CHENNAI: In less than a year, hand-written passports will be phased out globally, and those travelling on such document may face rejection of visa application or even denied entry, said a public advisory from the Regional Passport Office, Chennai, here on Wednesday. The RPO has sent out the note, as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has set November 24, 2015 as the deadline for phasing out hand-written passports. Beyond that, those with such non-machine readable passports may find their visa applications rejected or even denied entry in other countries.
“Many persons might have obtained their passports 10 years ago when they were hand-written. They should now get it re-issued,” said Senthil Pandian, Regional Passport Officer, Chennai Region.
In addition, Indian citizens travelling on passports expiring in less than six months should renew their passports before any upcoming international travel.
Applicants having less than two pages remaining in their passport have also been advised to ensure that they apply for re-issuance of passports, as some countries do not accept passports with fewer than two pages remaining.
Frequent travellers can opt for the Jumbo passport, which contains 64 pages.
To facilitate applications for replacement of passports, the RPO has organised an exclusive ‘Passport Mela’ at its Seva Kendra in Saligrammam on December 27. Appointments have already been released from Wednesday.