Getting your hands on a passport card to explore the world should be exciting, right? But if you’re in the midst of the paperwork shuffle, you might be wondering, “How long is this going to take?” Don’t worry; we’re here to unravel the timeline and ease your travel anticipation.
Understanding Passport Card :
The passport card in India is your key to international travel, offering essential services for both new and existing travelers. If you’re setting out on your first international adventure, you’ll need to apply for a fresh passport. This applies to everyone, even if you already have an Official/Diplomatic Passport. If you’re looking to renew or get a new passport for reasons like personal details change, nearing expiry, or damage, you’ll be dealing with the reissue category.
Additionally, there are other services, like Police Clearance Certificates, background checks for the Global Entry Program, and permits for those in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh to visit relatives across the Line of Control (LoC). If you’re surrendering your passport for a change in citizenship or acquiring a foreign nationality, you’ll get a Surrender Certificate. Stateless individuals, including Tibetan refugees in India, can also get a Certificate of Identity.
In a nutshell, the passport card is your go-to for all things international travel from India, making the process straightforward and accessible.
Types of Passports in India :
When it comes to passports in India, there are three main types :
- Ordinary Passport : If you’re thinking of a regular passport, that’s the ordinary one. It comes with either 36 or 60 pages. For grown-ups, it’s good for ten years and can be renewed. But for the young explorers, the validity is up to five years or until they hit 18, whichever comes first.
- Diplomatic Passport : This one is for special folks designated by the Indian government. If you’re on a mission for the country, this is the passport you’ll get.
- Official Passport : This type is for the government’s own, given to those on official duties abroad. So, if you’re representing India on an official assignment, this passport is for you.
Understanding the types makes getting the right passport a breeze for your travel plans!
Passport for Minors In India
The process of obtaining a passport for your little one can be a bit overwhelming, but fear not – we’ve got you covered with some straightforward answers. In passport terms, anyone under 18 years old is considered a minor.
Applying for a Newborn : If you have a one-month-old baby, you can’t endorse their name in your passport anymore. The rules have changed. Your baby needs a separate passport.
Parental Consent for Passport : For minors, especially if a parent is abroad, both parents ideally need to sign Annexure ‘D.’ If that’s not possible, the applying parent should submit a declaration in the form of Annexure ‘C’ explaining the situation.
Passport Validity for Minors : A minor’s passport is valid for five years or until they turn 18, whichever comes first. But if your teenager, aged between 15 and 18, wants a full 10-year passport, they have that option too.
Passport Size Photographs : Minors below four years need to carry a passport-size photo for processing. For those above four years, photos will be taken at the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK).
Fee Structure : The fee for a minor’s passport varies. To get an accurate amount, refer to the Fee Calculator on the official website. Pro tip: there’s a 10% rebate for fresh applications for minors up to 8 years old.
Passport Benefits for Senior Citizens :
Good news for our seasoned travelers! The Ministry introduced a special scheme for senior citizens aged 60 and above, effective from June 24, 2017. Under this scheme, senior citizens enjoy a 10% discount on the applicable passport fee for fresh applications. As if that’s not enough, the perks extend to the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) and Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) visits. Senior citizens receive dedicated assistance with a special token, ensuring a faster and smoother processing experience. It’s a small way of showing appreciation for their wealth of knowledge and making their passport application journey a bit more convenient. Happy travels to our seasoned adventurers!
Passport Process for Government/PSU/Statutory Body Employees
Government/Public Sector/Statutory body employees here’s what you need to know about the passport application process :
Document Requirements : When applying for a passport, employees from these sectors should submit either the Identity Certificate (Annexure “A”), No Objection Certificate (NOC – Annexure “G”), or Prior Intimation Letter (PI – Annexure “H”). If Annexure “A” is submitted, the passport will be issued without police verification. If Annexure “G” is provided, the passport will be issued post-police verification, and for Annexure “H,” it’s pre-police verification.
Benefits for Government Employees : Government employees enjoy certain benefits during the passport issuance process, providing smoother processing. For detailed benefits, refer to the information mentioned in question 20.
Name Change Procedure : If a government employee wishes to change their name on the passport, additional documents are required. This includes a Gazette Notification reflecting the name change in the applicant’s department and a fresh ID Certificate in the changed name. No need to publish declarations in newspapers – just ensure you have these documents in order.
Reissuing an Expired Passport
If your passport has been patiently waiting on the shelf for the last four years, fret not—reissuing it is still an option!
Procedure for Reissuing : To breathe new life into your expired passport, start by filling out the Passport Application Form. Specifically, apply for the “Reissue of Passport.” However, do note that since your passport has taken a 4-year hiatus, fresh police verification will be initiated as part of the process.
Additional Requirements After Three Years : If your passport has crossed the three-year expiry mark, be prepared for fresh police verification. It’s a standard procedure in such cases, ensuring all your details are up-to-date.
