What is a Passport?
Passport is an official document that is issued by the respective governments of citizens. It entitles them to travel under its protection to and from foreign countries. It certifies the holder’s citizenship and identity. Every country has its policy to issue a passport.
As globalization is increasing, the government of India is also providing a legal document i.e. passport. The passport allows you to visit abroad following the “Passport Act 1967”. The country you want to visit allows you based on your requirements and eligibility, passport, or travel documents will be issued.
The Passport or Travel Document issued under ‘Passport Act 1967’, by the Government of India, are:
• Ordinary Passport
• Diplomatic Passport
• Official Passport
• Emergency Certificate
• Certificate of Identity
Types of passports and their Use
Indian Passport Authority issues three types of passwords:
1. Regular Passport
A regular passport is issued for general purposes like business meetups, vacation, ordinary travels, tourism, honeymoon or family trip, higher education, job, and for some other professional trips. This passport has a navy blue colored cover.
2. Diplomatic Passport
The diplomatic passport is issued to Indian diplomats, top-ranking government officials, and diplomatic couriers. This passport is covered in maroon color.
3. Official Passport
The official passport is issued to individuals traveling on official business representing the Indian Government. This passport will show up a white-colored cover.
Eligible parameters to apply for a Passport in India:
• The applicant must be a citizen of India.
• Must possess all the required documents.
• Must not have any criminal background or must not be involved in any criminal cases either directly or indirectly.
How to apply for a Passport?
There are two ways to apply for a passport. One is online the other is through offline modes.
1. Applying for a Passport Offline
Applying for a passport in offline mode is pretty simple.
Step 1: Visit your nearest Passport Seva Kendra (PSK). Carry along all your original and photocopied documents that are required such as Aadhaar card, Proof of Date of Birth, Residential proof, and Passport size photographs.
Step 2: Ask for an application form at the PSK and fill-in all the details carefully. Do make sure to write and check all the spellings and details correctly to avoid rejection.
Step 3: Submit the application form along with essential documents and fees at the passport office. Then ask concerned officers about the police verification and further process to get your passport in hand.
Normally, it takes 3 to 4 weeks to complete the whole process and get your passport. Sometimes it may also depend on the number of applications and urgency.
2. Applying for a Passport Offline
Step 1: Make a registration through the Passport Seva Online Portal.
Step 2: With the registered Login Id, login to the Passport Seva Online Portal.
Step 3: Click on the link “Apply for Fresh Passport/Re-issue of Passport”.
Step 4: Fill all the required details in the online application form and submit for passport login.
Step 5: Click on the link “Pay and Schedule Appointment” which appears on the “View Saved/Submitted Applications” screen to schedule the appointment. For booking appointments at all Passport Seva Kendras/Passport offices, online payment has become mandatory.
This online payment can be processed through any of the following modes:
• Internet Banking (State Bank of India (SBI) and associated banks and other banks)
• Credit/Debit card (Mastercard and Visa)
• SBI Bank Challan
Step 6: Click on the link “Print Application Receipt” link to print the application containing the Application Reference Number (ARN)/Appointment Number.
Step 7: Visit the Regional Passport Office where you booked your appointment and carry along all your original documents.
NOTE: During your visit to the passport office, an SMS that has your appointment details can also be accepted as proof of appointment.
After the entire process is done, your passport may be delivered to your permanent address in the next 5 to 10 days.
These are the two options available to apply for a passport. It is always recommended to apply online. Because in the online process you need not stand in a long queue at the passport office to get the process done.
List of acceptable documents to passport application
As per the Passport Issuance Authority of India, any combination of the documents listed below are acceptable:
1. Birth Certificate (Issued under the RBD Act)
2. Aadhaar Card
3. Voter ID Card or Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC)
4. PAN Card
5. Income Tax Assessment Order
6. Telephone bill (Landline or monthly mobile bill)
7. Driving Licenses (Must not be an expired one & must be within the jurisdiction of the state of submission of application
8. Arm Licenses (if any)
9. Electricity Bill
10. Water Bill
11. Kisan/Post Office Passbook
12. Matriculation certificate
13. Mark sheets of Matriculation.
14. Ration Card
15. Proof of gas connection
16. Photo passbook of running bank account registered under the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The account holders must have bank accounts in Public Sector Banks, Regional Rural Banks, and Scheduled Private Banks to be eligible to submit the documents.
17. Certificate from Employer-provided by a private limited company on letterhead (If you are a working employee in the private sector)
Note: Email copy or computerized print-outs will not be entertained.
18. Service Photo Identity Card issued by Central / State Government, Public Limited Companies, Public Sector Undertakings or local bodies (In case of a public sector employee)
19. Pension Documents such as Pension Payment order/ex-servicemen’s Pension Book, ex-servicemen’s Dependent/ Widow Certificates, Widow Pension Order, Old Age Pension Order (If you are a retired individual)
20. Spouse’s passport copy (Must include the family details along with the proof of your spouse if you are a married individual)
21. Student Photo Identity Cards of full-time courses issued by Government Recognized Educational Institutions only (If you are a student)
22. Photocopy of first and last page of parent’s passport copy (in case of minors)
Passport Fee in India
• For a new normal passport with 36 pages, Rs.1500 is the fee amount.
• For a new normal passport with 60 pages, Rs.2000 is the fee amount.
Reasons for rejection of passport
• Missing documents
• In case of having any criminal record (either directly or indirectly)
• Presence of any blurred scan copy
• Inconsistency of signatures across documents
• Having any outstanding loans and unpaid taxes
• Applying to another state than the one you reside