In a big development, Indians flying abroad will not be required to fill departure cards from next month, Ministry of Home Affairs said in a notification. However, those travelling out of the country via rail, seaport and land immigration checkposts will continue to fill the embarkation card. “It has been decided to discontinue the practice of filling up of the departure card by Indians at all international airports with effect from July 1, 2017,” an order issued by the home ministry said. The decision has been taken to ensure hassle-free movement of Indians going abroad.Currently, people flying abroad need to fill in details such as name, passport number, address in India, date of birth, flight number and date of boarding in the departure card. The decision will further reduce time taken to complete immigration-related formalities by passengers and also enable airports and authorities concerned to cater to a larger number of people. The requirement of filling such form for Indians travelling to the country has already been abolished.
In another big decision, the home ministry said that Aadhaar is not a valid identification document for Indians travelling to Nepal and Bhutan. As per current norms, Indians can travel to Nepal and Bhutan–both countries for which they don’t need visas–if they possess a valid national passport or election ID card issued by the Election Commission. However, Aadhar, which has a person’s photo attached to it, will not be deemed valid to travel these nations.
“Aadhaar (UID) card is not an acceptable travel document for travel to Nepal/Bhutan,” a communique issued by the ministry said. People who are over 65 and below 15 years can show documents with photographs to confirm their age and identity. They can carry a valid PAN card, driving licence, Central Government Health Service (CGHS) card and ration card but not Aadhaar.