If your bags are packed, and you’re ready to jet off soon but lack a passport, the Tatkaal scheme can be your savior! Here’s a quick rundown :
Eligibility and Fees : Firstly, check if you’re eligible for Tatkaal. If you are, pay the additional Tatkaal fee of Rs. 2,000. If you’re 18 or above, submit three documents from the List of Acceptable Documents. For those below 18, two documents from the same list will suffice. The complete document list can be found under the “Documents Advisor” link on the Home page.
Application Process : Wondering if you can apply under Tatkal? The final call rests with the Passport Office, but there’s a list of applicants who can’t use this scheme. Check the Instruction Booklet for details.
Switching from Normal to Tatkaal : Generally, moving from normal to Tatkaal isn’t allowed. However, if urgency strikes after your initial application, visit the Passport Office with proof of your pressing situation.
Tatkaal vs. Normal Passport Process : Under Tatkaal, you need to submit extra documents and pay additional fees with your application. Notably, police verification happens post-passport issuance. To see the added documents, check “Documents Required” on the Home page, and for fees, visit the “Fee Calculator.”
Passport Application : Choosing the Right Place
When it comes to applying for a passport, knowing where to submit your application is crucial. Here’s a quick guide:
Passport Seva Kendra (PSK)/Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) : These are like passport superheroes, offering front-end services related to passport issuance. They handle everything from token issuance to processing applications for passport issues/reissue and other services. So, if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop experience, head to your nearest PSK or POPS.
Passport Office (PO) : Passport Offices are the backstage commanders, wielding authority over PSKs and handling all back-end functions required for processing passport applications. They manage printing, lamination, dispatch of passports, liaison with government bodies, and more. If your matter requires a bit more attention, the Passport Office is your go-to.
Application Channels : For submitting your passport application, the go-to channel is online submission. You can conveniently submit your Passport Application Form online through the official website.
Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) : To apply for a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC), fill out the PCC Form online. Register as a user on the website (www.passportindia.gov.in) and follow the instructions for online form submission.
Diplomatic/Official Passport Application : Normally, applications for diplomatic and official passports are processed at the PSP Division, Patiala House, New Delhi. However, you may also apply at the Passport Office with jurisdiction over your present residential address.
In-Person Submission : Under the new system, applicants are required to be physically present at the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) with the application print receipt and original documents after submitting the application online.
Change in Particulars/Addition of Spouse’s Name : If you’re looking to add your spouse’s name or make changes to your personal particulars, apply online for the reissue of the passport at the concerned PSK.
District Passport Cells : District Passport Cells now accept only fresh passport applications. Reissue cases, Tatkaal cases, complex cases, and miscellaneous services are not handled at District Passport Cells.
Online Applications : Yes, you can apply online for both passport reissue and Police Clearance Certificate applications. Make sure to register as a user on the official website.
Application Checklist : To apply for a passport online, be a registered user and have scanned copies of the required documents. The process is detailed on the website under the “Home” section.
Passport Office Functions : Passport Offices handle special-purpose passports, diplomatic and official passports, district passport cell applications, complex cases, and more. They play a crucial role in the passport processing ecosystem.
Fresh Passport Application : For a new passport application, you need to visit a Passport Seva Kendra or Post Office Passport Seva Kendra. Passport Offices do not handle fresh applications.
How to Check Your Passport Application Status
Checking the status of your passport application is a crucial step in staying informed about the progress of your request. Here’s a step-by-step guide based on the information provided :
Visit the Official Website : Start by visiting the official Passport Seva website. The provided link seems to lead to a SlideShare presentation, but for the most accurate and up-to-date information, directly visit the official website at www.passportindia.gov.in.
Navigate to the Application Status Section : Once on the website, look for the section related to “Application Status” or similar. This information is typically available in the “Track Application Status” or a similarly named section.
Select the Application Type : Choose the type of application you’ve submitted, such as a fresh passport, reissue, or Police Clearance Certificate (PCC).
Enter the File Number : Retrieve your file number from the acknowledgment receipt provided during the application submission. Enter this unique file number into the designated field.
Provide the Date of Birth : Input your date of birth in the format requested on the website. Ensure accuracy to avoid any discrepancies.
Click on the ‘Track Status’ Button : Once you’ve entered the necessary details, locate the ‘Track Status’ or equivalent button and click on it.
Review Your Application Status : After clicking ‘Track Status,’ the system should display the current status of your passport application. Common situations include ‘Application Submitted,’ ‘Under Review,’ ‘Dispatched,’ etc.
Understanding Status Updates : Each status update provides insights into the stage of processing your application has reached. For example, ‘Application Submitted’ indicates your application is received, while ‘Dispatched’ means your passport is on its way to you.
Check Regularly for Updates : Passport processing can take time, so it’s advisable to check the status regularly for any updates. You may also receive email or SMS notifications if you’ve opted for these services during application submission.
Contact Customer Support if Needed : If you encounter any issues or have specific questions about your application status, the website usually provides contact information for customer support. Reach out to them for assistance.
Getting a passport card is like a journey itself, with its twists and turns. From the initial document submission jitter to finally holding your passport card, each step is part of the adventure. Consider this blog your travel companion, guiding you through the waiting game and helping you reach your destination—the world awaits! Safe travels!
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