A passport is the most valuable document for an international traveler. Without a valid passport, you will not able to go abroad. If you fancy international travel or want to go abroad for a job, the first step would be to get a passport. In this article, I will be covering about the process and specifics regarding application for a fresh Indian passport and renewal of the indian passport.
Benefits of Indian Passport
The Indian passport will serve as your proof of Indian citizenship when you travel abroad. It is the most important document to carry when you are in another country. Hence, to be eligible for an Indian passport, first you need to be an Indian citizen.
As of July 2021, Indian passport allows visa-free or visa on arrival access to over 58 nations and it is one of the powerful passport among developing nations. When combined with a visa from countries like USA, UK or Schengen countries, it gives visa-free or e-visa access to more countries.
Types of Indian Passport
There are 3 types of passports:
- Ordinary Passport – It is a “Type P” passport, where P stands for Personal, issued for common citizens of India.
- Official Passport – It is a “Type S” passport, S stands for Service, issued to individuals representing the Indian government on official business.
- Diplomatic Passport – It is a “Type D” passport, with D standing for Diplomatic, issued to Indian diplomats, ministers and high ranking officials.
Unless you are associated with Indian government, you are only eligible to apply for an Ordinary Passport. If you are over 18 years of age when applying for the passport, the passport will be issued with a validity of 10 years.
Steps to apply for Indian Passport
The Passport applications in India are processed through Passport Seva Kendras present in major towns and cities across the country. The application process is pretty straight forward and in my personal experience, it is one of the most efficient and fastest bureaucratic process in the country.
Whether you are applying for a fresh passport or a renewed passport, it involves the following steps:
- Submitting application and booking appointment through the online portal of Passport Seva Kendra.
- Visiting the Passport Seva Kendra to produce original documents and their copies.
- Completing the police verification.
After the successful completion of the above steps, the passport will be mailed to your address within 3 days.
Let us go a little deeper into the steps for passport application.
Passport Application and Appointment Booking
To proceed with Passport application, you will need an account on Passport Seva website here: https://www.passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/welcomeLink
Click on New User Registration to create a new account or use the Existing User Login to login to your already existing account.
Once you login, click on Apply for Fresh Passport/Re-issue of Passport.
In the next page, proceed with Alternative 1 to fill passport application online. Alternatively, you can download a soft copy of the passport application form, fill it and then upload it.
In the next page, select the type of your application and the passport you want.
If you never had a passport before and you are applying for the first time, select Fresh Passport. If you are looking to renew an expiring or an already expired passport, select Re-issue of Passport. You can also apply for re-issue of passport if the pages in your passport are all used up.
For the type of application, you can choose Normal if you are not in a hurry. Sometimes, your nearest Passport Seva Kendra might be busy and appointment may not be available for a neasby date. You can check the status of latest available appointment on this page: https://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/online/apptAvailStatus
To cost of Normal passport application is Rs 2000. The Passport Seva Kendra is pretty efficient nowadays and you will get the passport delivered within 72 hours of appointment even under Normal booking.
To book appointment at an early date, you can select Tatkaal. It will cost an additional Rs 2000.
If you are an avid traveller or hopes to travel many countries in the next 10 years, it is highly recommended to purchase the passport booklet with 60 pages.
Click on Next to proceed and fill all the requested details. Make sure to double check the details are all correct before submitting it.
Once you make the payment and schedule the appointment, you will receive an SMS of your phone number with confirmation and details of the appointment.
Appointment day at Passport Seva Kendra
On the day of appointment, make sure to reach your selected Passport Seva Kendra at least 15 minutes before the reporting time.
At the Passport Seva Kendra, you will need to provide original identity documents that match the details that you enter in the passport application form. You can use the following identity cards:
- Voter ID
- PAN Card ( should have your photo )
- Aadhaar Card
In addition to that, if you passed 10th grade, you can apply for Non-ECR ( ECNR – Emigration Check Not Required ) passport which will make the emigration easy when you travel abroad. You will need to produce the original pass certificate of 10th grade, 12th grade or university.
To see the detailed list of all required documents for your case, you can check using the Document Advisor tool here: https://portal2.passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/docAdvisorSecure/attachmentAdvisorInp
You will also need to take photo copies of your document and self-attest them using your official signature. Make sure the signature matches the signature in your old passport.
If you changed your signature since the last passport, you will need to write an affidavit confirming the change of signature.
Once everything is verified by the staff at Passport Seva Kendra, they will take your photo and fingerprints, and will also seal the old passport as cancelled. Please note, the active visas stamped in your old cancelled passports will still be valid.
Next, you can go back to your permanent address and wait for police verification.
Police verification process is usually initiated on the same day after you successfully complete the procedure at Passport Seva Kendra.
Make sure to be present at your permanent address for police verification procedure. You can expect policeman from your local police station at your home any time of the day.
The policeman will ask questions to confirm your identity and may also ask some difficult questions to make you nervous. Just answer honestly and everything will be alright.
Don’t bribe the policeman for verification of passport. It is not required and trying to bribe will bring you more trouble.
Once the police verification is successfully completed, you will get an SMS and you can expect another SMS regarding the courier tracking details of your new passport.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, passport application is the smoothest and easiest bureaucratic process I have experienced in India. Everything is well organised and done pretty fast. The staff at Passport Seva Kendra is also very helpful. I had applied for the renewal of my passport in January 2021 and I received my new passport in just 72 hours!
If you have any queries or thoughts regarding your passport application, feel free to ask me!