Bengaluru, Nov 3, 2015: Come November 2015, and your handwritten passport won’t take you on a foreign holiday. Neither can you fly out if your little blue book has a 20-year validity. This is in keeping with rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which has decided to do away with non-machine readable (handwritten) passports globally.
This rule will come into effect from November 25, 2015. Countries under the ICAO will not issue visas to persons holding passports that are handwritten or valid for 20 years. Even passports valid beyond November 24, 2015, will not be accepted for visa. Technically, these passports, issued before 2001, will be worthless unless they are renewed.
Indian citizens residing in India and abroad and holding such passports with validity beyond the 24th Nov 2015 are advised to apply for re-issue of their passports well before the deadline in order to avoid any inconvenience in obtaining valid visa or international travel, said a release from the Regional Passport Office.