate and a photocopy must be self attested.
The concerned affidavits and annexure mentioned in the Passports Rules, 1980 needs to be filled out and submitted with the Passport authority in order to change any details.
With the advent of modern technology all the official procedures has become available online. It has become easy and hassle free to apply for passport and bring any changes in the existing passport.
Edited by Pragash Boopal
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
[i] Satwant Singh V APO., New Delhi ( AIR 1976 SC 1836)
[ii] Act No.15 of 1967
[iii] Rule 6 of The Passport Rules, 1980