A wide chain of 37 passport offices of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, across the country handles the issuing and distribution of the Indian Passport along with the 180 Indian embassies and consulates established abroad. This document is a necessity as it serves as an identity card for individuals to be identified as Indian citizen by birth or by the process of naturalization by the Passport Act, 1967. It is essentially required for those who wish to travel to foreign lands either for education, tourism, medical assistance, to establish a business, family visits or pilgrimage.
The Consular services in India, Passport and Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India has established channels for passport distribution and collection through Central Passport Organization (CPO) via a vast chain of passport offices, and Passport SevaKendras (PSKs). Non-Resident Indian (NRIs) can also apply and take benefits of these Passport and other such services via 185 Indian missions or post. The Indian Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as per their instructions stresses the importance of acknowledging that the Passport issued is machine-readable.
Types of Passport:
The Passport Seva Kendra issues two different kinds of passports to individuals applying for the Passport. They are as follows:
- Ordinary Passport: Ordinary Passport is issued to individuals for general purposes such as travelling abroad or for business trips abroad. This kind of Passport can be issued and used by any general individual.
- Diplomatic Passport: It is a passport issued to the individuals who are going outside for some official purpose or duties given by their country. These are generally for sensitive purposes.
How to apply for Indian Passport?
Earlier the passport application process for a passport was a tedious task which is now reduced to a much simpler way through the use of an online portal. The online portal makes the process faster.
The steps involved are the following:
- Government has made available the Passport Seva app and Passport Seva website to provide an application form for the passport application.
- The first step is to register on the online portal. After registration, the next step is to log in using the user id and password.
- The option of applying for fresh passport/ renewal of Passport reflects on the screen. Click on apply for new passport option.
- The application form appears on the screen in which all the necessary details has to be filled as required.
- The next step is to look for and choose the “pay and schedule appointment” option. This option is available under the saved application option.
- After the successful payment by the payment portal, the appointment date has to be selected. ARN has to be noted down, which is an application reference number for future references. The application has to be printed.
- The next steps involve going to the office in person with original documents for their verification. An individual has to go to RPO ( regional passport office) or PSK ( Passport Seva Kendra) on the date of appointment.
- Passport application form
- Proof of address
- Proof of date of birth
- Documentary proof for any one of the known-ECR categories
Charges to be paid
The amount to be paid differs based on the number of pages in the booklet and based on a new application of Passport or renewal.
The new Passport costs Rs.1500 in case of 36 pages booklet. The cost is Rs.2000 for 60 pages.
The renewal of Passport for 36 pages booklet costs Rs.3500 whereas for a booklet of 60 pages it costs Rs.4000.
The process usually takes less time and is a hassle-free approach. This makes it easier for an individual to get a new passport issued. The visit to PSK ( PassportSeva Kendra) just takes a few hours. The Passport is then posted to the postal address of the individuals after 10-15 days when it’s perfectly working and ready. An individual is required to pay a lump sum amount of Rs.300-500 for the passport cover depending on the type of cover chosen.