MEA Raises the Colour Bar, Migrant Workers to Now Have Orange Passports

New Passports To Be Single Parent Friendly Will Not Be Proof Of Address

The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday announced that new passports will soon be printed without the usual last page of the document, which contains names of parents, and address of the applicant.

".The passport holders with ECR (Emigration Check Required) status would be issued a passport with orange colour passport jacket and those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport", said the Official Spokesperson in the press release.

In India, a passport is issued by the President of India for the objective of worldwide travel and serves as a legal proof of Indian citizenship as per the Passports Act (1967). But that might change in the near future as the Ministry of External Affairs is considering a proposal to do away with the last page of the document. The passport now also comes with a barcode, which when scanned pulls out all the details of the individual. Since the last page will not be printed any longer, the passport will cease to serve as a proof of address.

In an official statement, Kumar said that the decision was based on recommendations from a report submitted by a three-member panel of officials from MEA and Ministry of Women and Child Development. The blue passport too has two categories - one which requires emigration check and another that doesn't. Immigration and Emigration Controller General S. Ranasinghe told the Sunday Times that the new passport would have additional security features to minimise chances of anyone making forged passports.

The Narendra Modi government, which usually prefers homogenisation, has made a decision to move to a two-colour format for personal passports: orange and the existing dark navy blue.

All current passports will continue to be valid, even once the new series of passports are issued, up till their expiry date. In the case of ECR passport-holders, this status is provided on the same page.

Currently, barring diplomatic and official passports, all Indian passports have blue cover.

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