24 Aug : Consequent to Saudi Arabian Authorities decision that the Pilgrims must travel on International Passport, two meetings were held, Chaired by the Secretary (East) with RPOs / POs, Haj Committee of India and Secretaries, State Haj Committees at Delhi & Bangalore on 08.06.2009 & 10.06.2009 respectively, keeping in mind difficulties in issuing ordinary Passport to the Pilgrims within short spam of two months. Various points relating to efficient and expeditious issue of Passport to the selected and wait-listed Pilgrims proceeding for Haj – 1430 (H) – 2009 through Haj Committee of India were discussed. The following decisions were taken:-
1.Issue of specific Passport for Saudi Arabia with Eight (8) months validity from the date of issue. This Passport is non-renewable and if lost abroad only emergency certificate can be issue after identity verification.
2. Passport application alongwith Haj Pilgrim confirmation letter issued by the State Haj Committee to be submitted to the RPOs / POs in whose jurisdiction, the Pilgrim is normally residing.
3.State Haj Committees has to endorse the allotment letter, signature and stamp on the Passport Application Form for submission to the Passport Office.
4.Passport Fee of Rs.500/- will be charged as a processing fees.
5.Police verification is waived.
6. State Haj Committees has to supply the list of selected Pilgrims to the Regional Passport Office / Passport Office for verification.
7. The Passport will be issued within Fifteen (15) days of receipt of application and will be dispatched through Speed Post.
8.State Haj Committees may submit applications online and submit hard copies with all documentation in bulk or through individual applicants.
9. An additional counter will be activated to accept the Application Forms.
10.Necessary modification in the software will be provided for issue of special service code for Haj Passports.
11.Haj Passport will be issued to those who do not hold Passport already.
12.Passport shall not be Stamp, Emigration Clearance Required (ECR).
13.Haj Passport will be issued to Indian Pilgrims only.
14. Pilgrims who have already submitted application forms for issue of Passport and if their Police Verification Report not received till 20.06.2009, will be issued Temporary Passport valid for Saudi Arabia for Eight (8) months only.
15.Gazette notification on Haj Passport has already been issue by the Joint Secretary (CPV), Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi.
16. Ready Passports will be delivered to either State Haj Committees or Haj Committee of India, instead of Pilgrims, in order to cut-short the time.