Pune: Air passengers, who wish to travel abroad, will not be required to fill departure forms related to immigration from July 1 onwards. However, those travelling out of the country via rail, road and seaport immigration checkpost will have to fill the form.
“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,” an order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) stated.
The move is aimed at ensuring hassle-free movement of Indian citizens going abroad. At present, those going abroad need to fill in details such as name, date of birth, passport number, address in India, flight number and date of boarding in the departure card.
“The same information about the passengers is available in the system from other sources,” an order stated, citing reason behind its move.
“The decision will help in reducing the time required to complete immigration related formalities by passengers and also enable airports and airport authorities concerned to cater to a large number of people,” said a senior official from the MHA, New Delhi.
The need for Indians to fill such cards on their arrival in India has already been done away with, the official added further.
Pune airport has four international flights including two for Dubai, one for Abu Dhabi and one for Frankfurt. Everyday, around 1,000 passengers arrive and depart from Pune airport.
The international fliers at Pune airport also have complaints regarding the immigration officers, as they take too much time during filling the form. Besides this, the airlines officials also raised the issue to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) officials, Pune, to depute trained people from Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to handle the immigration counters of the Pune airport.
A welcome move
The airlines officials have welcomed the move. According to the airlines, the immigration process are slow and need to improve. “They take too much time for processing, we know they are trained, but need to process in professional manner. Sometimes they ask some silly questions to the fliers. The move taken by MHA will help passengers, airlines and other staff,” said a private airline officer on condition of anonymity.