government has stopped considering handwritten passports from Indian citizens

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According to a news report in the Times of India, with effect from November 25, the government has stopped considering handwritten passports from Indian citizens. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had given citizens time till November 24 to get handwritten passports replaced with machine-readable ones (MRPs).

Foreign governments may deny a visa or entry to a person travelling on a non-machine readable passport from November 25, a circular from the ministry of external affairs said. The government has been issuing MRPs since 2001. Those issued before 2001 and particularly those issued during the mid-1990s with a validity of 20 years fall into the non-MRPs.

According to an estimate, by October-end, there were approximately 2.50 lakh handwritten passports in circulation across India which would soon become invalid if not re-issued as machine readable passports before November 24.

The government had given details about replacing passports on the website www.passportindia.gov.in. Indian citizens living abroad must visit the website of respective Indian Mission/Post

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