Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is the Indian government agency dealing with foreign affairs. It is responsible for India's representation in the United Nations, and keeps advising ministers and state government while dealing with foreign institutions or governments. During British Era the MEA was known the Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations.
MEA is in charge of the administration of the Indian Emigration Act, 1923, the Indian Merchant Shipping Act (in relation to pilgrim ships), the Indian Pilgrim Shipping Rules, 1933, the Protection of the Mohammedan Pilgrims Act, 1896 (Bengal), the Protection of Pilgrims Act, 1887 (Bombay), Tuensang Area, Naga Hills, the Reciprocity Act, 1943, the Port Haj Committee Act, 1932.
MEA also administers the Indian Foreign Service and is headed by the Foreign Secretary who is the senior most civil servant in the ministry with other officers.
Functions of MEA
There are various functioning of MEA, e.g., visa and passport services etc. The Consular, passport and Visa (CPV) Division an organ functioning under the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), looks after the matters involving issuance of Passport, Visa and providing Consular services. The Visa Services includes registration, conversion of Visa, extension of Visa, renewal of registration, entry conversion, exit permission, change of passport, change of address etc.
It also deals with the issuance of Diplomatic and Official Passports, issuance of Ordinary Indian Passports, issuance of Indian Visas for foreign nationals, attestation and legalization of documents, Consular grievances, registration of births and deaths abroad, extradition matters, processing of Visa requests from foreign missions.
The Ministry also handles matters like giving assistance in deportation of Indians by foreign governments, registering marriages of Indian Citizens according to relevant Indian Laws, facilitates special arrangements in case of natural disasters, civil disturbances and International terrorism, provide assistance in case of any emergency, e.g., any medical emergency etc.
The issuance of passports and other travel documents to the Citizens of India are regulated by the Passports Act, 1967.
We have provided important links including links to the website of the Ministry, important Acts and Rules. We have also provided links to the passport, visa and other consular services provided by the Ministry.