The Passport is an essential travel document issued by the Indian Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Indian citizens for international travel. Moreover, it is a valuable document and proves your identity and Indian citizenship. In India all passport applications are processed and issued by the Passport Seva Unit. There are nearly 93 passport offices located across India and 197 Indian diplomatic missions abroad. Personal appearance of the applicant is mandatory for all types of passport applications in India.
Whatever trip you may be planning, applying for a new passport or renewing an expired one can be quite tedious, complex and mind numbing. While you'll find everything you need to know about the often complicated process on the government website, Akbar Travels has made things much easier for you by breaking down the basics—from online forms to passport fees to booking appointments—and providing a checklist of the mandatory documents, we have you covered. Our trusted Passport Experts are skilled at outlining everything that will be needed to facilitate getting your Indian passport online smoothly and quickly.
Types of Passport
The Government of India issues three types of passports as follows:
Ordinary Passport: An ordinary passport is issued for ordinary travel which can be for leisure, business or study trips. It is navy blue in color, valid for 10 years and consists of 36/60 pages. For minors' passport, the validity is restricted to five years or till they attain the age of 18, whichever is earlier.
Diplomatic Passport: A Diplomatic passport is issued to Indian diplomats, members of parliament and any high ranking government officials having a diplomatic status and travelling on official duty for the Indian Government. The passport is maroon in color and is valid for 5 years or less depending upon the designation of the official and the type of visit. It is a “Type D” and stands for diplomat.
Official Passport: Issued to individuals representing the Indian Government traveling abroad for official assignments and visits. The passport is white in color and is valid for 5 years or less depending upon the designation of the official and the type of visit. It is a “type S” passport which stands for service.
The purpose of the Diplomatic and Official passports is for the immigration and custom officials of the destination country to know that the holder is entering the country on official business.
Emergency Certificate (EC): The Emergency travel document is issued when one’s current passport booklet is unavailable because it is either lost, stolen, mutilated or expired. The EC authorises Indians to enter India under such circumstances.
Passport processing time
Processing time can take anywhere between eight to eleven weeks for a standard application. Under the Tatkal passport system, passport is dispatched strictly within 3 business days. It can take longer if more information is needed or your application hasn’t been filled out correctly.
Tip: To minimize the passport processing time, make sure your application includes everything you need. It is always advisable to build in some buffer time and allow ample time for the process.
Tatkal Passport / Express Passport
Need your passport sooner? If you need a passport on urgent basis, Tatkal passport service can be a live saver. You can get your passport expedited within roughly three days for an extra fee in addition to the standard processing fees.
Tatkal Passport service is a fast track passport issuance facility provided by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for quick dispensation of passports under the ‘Tatkal scheme’. Passport applications under the tatkal scheme guarantee early appointment, quick verification and faster verification through a separate queue. If a traveler needs to travel urgently, he/she can apply for and receive passport within 1-3* days. Applications that dont require police verification will be processed within 1 working day, while for applications that require police verification, passport will be submitted on the third working day and police verification will happen after the issuance of passport.
Passport for Minors
Applicants less than 18 years of age are considered as minor for issuance of Indian passport online. The passport of a minor is issued for a validity of five years from the date of issue or until the age of 18, whichever comes first.
The fees and requirements for getting an Indian passport are a little different than those for adults. Physical presence of both parents is required while submitting the application along with Annexure-D signed by both parents. In case, either parent is abroad, the available parent should obtain consent of the other parent in Annexure-D. In the event, where consent of both parents is not possible, declaration in form of Annexure-C should be provided along with the passport application India.
Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)
A Police clearance certificate (PCC) is required to prove your moral character as the Indian Government wants to ensure only ethical, responsible applicants are approved. This document is issued by the Police officials as part of your background check. In case of any criminal record, your passport application may be denied.
Depending upon the type of passport application; fresh issuance or reissue of passport, the Passport Office (PO) will decide whether police verification is required or not.
Passport Renewal Process in India
If your passport has expired, lost or or the pages have been exhausted, its time to renew your passport. For passport renewal process in India, you must submit your old passport along with the supporting documents. The old passport is then returned with a hole punched in the cover and a canceled stamp, which invalidates it (in case of reissue of passport). Once you’ve submitted your application for renewal of passport, it generally takes lesser amount of time than a first-time fresh passport application — four to six weeks. With reference to passport renewal process in India, police verification is not required or only post police verification may be required. There can be exceptions for reissue in lieu of complete change of name / lost passport / change in the particulars on the first or last cover page of the passport, depending on records available in the Passport Office System.
It is very important to renew the passport before it expires for a hassle-free international travel.
Waiting until last minute to get or renew the passport cause extra money and result into canceling or delaying the trip
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Difference between renewal and reissue of passport
Renewal of passport is applicable to Indian passports that are issued with a limited validity of 1 to 5 years. In case of passport renewal process in India, changes will be done on the same old passport; the passport number wont be changed, only the validity period is extended. On renewal, the passport can be extended for 10 years. All these changes will be done on the same passport and delivered as a renewed passport.
Reissue of passport is applicable when the holder needs a new passport booklet due to lost, stolen or damaged passport. The applicant will be issued a new passport booklet with a new passport number.
Indian Passport can be reissued for the following reasons:
- Expired passport
- Passport about to expire
- Pages of current passport exhausted
- Lost passport
- Stolen passport
- Damaged passport
- Change in personal details of passport such as name change, adding spouse name in passport, change residential address on passport etc.
Note: Process for both renewal and reissue of passport is very much similar.
Passport Name changes
If you’ve gotten married, remarried, divorced or just changed your name since getting your last passport, you need to apply for a “Reissue” of passport and submit official proof of the name change, such as a marriage certificate (along with spouse’s passport copy), divorce certificate / death certificate (in respect of first spouse) along with the application.
Adding spouse name on Indian passport
In order to add spouse’s name on your passport, you must apply for the reissue of Passport with the marriage certificate (original and attested photocopy) along with the supporting documents (check above documents list for comprehensive list). Through this process, a new passport will be issued to you with a new passport number.
Lost or stolen passport
If your previous passport was lost or stolen, you'll have to apply for the reissue of passport. Through this process, a new Indian passport will be issued to you.
Please note, that your passport is a prized possession, store it safely and securely.
Change of residential address on your passport
Relocating to a new address? In case you hold a passport with your previous residential address, you will have to update the new address in your passport. In order to change the address on your passport, you need to apply for the reissue of your passport. Through this process, a new passport will be issued to you with a new passport number and updated address.
Adding pages to your passport
Have your passport pages got exhausted? Do you need to travel but have no pages left for visa stamp? In this case, you will need to apply for the reissue of your passport. Through this process, a new passport will be issued.
Tip: it's the right time to apply for a new passport when you have two to four empty pages left in your passport. So keep a close eye on the status of your passport pages, especially if you're a frequent traveler.
Check your passport status
After you’ve submitted your passport application, you can track the status of your passport online, whether it’s a first-time application, renewal or reissue.
Rejection of passport application
Your passport application may get rejected due to the following reasons:
- Incorrect information
- Mismatching signature
- Incorrect or incomplete documents
- Discrepancy in the documents
- Mistakes on the application form
- Inconclusive police verification
- Criminal history
In case of lack of documents, applicants can reapply the application within three days at the respective Passport Seva Kendra (PSK)
Tip: Always cross-check your passport application before submitting because even a small mistake of forgetting to to complete one section of the form or missing signature can derail the application process or even result into rejection. Moreover, the passport fees are not returned if the application is rejected. The final decision to issue the passport is at the discretion of the Passport officer.