What you need to know about applying for a passport in India

Applying for a passport is all set to become easier and more convenient. The Department of Posts recently announced that it will use the network of post offices to ease the process of applying for passports. While the Government intends to issue as many passports as possible, it is struggling to cope with the lack of manpower required to process the large number of passport applications at the ‘Passport Seva Kendras’ [PSK]. Hence, the Postal Department’s help is being viewed as a welcome and much needed move.

As the Government takes steps to make the process easier, here are some important things you should know before applying for a passport -

Most citizens are eligible to apply for a normal/ordinary passport, and all applicants including infants are required to be at the PSK to submit the required documents, photographs and biometrics at the time of the passport interview.

As per new rules, endorsement of a parent’s name is not allowed in the child’s passport. This makes it mandatory for even minors to have a passport of their own.

A new passport is mandatory in the following cases – lost/damaged passport, a passport that expired three years ago, change of personal details or particulars in the passport and the passport having run out of pages.

Police verification can be done on a pre-passport issuance or post-passport issuance basis. Depending on whether the passport is being freshly issued or re-issued, the Passport Office decides the type of police verification required. In most cases of re-issue, depending on records available in the Passport Seva system, police verification may not be required or only post-issue police verification may be required, exceptions being reissue of passport in lieu of lost passport or complete change of name.

The passport can also be issued under the Tatkal scheme for applicants who urgently need a passport. Most part of the application process remains the same except the fees and police verification process under the Tatkal scheme.

Most citizens apply for a passport only before an overseas travel. However, it is beneficial for all citizens to have a passport since it is an important document that serves as an ID proof and address proof at the same time. You can also apply online for your passport at the Passport Seva (Consular, Passport and Visa division) of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

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