Passports valid only for eight months and for entering Saudi
Coimbatore: Five members of the All India Haj Committee along with passport officials on Thursday called on applicants for Haj passports in Karumbukkadai area here and verified the originals of the documents enclosed with the applications.
With the Saudi Arabian Government making it clear that Haj pilgrimage should be only on the basis of a machine readable passport and not on the basis of Haj permits issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry issued instructions to the passport office for issuing temporary passports.
These passports issued for a fee of Rs. 500 is valid only for eight months and for entering Saudi Arabia.
Coimbatore region had an allotment of 430 Haj pilgrims of which nearly 200 already had passports.
Some applications in ordinary passport category were pending for want of police verification. For these applicants, time has been given till July 20 for completing police verification. Otherwise, these applications will be converted into Haj passports.
On Thursday, the committee members along with a team of officials from the passport office led by Passport Officer B. Balamurugan met the applicants and verified the online applications, originals of the documents for which photocopies were enclosed with the applications.
The originals were returned after affixing the seal “Originals checked and returned” on the applications.
The committee met around 90-odd applicants.
The passport office is expediting the work for issuing Haj passports.
The committee visited the applicants in Chennai on July 13, Madurai on July 14, Tiruchi on 15 and it will be visiting the applicants at Vellore next.