Passports are not only a mandatory document in case of overseas travel, it also serves as a valuable identity proof in various cases. Whether it is applying for a new gas connection, opening a bank account or applying for loan, passport serves as an important document who’s copy is accepted as photo identity, date of birth and address proof. All Indian citizens who intend to depart the country are required to have a valid passport issued by the Government of India under Passports Act 1967. The process of applying and issuance of passport has become quite quick and transparent. Online application has further simplified things. But before jumping into the process of applying for passport, let us understand the kind of passports an Indian citizen can hold
- Personal Passport:This also known as 'Type P' passport is the basic passport granted to citizens of India and it has a Navy blue cover with golden Ashoka emblem on it.
- Diplomatic Passport: This also known as 'Type D' passport is granted to diplomats of our country who go to foreign country for their official term. This passport has a maroon colour with gold Ashoka emblem etched on the cover.
- Official Passport: is silver white in appearance and is granted to officials who go on deputation to other countries.
How to apply for passport
- One can download the application from passport Seva website. This duly filled application along with prescribed documents needs to be submitted at your nearest passport office.
- Basic Supporting documents are proof of Date of Birth, identity proof with photograph, proof of residence and proof of nationality
- If any of the supporting documents is lacking, then passport office holds the right to reject the application.
- Applicant can secure an appointment right on the website. A fixed slot of time is allotted within which the applicant should present himself or herself at the nearest Passport Seva Kendra. An electronic queue management system allots the time slot and appointment.
- The applicant also needs to make online payment at the time of securing appointment.
- Even Tatkal applicants need to pay only general fee with difference adjusted later on.
- If the applicant fails to turn up within the period of one year after making the payment, the amount would be forfeited. We must also mention here that rescheduling and cancellation is allowed only twice in a year.
- Additional photographs and biometrics of the applicant are taken along with verification and vouching of the documents submitted.
- If the applicant is refused a token for want of documents then he or she can “walk in” with required documents within the next three working days.
- Do remember carrying laptops and tabs is not allowed in the passport Seva Kendra.
- An applicant can track the application status by calling the national call centre which is available 24 hours all week.
On the website http://passportindia.gov.in , one can find information about nearest passport Seva Kendra, calculate fee applicable and even download forms. The procedure has been simplified and there is no need to take help from agents.
Lost or damaged passport
If you have lost your passport then contact the nearest police station and file an FIR. In case you have lost the passport in a foreign country then contact the mission or post of that country to obtain an emergency certificate which can be used to gain entry back into India.
One can re-apply for issuance of duplicate passport in case of lost or damaged passport, at the nearest Passport Seva Kendra and submit the application along with the required documents. This entire procedure can be carried out just like the one applicable for a new passport mentioned in the earlier part of this article. FIR is an important document to be submitted when applying for re-issue of a duplicate passport.
Renewal of Passport
For renewal of passport too, same procedure has to be followed. Take an appointment for renewal and submit the entire set of document requested along with the application. Carry your old expired passport along.
Information contained in your passport
The tiny passport is a powerful document. It contains vital information pertaining to the passport holder including following:
- Name of the Passport Holder
- Address of the passport holder
- Father’s name
- Mother’s name
- Spouse Name
- Date of Birth
- Place of Birth
- Date of Issue
- Place of Issue
- Expiry date of the passport
- Type of passport
- Passport Number
- Photograph taken at the Passport Seva Kendra
- Fingerprint of the passport holder
For children below 5 years either an independent passport is issued or the same is attached to mother’s passport. This passport has a validity of five years. Passport when applied under Tatkal scheme which serves those who are in urgent need of passport usually gets delivered within three days. By normal channels, passport takes about 7-10 days.These were the important details that every Indian should know about Indian passport, its application process and renewal. Again a word of caution- no agent can get you speedy appointment or delivery of your passport. The process is automated and streamlined for the benefit of all!