Though Indian government has made passport fresh issue/ re-issue / renew a simple process, still some of us have questions before applying in any of the three categories…
Let us analyse and understand, what is your requirement and what option you shall choose before applying to a passport service in India.
Categories of Passport Application
- Fresh issue
Fresh issue is when you don’t have any passport available with you and you are looking for a new passport.
Reissue is when your passport pages are filled up/exhausted because of your frequent travels to different countries.
Renew is when the old passport has expired and you want to get this reissued.
Understanding the categories, let us understand different types of applications…
Type of applications
There are basically two types under which you can file your application.
- Tatkaal 2. Normal
Tatkaal passport service is suitable for those who are looking for immediate issue of passport and can’t wait for more than 1 week. Of course Tatkaal service charges are nearly double to normal charges but the service is very helpful for those who are looking for an early issue of their passports.
Type of Passport Booklet
- 36 pages
- 60 pages
According to your frequency and versatility in going to different countries, you can choose either of the two. Although most of the applications are received for ’36 pages’, still depending on your choice, you can go for any.
You may have to pay more for ’60 pages’ passport. Generally business tycoons will use ’60 pages’ passports because they are frequently travelling to different countries.
Portal/Apps for passport application
Indian government has facilitated all the services of passport over here.
This website will give you each and every single information regarding passport. Also Android and iPhone users can now fill the application by downloading the ‘mPassport Seva’ app.
Apply anywhere in India for passport services
Applicants can now choose the Regional Passport Office (RPO) and thus the desired Passport Seva Kendra (PSK)/ Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) under the RPO where they wish to submit their application irrespective of whether the present residential address specified in the application form lies within the jurisdiction of the selected RPO or not. The Police Verification, if required for a specific passport, would be conducted at the address specified in the application form. The passport will be printed and dispatched by the RPO selected for application submission by the applicant.
For example, a resident of Jaipur, Rajasthan (India), who is temporarily residing in Kolkata (India), will now be able to apply at a PSK/POPSK under RPO, Kolkata (India) and does not have to travel all the way back to Jaipur, Rajasthan (India) to submit an application for passport at a PSK/POPSK under RPO, Jaipur. The police verification, if necessary, would be conducted at Jaipur, Rajasthan (India). RPO, Kolkata (India), would print and dispatch the passport at the address specified in the passport application form.
Don’t get fooled !
Free Advice: If you are applying from a city which is not your permanent address and you don’t want to print you local address on passport then you should tell the officers that you have come to this city temporarily and you don’t reside here, otherwise if you say that, you reside there then you have to prove your local address by means of local proof. Sometimes officers may deny to issue passport because you don’t have a local proof. But don’t believe on their words and ask them to write this (‘We can’t issue passport because you don’t reside in this city’) in a paper with stamp of passport office. They will not agree to write this in paper because they don’t have such rule and they were just making fool of you.
Passport fresh/renewal/reissue application fees in India
You can calculate the amount of fees which you have to pay for your application by going to this link.
Police verification ?
There are three major points regarding police verification.
- Police verification does not happen for reissue of passport if the candidate applies before expiry of the current passport.
- In case of government/PSU/Statutory Body employees who have applied for passport using a document known as ‘Identity certificate’, will be exempted from police verification.
- Applications for diplomatic/official passport will also not seek any police verification.
Police verification happens in 2 steps. First, the physical verification will happen in which local police verifies the local address of the candidate and then this goes to the SP office for criminal record verification and after verification from there, it will go to passport office for further action of printing and lamination.
Important instructions while filling the passport application form
There are few things which may confuse you while filling the form..
ECR vs Non-ECR (ECNR)
‘Are you eligible for Non-ECR Category?’ You may find this question while filling the online application form.
ECR actually is abbreviated as Emigration Check Required. You may be in either of the category depending on your education, age, marital status etc. Typically if your qualification is below 10th grade, you don’t pay income tax, your age lies between 18 and 50 and you don’t have VISA for US, UK and Australia then you are under ECR category else if any of the given conditions does not match you, you are eligible for non ECR category.
Offline or Online ??
You can choose either of the two. Offline can be helpful if you don’t have all the information available with you and you want to fill them later after checking with documents. Online is useful when all the required information is alongside you.
Payment and scheduling appointment
If you have filled the application online then click on ‘View saved/submitted applications’ and you will see your application with a radio button. Select that application and then after selecting the application you will see a option ‘Pay and Schedule Appointment’ where you can pay the application fees online and choose a suitable appointment date at your nearest PSK.
Checklist before going to PSK
Check list you may want to refer before going to any PSK (Passport Seva Kendra). Click to check.
Passport cover ?
During the process of application, you will be asked to visit different counters and they are all manged by third party (Mostly TCS in India). They may ask for a purchase of passport cover on the counter where they capture passport photo and finger prints.
A third party vendor sells the cover and does not have any connection with Ministry of External Affairs.
Free Advice: Don’t purchase it. It is completely a business strategy.
What if application is kept on hold ?
In case, you don’t have sufficient documents to produce in front of any officer then your application can be kept on hold. Once your application is kept on hold, you will be given time to produce your pending documents.
Don’t go without appointment !
If you are visiting the passport office, you should have a valid appointment otherwise your application will not be entertained in passport office. Be it document re-submission or fresh application, you must have valid appointment.
If you are applying for a fresh passport or renew of passport then after submission of your application, you will get an SMS confirming your appointment date and time.
If your application is kept on hold then you will be scheduled for fresh appointment automatically and if not, then you have to visit the website and schedule an appointment explicitly.
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