Manual passports no longer validThe deadline set by the International Civil Aviation Organization for using hand-written passports expires on Monday.
The deadline set by the International Civil Aviation Organization for using hand-written passports expires on Monday.
According to the Department of Passport, as per the mandatory provision of the IACO, only machine readable passports (MRP) will be valid from Tuesday onwards. The department has warned of immigration troubles one could face if they are travelling with phased-out hand-written passports.
Lok Bahadur Thapa, director general of the department, said several measures have been taken to avoid difficulties for those still bearing hand-written passports at least for some time.
“We have already urged all passport bearers to replace their manual passports with MRPs. In case of Nepalis living abroad, they should contact their respective embassies,” Thapa said.
Since the launch of the MRP in 2010 December, the department has issued 3.7 million MRPs and replaced 1.7 million hand-written passports.
It is estimated that 50,000 hand-written passports still need to be replaced.
To expedite the passport distribution service, the department will be starting live enrolment centres from Monday. Through these centres, people can obtain passports within three days in case of emergency.
The department has also issued instruction to the Nepali missions abroad to request the host countries to facilitate Nepali citizens to travel to Nepal if they still have not switched to MRPs.
“In case any person is found staying illegally without valid passport, the Nepali missions can use the temporary passports with the validity period between 6 to 9 months,” Thapa said.
Most of the problem concerning replacement of hand-written passports is in labour receiving countries.