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news details
RPO Srinagar asks Hajj aspirants to check passport for validity, any damage
10/17/2019 10:09:01 PM

Early Times Report

Srinagar, Oct 17: Regional Passport Officer (RPO), Srinagar, B B Nagar on Thursday said only those having valid passport till January 31, 2021 can undertake the Hajj-2020 pilgrimage.
A special counter has been established at Regional Passport Office Srinagar to answer any query of Hajj aspirants.
He also urged aspirants to reapply for fresh passports if there is any wear and tear to avoid problems in future. 'The passport should have at least six months validity at the time of the travel and should be in proper condition with no damage,' Mr Nagar told
The RPO Srinagar said he had to process fresh passports at the very last moment several times in the last couple of years so that people don't miss the opportunity to performing the pilgrimage. People often apply for passport at the last moment.
People take very lightly any damage to their passports without knowing that they cannot be allowed to travel by the immigration department. 'During 2019 Hajj pilgrimage, we had to open our office on a Sunday and process passport of a person, whose travel document was damaged. He was stopped at the immigration in Srinagar and not allowed to board a flight to Saudi Arabia because his passport was damaged,' he said.
Mr Nagar said ironically his wife had boarded the flight and was in Saudi. 'He nearly missed his pilgrimage as he was able to board the very last flight after we issued a passport to him,' the RPO said.
So, he said in order to avoid such problems, the Hajj aspirants should thoroughly check their passports for any wear and tear. 'Another problem Hajj aspirants face is the validity of their passports. If an aspirant applies for Hajj in August 2019 and his passport is valid for a year, he will not be able to go for the pilgrimage. The passport has to be valid for at least six months for the date of travel and not from the date they are applying for Hajj,' he added.
He said passport of a person, who wants to undergo Hajj in 2020, has to be valid at least till January 31, 2021.
Mr Nagar said a special counter has been set up at the Passport office in Srinagar for Hajj aspirants. 'People can come to our office and get any information pertaining to passport at the counter,' he said.
He said that if passport of any person has expired or is about to expire he or she can apply for it either at their respective Deputy Commissioner office or anywhere in the country. 'As internet remained suspended in the valley, people can apply for passports in their respective DC offices or from anywhere in the country,' he added. The RPO said in special cases his office gives special one year passport to people who want to undertake Umrah. 'Sometime people apply for Umrah and once they get their Visa and ticket, they realize that they don't have a passport. Then they come and request it to be processed in priority basis. We have given passports to such people on priority, but I would request people to first get a passport and then plan for Umrah,' he said.
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