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The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has stipulated certain mandatory specifications for passport photos. NIC guidelines for passport photos based on aforesaid ICAO guidelines is also enclosed.  The salient points are given below:-

1) The image should be 2 inches by 2 inches;

2) The image must have adequate brightness and contrast;

3) The skin tone should be natural.  In case of over-exposure or under-exposure of the photo, the skin is either too dark or too light, photo will not be acceptable;

4) It should show a close up of the head and (partial) shoulders;

5) The image should be straight looking, centered with neutral expression;

6) Face should be in sharp focus and clear with no ink marks/creases/lines;

7) The face (from forehead edge to bottom of chin) should be 70 to 80% of the photo or one inch height;

8) The eyes must be open and no hair obscuring the face;

9) Prescription glasses if worn should be clear and thin framed and should not have flash reflection or obscure the eyes;

10) Head coverings, hair, head-dress or facial ornaments should not obscure the face;

11) The photo must have plain  light background;

12) There must be no other people or object in the photo;

13) The lighting must be uniform with no shadows on the face or behind;

14) Red eye photos are not allowed;

15) No lines are allowed.

Photo scan file specification

16) The photo should be ideally printed by professional photo studio with continuous tone; and good resolution.  Polaroid photos or photos printed with ordinary printers will not  be suitable for scanning.

17) The photo should have preferably been scanned using NIC scanning software available in the NIC-CIPPS uploading software, with 300 DPI setting.  If use of NIC scanning software is not feasible, then branded software that comes with the scanner could be used with the following settings :- Color photo; 400 DPI

18) The scanner glass surface should be cleaned regularly, so the scanned photo is clear   without any dust;

Passports Applications with photos that do not match the ICAO specifications are liable to be rejected by foreign immigration authorities, and could result in extreme inconvenience to the passport holder.

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The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has set a deadline of the 24th November 2015 for globally phasing out all non-Machine Readable Passports (MRPs). From 25th November 2015 onwards, foreign Governments may deny visa or entry to any person travelling with a non-MRP passport.

2. All handwritten passports with pasted photos earlier issued by Government of India are considered nor-MRP passports. All 20-year validity passports will also fall in this category. The Government started issuing MRP passports since 2001. All new Indian passports are ICAO-compliant MRP passports.

3. Indian citizens residing in India and abroad and holding handwritten passports as well as 20-year passports with validity beyond the 24th November 2015, should, therefore, apply for re-issued of passports and obtain MRP passports well before the deadline in order to avoid any inconvenience in obtaining foreign visa or immigration problem.

4. For more details related to passport services, Passport website (www.passportindia.gov.in) or the National Call Centre (toll free number 1800-258-1800) may be accessed.

Passport Services

1. Re-issue of passports
2. Issue of fresh passport for new-born child
3. Re-issue of passports in lieu of lost/damaged passports
4. Extension of validity of passports
5. Miscellaneous endorsements in passports:

(a) Change of Name
(b) Change in Date of Birth
(c) Change of address
(c) Change of other particulars like name of father, mother, spouse etc.
(d) ECNR
(e) Surrender of Indian passport

(a) Documents Required for all types of passport services:

1. Application form in EAP-I duly filled (Application Form).
2. Four Photographs of size 40 mm X 40 mm
3. Passport in original, along with its copies, of bio-data pages (first and last page), page containing Russian visa and any other endorsement pages.
4. Copy of Russian Registration Slip along with original.
5. Copy of Russian Work Permit/Business Permit, if applicable, along with original.

(b) Additional documents required for certain category of passport service:
Passport for new-born child:

1. Birth Certificate issued by Russian Civil Registry Office, along with its notarized English translation.
2. The names of the spouse should be endorsed in the passport of at least one parent.

Re-issue of passport in lieu of lost passport:

1. Police Report for the loss of passport, along with its original.
2. Sworn Affidavit for the loss of passport in the prescribed format
3. A letter addressed to the Consular Wing of the Embassy, explaining the circumstances of the loss of passport.

Addition/Deletion of spouse name:

Divorce Decree from the competent court along with certified copy.

Change of Address:

1. Copy/Original of utility bills like telephone bill/electricity bill certified by the Home Department of concerned state.
2. Voter’s Identity Card/PAN card, in original, along with its copy.

Emigration Check Not Required (ECNR):

Senior School Certificate/Bachelor Degree Certificate/Diploma Certificate awarded by the recognized university, along with its original.

Surrender of Indian Passport:

Sworn Affidavit in the prescribed format (will be uploaded on the website)

NOTE - Important information pertaining to passport services:

1. The applicants should be physically present at the time of submission of application for identification.
2. Originals of all supporting documents are required to be enclosed at the time of submission of the Passport Application Form which will be returned to the applicant after verification.
3. The photograph should strictly conform to the size prescribed.
4. Passports are normally issued within 4 – 6 weeks from the date of application, as they have to be printed in India. Applications in which references are required to be made may take longer.
5. Applicants are advised to apply for a new passport at least six months before its expiry. Application for a new passport can be submitted within one year of the date of expiry of the present passport.
6. All miscellaneous passport services will normally be rendered in 3 – 4 working days. Applications in which references are required to be made may take longer.

Machine Readable Passports (MRP) have been introduced with effect from 26 August 2007.

Passports will be printed in Delhi and couriered to the Consulate General of India, St. Petersburg for issuing to applicants within 45 days of receipt of application by the Consulate.

Please note that only in emergency cases, CGI, St. Petersburg will be able to issue hand-written passports and the emergency will be assessed by the Consular officer only.