Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to get a passport in India

If you are wondering how to get a passport in India, then this article is for you. The Consular Passport and Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs is responsible for issuing passports to the citizens of India. These passports are issued to Indian citizens from more than 30 locations across the country and around 163 Indian missions abroad.

There are three types of passports in India - general passport, diplomatic passport and official passport.

Tips on how to get a passport in India

A person may apply for a fresh passport in India by obtaining the relevant application form from the passport office in their State, a designated Speed Post centre or other selected outlets. After filling in your personal details, you need to collect required documents such as proof of residence, proof of date of birth, photographs, affidavits and other papers. These may be submitted with the prescribed fees to the following locations in the area where you are residing –
  • Across the counter of Passport Offices
  • At the Speed Post centres
  • District Passport Cells
  • Other Passport Application Collection Centres

An individual may also apply to get a passport in India through travel agents approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI).

When you submit the application form and required documents, you will receive a receipt with a file reference number. This number is important for checking the status of your application at a later date. After a few days, officials will visit the address mentioned in your application form for police verification of details submitted. You will receive your India passport by Speed Post after around five weeks.

If you require to get a passport in India urgently, you can apply for one under the Tatkaal Scheme of the government. Under this scheme, you will have to pay a Tatkaal fee in addition to the applicable passport fee. You will receive your passport within 1- 7 days of submitting the application form.

Many touts that hang around passport offices offer to complete the process of issuing your passport for a large fee. Officials may also ask for bribes to get your India passport quickly. I don't know how far bribes or extra fees help, cause my passport came in quite late, even though I paid both a bribe and tout fees.

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