UAE Visa will be denied for Indians with Non-Machine Readable Passports from November 25, 2015
Machine Readable Passports (MRPs) were introduced in India in 2001s to ensure high standards of passport data protection, and all Indian passports are ICAO-compliant. The ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) is an UN agency that promotes for a safe and organized air transport system.
Machine-Readable Indian Passports to Be Mandatory
In order to reinforce and make MRPs universal, the ICAO has set a deadline as per the Standard 3.10.1 under the Annex 9 — Facilitation of Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). As such, the manual or hand-written Indian passports, referred to as non-MRPs, will no longer be eligible for international travel after November 24, 2015.
It is an extension of the Standard 3.10 deadline (April 1, 2010) which mainly focused on the issuance of the machine readable passports (MRP) in obedience to the ICAO. But the latest 3.10.1 (November 24, 2015 deadline) places emphasis on the absolute removal of non-MRPs from circulation within the stipulated time frame. Encrypted in optical character recognition format and containing elements like machine-readable zone (MRZ), MRPs are designed in compliance with the specifications of ICAO Document 9303, thus protecting passport data ahead of fraud and forgery.
Precisely, from 25th November, 2015, the UAE government may deny entry or reject visa if applicants possess manual or hand-written passports with pasted images. This is applicable to all categories of passports, from normal, service, and diplomatic to 20-year passports whose expiry date is beyond the specified deadline date and 10-year validity passports that were last renewed between November 2005 and March 2006.
Regardless of they are in India or abroad, all Indian citizens with handwritten passports are mandatorily required to apply for a re-issuance of passports well before their travel date to UAE or other international travel destinations. It is extremely vital to prevent any kind of complications and hassles as part of obtaining a Dubai visa or traveling to a foreign country. Nonetheless, there are exemptions particularly in the case of passports issued for a brief period on emergency basis by consulates to help troubled nationals to travel back to their native place.