An Indian passport is a passport issued by the Government of India to citizens of the Republic of India for travelling abroad. It enables the bearer to travel internationally and serves as proof of Indian citizenship as per the Passports Act (1967). One has to apply for passport online at passport site, get an appointment and visit the Passport Seva Kendra on the day of appointment with documents. This article discuses in detail about Indian passport, Tatkal vs Normal how to apply for passport in India, fresh or reissue of Indian Passport, pay and schedule Appointment. Part II of the article talks about How to Apply for Passport: Documents and Appointment at Passport Seva Kendra.
Table of Contents
About Indian Passport
When we talk of Passport, it means Ordinary Passport: An ordinary passport has blue cover, and consists of 36 or 60 pages. It is valid for 10 years from the date of issue and can be renewed for another 10 years. An Indian citizen can use this passport for ordinary vacation or business travel. A passport contains the following personal data : name, sex, date of birth, and place of birth, address. The other kind of passports are Diplomatic(with maroon cover) and Official passport (with grey cover). Our article Indian Passport, Visa and Visa for USA,Singapore,Thailand,Dubai talks about Indian passport and Visa in detail.
- Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, separate from your original passport. Infact if possible scan first two and last pages.
- If your passport is lost, stolen or destroyed, you should immediately file a report at the nearest police station, to the nearest passport issuing authority in India and to the nearest Indian Mission abroad. Then apply for reissue of passport.
Features of Indian Passport.
- Indian passport is the only document that identifies you as Indian citizen in a foreign country. It is not needed for travel within India i.e domestic travel.
- You can not leave or enter any country outside India without a valid upto 6 months before expiry date on date of entry to foreign country.
- An Indian passport is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. When a new passport is issued, old passport(s) will be cancelled and returned. Valid visas in the old passport are not cancelled and can be used till the expiration date of a given visa.
- Applicants less than 18 years of age are considered as minor for issuance of passport. A minor, even a month old ,should have a separate passport. Passport is issued to the minor without any police verification.
- Minors between 15 to 18 years of age can apply either for a 10-year validity passport or they can apply for a passport, which is valid till they attain the age of 18 years. Fee for a 10-year validity passport is higher than fee for a passport, which is valid till they attain the age of 18 years. A 10-year validity passport cannot be issued to applicants without police verification on submission of parent’s passport.
- You can not renew the passport more than one year before the expiration date of your current passport.
- If passport is required on an urgent basis, one can apply under Tatkaal scheme.
Difference between Visa and Passport
Visa is an official permission which authorises us to stay in a foreign country and the passport is a document that certifies your identity during your travels. Indian passport holders can travel to 58 countries, without visa and on visa on arrival. So if you want to visit a foreign country, you need to have a valid passport, i.e passport should not have expired (atleast 6 months validity is required) and you should have Visa to visit the country. Visa requirements vary for country to country. At many foreign countries, like Thailand and HongKong you get Visa on Arrival for tourism. For Visa to US you have to book an interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Delhi and the U.S. Consulates General in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
How to apply for a new Passport?
One can apply for Passport through Online Registration. You need to register only once. Then you can apply for passport issue renew of your or your family members. For example I registered once and have been able to apply for reissue of passport for my children and myself. The Online Appointment system has been introduced to ensure avoiding congestion at the Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) and cutting down the waiting time for applicants. Appointment date/time will be automatically allotted by the system as per the availability of appointment slots at the desired PSK.
Under the new system it is mandatory for all applicants, including infants, to be physically present at the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) to give their biometrics(fingerprints) and photograph which is printed on passport.
Steps to Apply for a new passport or reissue of old one is as follows. Please read the instruction booklet Quick Guide Steps to apply for Passport Service for details
- Register for the first time at Passport Seva Online website.
- Login at Passport Seva Online Portal
- Apply for Fresh Passport/Reissue of Passport.
- You can either download the form, fill it and upload it back to the website, or just fill the details online.
- After filling the form , either online or offline, Submit Application
- Pay and Schedule Appointment.
- Appointment Confirmation with all the details of your appointment at the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK).
- Print Application Receipt for appointment confirmation.
- On the day of appointment visit Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) with your receipt.
- Give your biometrics, have the documents verified, collect acknowledgement. It takes around 2-4 hours.
- You’ll get your passport after police verification is complete. You can check the status of your application and
Prior payment of passport service fee has been mandatory for booking appointments at PSKs.
To Apply for Tatkal vs Normal Passport
Tatkal Passport is a fast track process to issue or reissue passport issue when any one needs the passport urgently and passport is within 1-3 working days. This is required if you need to travel abroad all of a sudden. But No proof of urgency is required for Out-of-Turn issuance of passport. Appointment in case of urgent passport is available for next day or within 1-2 days Otherwise it is after 5-7 days.Anyone can apply for fast track passport. This scheme issues or re-issues passports immediately on payment of additional fees (around Rs. 2000 more). Post police verification is carried out in such applications. Applicant also needs to appear before the officer at regional passport office. For details you can read ImmiHelp Tatkal scheme
- A standard affidavit as per Annexure I on normal stamp paper and duly notarized.
- Also submit Print out of your application, online payment receipt and color photo with light or white background too.
- One of the following two documents is required for urgent Passport:
- Verification Certificate as per Annexure F OR
- Any three documents from below list. (Provided one of the three should be a photo id document and One of the three should be among number I to 9 of below list).
