ON PHASING OUT OF HANDWRITTEN PASSPORTS
1. Indian citizens living in Morocco are advised to urgently replace their handwritten passports with machine-readable passports. The International Civil Aviation Orgahisapop (ICAO) has set a deadline of the 24th November, 2015 for globally phasing out of all non-Machine Readable Passports (MRPs). Thereafter, foreign Governments may deny Visa or entry to any person travelling on a non-Machine Readable Passport.
2. The Government of India has been issuing Machine Readable Passports since 2001. The Passports, however, issued before 2001 and particularly those issued during mid 1990s with a validity of 20 years will fall in the category of non-MRPs. By the end of October 2015, it is estimated that there are approximately 250 thousand handwritten passports still in circulation. Approximately 62 million Indians hold valid passports.
3. Indian citizens residing in Morocco and holding such passports with validity beyond the 24th November 2015 are advised to apply for re-issue of their passports well before the deadline in order to avoid any inconvenience in obtaining valid visa on international travel. Needless to mention, travel on ICAO compliant machine readable passports will facilitate hassle-free and safe journey.
4. All Passport Issuing Authorities have instituted a simple and fast-track procedure for renewal of passports. For more details related to passport services, website - www.passportindia.gov.in - or the National Call Centre (1800- 258-1800 - Toll Free) may be accessed. Indian citizens living in Morocco should visit the website of the Embassy at www.indianembassyrabat.com
November 09, 2015