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Marriage and birth certs are not passports to travelling

Monday November 30, 2009

ON Nov 20, my wife, her brother and our three children travelled to Tirucchirappalli, India, to attend her brother’s wedding. They took off from the LCCT.

My wife is an Indian national and my children, aged nine, five and one, are Malaysians. They had all the necessary papers – passports, visas to enter India and boarding passes.

Upon arriving at the Immigration counter, my wife was asked to produce our marriage certificate and our children’s birth certificates, which she did not carry with her.

After much persuasion and pleading, the officer let them go with a warning that she had to bring along these documents the next time. They almost missed their flight.

Since when did marriage certificates and birth certificates became essential travelling documents? Isn’t a valid passport enough?

The Immigration officer could have easily verified the details in the passports using their computerised system. I truly hope the department will look into this and ensure that there are clear rules and regulations on the matter. Wouldn’t a woman travelling with her three children warrant at least a little compassionate service?


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