The application procedure for Indian Passport
So how do you apply for a passport, and, more importantly, make sure you get things right the first time? The most common reasons for passport applications being rejected is a lack of knowledge about the procedure to be followed and lack of proper and necessary documents. So, here are eight simple rules to help you clear the stumbling blocks in the passport application process:
Eight simple passport application rules
1. The first thing you’ve got to do is register online and download the registration form and application form, free, from the website www.passport.gov.in. If you intend to submit your application at the passport office, go there on the date allotted to you online. But, if you stay too far away from the regional passport office, choose a convenient centre nearby where application forms will be accepted. But first check the timings at the centre of your choice before actually going there with your filled out form and documents.
2. Don’t rush to fill out the forms. First read the instructions carefully. To make sure you have understood everything properly, read the instructions at least twice.
3. Make the entries in the forms with a blue/black ballpoint pen and in block letters. To avoid making errors and then having to correct them, practise filling out photocopies of the forms first before making the entries in the actual forms – carefully and legibly. Nonetheless, once you have filled out the forms, double check each entry for mistakes as particulars included in the form will be printed on the passport.
4. Since the forms will be scanned by a computer, paste your photograph carefully within the designated box, and see that your signature / thumb impression does not extend outside the specified box. (You’ll need at least six 35mm x 35mm coloured photos with a frontal view of your full face against a light background. Computer printouts won’t do.) Paste your photograph and include your original signature where required.
5. Don’t forget to carry the originals of all the necessary documents at the time of submitting your application. Even if photocopies are notarised, they will not be accepted in place of the originals. The original documents will be returned to you immediately across the counter after verification. Some of the main documents include proof of birth, residence and educational qualifications; documentary proof for ECNR endorsement if eligible; marriage certificate if applicable in your case; and NOC if you are a government servant. Make sure you have the correct documents, as the wrong ones will surely be rejected. For example, those born before 26th January 1989 can submit either a birth certificate or school leaving certificate as proof of birth. But a birth certificate is mandatory for all those born on or after this date. Fees can be paid by cash or D.D.
6. Make two photocopies of each of the necessary documents and self-attest each of these by signing on them. If you are authorized by someone else to submit their application form, make sure the applicant has self-attested all the photocopies of each document.
7. But don’t go by the time mentioned at the time of registration, as it has no significance. Therefore, don’t stroll in a few minutes before the specified time and expect to be attended to shortly. Applications are accepted on a “first come, first serve” basis. So, go reasonably early. You could even go after 10 am if you wish. But, in any case, make sure you get to the passport office / centre before 12-30 hrs. At many centres, applications are also accepted in the afternoon. So check this out. Also, make allowances for having to spend some time at the centre. Processing of passport applications and scrutinizing of documents cannot be done in a hurry. So be prepared to wait.
8. Apply well in advance to avoid unexpected delays and disappointment. Generally, it takes around 45 working days to receive a passport. But, given the large number of applicants, it could sometimes take longer than this due to unforeseen problems. For instance, the report from the police or CID could take longer for different reasons. So, apply early and avoid last minute jitters.
Follow these simple passport application rules and it will make the passport application procedure hassle-free for you.