- Election Card (EPIC);
- Service Photo Id card issued by State or Central Government or PSU, local bodies or Public Ltd Companies;
- Certificate of SC/ST/ OBC;
- Identity Cards of Freedom Fighters;
- Arms License;
- Property Documents like Pattas and Registered Deeds
- Ration Card;
- Pension Documents;
- Railway Photo Identity Card;
- Income Tax department issued Id (PAN) Card;
- Passbook of Bank/ Post office / Kisan
- Student’s ID card from recognized Educational Institutes
- Driving License
- Birth Certificates
- Bill of your Gas Connection
Register at Passport Seva Online Portal
Register yourself on the passport Seva Online Portal at http://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/welcomeLink. You need to register only once , for your family. You can then apply for new or renew passport. You need to register once only and can use it any number of times. I used it to apply for my children passport in 2015 and in 2016 for reissue of my passport.
Enter the details as shown in Picture below
Once the registration is done, click on Existing User? Login, enter your ID & Password.
Apply for Passport New or Reissue of Passport
Once you are logged in, you can choose Apply for fresh passport. If you ever held a passport in the past, no matter how much long back or at what age, you should choose the Re-Issue category only.
Apply for Passport : Filling Passport Application Form
Once you select the appropriate Passport Type you have two options:
a) To fill the form directly online: Once you select your category the form will be generated online. You have to fill the details and click
b) To download the form, fill online and upload it later:
- If you do not want to fill the form directly you can opt for the offline option. You can download the form from http://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/online/downloadEFormStatic
- The form will be downloaded in a Zip folder. You have to unzip the folder & then save the form which will be available in PDF format. You must have the latest version of Acrobat Reader (9 or above) to open and Fill the forms
- Fill the form and then click on validate & save. This will generate an XML file.
- Next, open the browser & login again on the Passport Seva Portal. Click on Upload E-Form and upload the XML file you had saved. This will generate your ARN Number. You can now check your Submitted Application with ARN Number at Applicant Home Page.
- Once you submit the form you need to pay the necessary fees.
- This is slightly cumbersome but convenient in case your internet connection is not secure or stable. The entire process is simple, Download, fill validate, upload.
Details that you have to fill in while filling the application form for passport are as follows.
Please “Save My details” to avoid losing data and Click on Next to proceed as shown in image below. Please go through the official User Guide Fill Application Form (pdf) to see all details that are required.
Apply for Passport :Payment of Fees & Appointment Booking
For booking an Appointment at your Passport Seva Kendra(PSK) or Regional Passport Office (RPO), you need to select your ARN Number in Applicant Home Page. Prior payment of applicable passport service fee has been made mandatory for booking appointments in all Passport Seva Kendras. Process is explained in detail in document Quick Guides – Appointment Booking Process.
To know the fee details for ordinary passports, please click the Fee Calculator link on the Home page. Fee depends on Type of Passport, Type of service(Fresh or Reissue) and Applicant’s age) as shown in image below. Fee for fresh/reissue of passport for an adult is Rs 1500. Fee for Tatkal is Rs 3500. While for less than 15 years is Rs 1000 for Normal and Rs 3000 for Tatkal.
Go to View Saved/Submitted Applications as shown in image below
Schedule an appointment by clicking the Pay and Schedule Appointment link or Schedule Appointment link (if payment is already made) on the View Saved/Submitted Applications screen.You may finalize the date of appointment according to your convenience.
- The Pay and Schedule Appointment link will be available only if the applicant has not made any payment for booking appointment. On clicking this link, the below two options will be displayed on the screen: Online Payment (Internet Banking, Debit Card, Credit Card) an dChallan Payment (Pay in Cash at SBI Branch)
- The Schedule Appointment link will be available if applicant has made payment but appointment is not booked.
Click the “Pay and Schedule Appointment” link on the “View Saved/Submitted Applications” screen to schedule an appointment.
Online payment for Passport or related service fee can be done using one of the following payment modes. Note, payment once made will NOT be refunded
- e-Payment Modes:
- Internet Banking (through SBI and associate bank accounts only)
- Debit Card (Visa and MasterCard only)
- Credit Card (Visa and MasterCard only)
- Challan Payment Mode: Bank Challan (payable at SBI branches in India only)
Once the Payment Status is confirmed as ‘Success’, an e-mail will be sent to the applicant (if e-mail ID has been provided while filling application form) to book a PSK appointment.
Apply for Passport: Book the Appointment
- Applicant needs to navigate to the View Saved/Submitted Applications screen and click the Schedule Appointment link to schedule an appointment.
- Select the ‘Appointment Quota’ (Normal/Tatkaal). This option is available only to the applicants with Tatkaal ARNs.
- Select the preferred PSK for appointment booking.
Click the Book Appointment button. An Appointment Slot (if available) is booked automatically for the selected PSK. Appointment confirmation screen with appointment details is displayed.
The Appointment Confirmation screen is displayed with the Print Application Receipt button to print the application receipt.
Print your Application Form
Click the “Print Application Receipt“ to print the application receipt containing Application Reference Number (ARN)/Appointment Number.
Apply for Passport: Reschedule or Cancel Appointment
Applicants with confirmed appointments and if unable to visit Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) due to some reason, are advised to reschedule/cancel their appointments. Appointment rescheduling/cancellation for an application are allowed up to two times only within a year of the first appointment date. To cancel or Reschedule appointment
- Click the Schedule Appointment link on the View Saved/Submitted Applications screen.
- Click the Reschedule Appointment/Cancel Appointment button.
- A confirmation message displaying the count of reschedule/cancel attempts left is shown.
How to Apply for Passport: Documents and Appointment at Passport Seva Kendra. covers what Documents to take to Passport Seva Kendra on Appointment Date, what happens inside the Passport Seva Kendra, What is ECR, ECNR , Police Verification, Tracking status.
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