An Indian Passport is something commonly owned by the citizens of this country. It is not just a travel document, it is also something that serves as a valid identity proof. Issued under the Passports Act, 1967, the Indian government supplies more than one type of passport to its citizens. Before we go into that, here’s a brief about what a typical passport is. In layman terms, a passport is a document used for international travel and is issued by the traveller’s national country. The passport will contain information about the holder’s nationality, date of birth, signature and a clear photograph..
This is the variety of passport that is issued to common citizens and even VIPs and is used for regular or ordinary travel on personal grounds. Also called as Type P or P-Type (P indicating personal), this passport comes in booklets of either 36 pages or 60 pages. These passports do not provide any special privileges to the holder.
This passport is typically issued to Govt. employees who are travelling on national duty, typically to represent the country. Kindly note, such passports are not issued to individuals traveling for overseas assignments, only to people who travel on internationally for official state Business. Such passports are also issued to individuals who are fully dependent on officials on the Indian Foreign Service (Branch A & B). No special privileges are enjoyed by the holder of an Official passport.
Probably the most elite kind of passport, the Diplomatic Indian Passport is given to top ranking govt. officials, consuls, top officials of the Indian Foreign Service travelling on duty, their dependents and essentially, anyone anointed with the status of a Diplomat. It is to be noted that carrying a Diplomatic Passport does not bestow you with Diplomatic immunity, which is something that is bestowed separately.
Applying for a passport in India is now a simple process only if you know the procedure correctly. Every State has its own Passport Office. Rules for all passport offices are governed by the Central government and hence they are all same. You can apply for your passport from any state that you are residing in irrespective of your place of origin. Before applying for a passport, it is important to understand the entire procedure and also be aware of things required so that you do not have to run from pillar to post. In order to ease you with the process, here is a detailed procedure of how to get a passport.
Now let’s go step by step as to how one can get a passport.
First you have to fill the application form which can be obtained either online or offline. Fill in all the details accurately, without any spelling mistakes and within the boxes provided for the same. Leave a box when one word or name is complete.
Register online and take an appointment. You will be given a particular date and time to appear in the passport office with your documents and application form.
A must thing to do is keep all your documents ready to avoid last minute hassles. You will need address proof, ID proof and other supporting documents (if you cannot furnish primary documents) along with their self-attested photocopies. Affidavits or Annexures are to be properly filled, Notary-attested or Magistrate-attested and enclosed with the application form as and if necessary.
On the day of appointment reach the passport office well before your scheduled time. You would be given a token number and when your number is called you will have to appear before any of the counters with all the above-mentioned documents. You would be photographed and in case you fail to produce any document or if any of the documents produced by you is found to be fake etc, then your application would get rejected.
Following the formalities in the Passport office, you will have to wait for the police verification which may take place within a week’s time. The policeman from your local area station would visit your home and check for your address proof and ID proof documents. You need to be present personally at your home. For any reason, if you fail to be present during the police visit, then it is advisable to visit the respective police station and submit your documents personally.
Once the police verification is completed you will receive a message from the passport office stating that your police verification is cleared and that you will be receiving the passport within a few days. And in a week’s time you will receive your passport.
The Passport office also provides instant passports under the Tatkaal Scheme. Tatkaal scheme can be made use of in issue or reissue of passport. This is a convenient way to get a passport under emergency situations like death or serious conditions of any near or dear ones. However, one cannot avail Tatkaal scheme under the following circumstances:
Passport for minor children can be applied by their parents or guardian. Usually it is assumed that both parents have consented to the applying of passport unless otherwise specified. In case of no consent from any one of the parents, there are certain Annexures which need to be attached with the application form.
A passport in India is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. A person can renew his passport before 1 year from the date of expiry or within 1 year after the expiry date.
The expiration date is denoted as Final or F after the expiration date. Once a new passport is issued to the applicant, the old passport is cancelled and returned to the applicant. But if there are any pending valid visa, then the passport will continue to be valid until the expiration date of the visa.
For instance, a person possessing a passport with 20 years validity, has to apply for a fresh passport before expiration and not Re-issue. He/she should select the option ‘Fresh Passport’ in the application form.
A passport may be damaged in two ways-
If a passport gets damaged then one has to apply for Re-issue of Passport along with Annexure-L. The various documents to be attached with the application form for re-issue of passport include address proof, ID proof, 4-5 photos, explanation letter as to how and when the passport got damaged and Annexure-L.
There is no need to lodge a police complaint for a damaged passport.
If your passport is lost, then you have to immediately lodge a complaint with the nearest police station and get an FIR copy. In this case, while submitting the application for re-issue of passport, you will have to attach the complaint copy, FIR, along with the other documents mentioned in the case of damaged passport.
You may have got your passport in a particular name or address or date of birth or father’s name etc., but later you may want to make changes in any of these for various reasons like:
General change of name due to spelling mistake or numerology or having more than two names etc.
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