New format of Indian Passport likely to pose hurdles in Gulf

MEA has announced that new passports would no longer have a page displaying the address, spouse and parents particulars.

By Author  |  Published: 18th Jan 2018  1:36 amUpdated: 18th Jan 2018  2:05 am
Telangana’s Regional Passport Offices
Representational Image

Jeddah: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)’s decision to remove the last page of Indian Passport which contains address and parent particulars of Passport holders would cause chaos and confusion in Gulf countries.

It is also likely to pose hurdle in obtaining visiting visas for parents, spouse and children, and delay in repatriation of dead bodies and sick workers back home.

MEA has announced that new passports would no longer have a page displaying the address, spouse and parents particulars.

The address proof page is crucial in a country with cultural diversity to establish identity of Indian workers especially in case of death in remote desert areas.

Without approaching Indian diplomatic missions, based on the address page employers and community workers try reaching families of deceased workers or sick workers.

The formalities for deceased workers Munnela Ramulu of Medak and Sadula Narayana of Nirmal districts were completed in Saudi Arabia after tracing families through last page details. Anusuya of Kadapa was repatriated based on the last page address.

“We came across some cases wherein NRI workers suffering from psychological issues were not able to speak or remember any personal particulars including their names, in such cases we entirely depend on last page,” said a noted humanitarian worker Noushad.

With the new rule, one must visit Indian Embassies in Riyadh, Jeddah and Muscat to obtain particulars, this is likely to increase burden for all concerned.

Based on the last page, employers or Indian officials reach family members and legal heirs of deceased workers back in India to complete legal formalities.

At present, Indian Passport is only official document for NRIs living abroad to show their native address proof as NRIs are not entitled to enrol any other document such as Aadhaar or Election Commission’s Photo Identification Card.