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

Passports may no longer be valid proof of address

Since the last page of the passport, which usually carried this information, will not be printed anymore, the ministry will issue those people requiring emigration checks orange colour passports, Kumar said.

The new passport booklets will be designed by the Indian Security Press (ISP) in Nashik.

The decision comes after a report by a joint panel of foreign ministry and Women and Child Development ministry officials. As of now, passports are issued in three colours - white for government officials or people who visit other countries for official work of the government, red coloured passports are issued for diplomats, and blue for everyone else.

Meanwhile, the MEA is also said to be considering a few other changes to the passport, including the colour scheme.

"The last page contains information such the name of the Father, Mother, Spouse, Address, Emigration Check Required (ECR) and old passport number with date and place of issue of the holder of the passport", the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar confirmed. Since the last page will not be printed any longer, the passport will cease to serve as a proof of address.

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The ministry of external affairs will soon issue new passports without the last page that contains details including the residential address of the holder, a statement from the ministry said on Friday.

"The decision to keep the last page of the passport blank was made to protect the citizens' details", Surendera Kumar, the undersecretary of policy and legal matters at the Consular, Passport and Visa Division of the ministry, told the newspaper. The committee also looked upon the passport issues relating to the children with single parent and that of adopted children.

Since then, the passport has been considered as a valid travel document, which is legal and issued by the country's government for global travel.

A senior government official claimed that a passport cover which visibly stigmatised its holder as not being well-educated may not be helpful and rather make them an easy prey for unscrupulous elements.

The Indian Express report stated that while applying for a new passport, the applicant needs to enter the address, however, the same will not be printed on the last page. As per Passport Act of India, all passports are valid until the date mentioned there.

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