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Apply for passport in Delhi even if you live elsewhere

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A person can now apply for a passport from anywhere in India irrespective of the place of stay
  • Govt also launched a mobile app that would help people apply for a passport
NEW DELHI: The government announced liberalised rules for passports on Tuesday, enabling citizens to apply for the document from anywhere in the country irrespective of their residential address and facilitating submission of applications over mobile phones. The easier norms will benefit the smartphone generation while removing the requirement for applicants to approach regional passport offices in their areas of residence.

This will particularly benefit persons who live and work away from home and prefer to use established addresses for which they possess documentary proof. Addressing passport officers here, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj

said Indians will now be able to apply for passports from anywhere in the country, not only from their place of domicile.

This new feature comes into effect immediately and allows citizens to choose a regional passport office irrespective of whether their residential address falls in the purview of that particular RPO. This will benefit people who may belong to one part of the country but reside temporarily in another. A person whose home is Chennai but is posted in Kolkata can apply for a passport in the

eastern

city.

Swaraj, however, clarified that police verification and delivery of passport would be made to the registered address, in the hypothetical case Chennai. Earlier, a passport application had to be made at the RPO which covered the area lived in. For instance, a person living in Noida or Gurgaon could not apply for a passport in Delhi.

This rule makes it possible even if a person works in Delhi or finds an RPO in the city more accessible to apply in the capital. Swaraj also launched a mobile app (on Android and iOS) that can be used to apply for passports. This frees a person from having to use a computer to apply for passports and can be done on the go. This feature, she said, would benefit those who use smartphones.

Congratulating passport officials, Swaraj said the government simplified passport rules, which she described as a “revolution”, to make it easier for people who did not have a known date of birth or people from remote areas without access to birth registration facilities. Marriage certificates are no longer necessary to get a passport, which makes it easier for divorced people.

Single parents benefit from a rule making it unnecessary to give names of both parents on the passport. The minister added that there were 360 passport seva kendras in the country. The government wants to expand those to cover all 545 Lok Sabha constituencies.

The passport application form no longer requires applicants to provide the name of her or his spouse in case of separated or divorced people.

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