First Time Passport Applicants: What You Need to Know

If you are applying a passport for the first time then you need to know about these points. You’ve heard the stories from those around you of how tackling bureaucratic red tape at the passport office can give you grey hairs, of how a tout will clean you out! You’re now kicking yourself for wanting to go on an international holiday.

Now you don’t have to worry about! Times are changing and so are the ways of how government departments work. In an effort to streamline the process and make the system more transparent, applying for a passport for the first time isn’t as daunting as you think. Here’s what you need to know…

Apply Online
It is fast and easy! Welcome to the website of Passport Seva – www.passportindia.gov.in, the online portal for every Indian citizen in need of a passport. From basic information on how to start with the documents you require and the forms you need to fill, it’s all here to start the simple procedure.

Get Your Documents In Order

While filling out the application form, you’ll also need to ensure that your supporting documents are in order. These may include a birth certificate, proof of identity and proof of residence.

Make An Appointment

Once you are done with online registration, application submission and supporting documents as per the requirement, make an appointment at the nearest PSK or Passport Service Kendra. In order to confirm an appointment at a PSK, it’s mandatory to make an online payment via credit or debit card, internet banking or a bank challan. If for any reason, you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, you can do so twice within a year of the first appointment.

Visiting Your PSK

On the scheduled day of your appointment, make sure to carry all your original supporting documents along with two photocopies of each. If for some reason, your documents are not in order or something further is required and you may need to visit the PSK again, you can do so on a ‘walk-in’ basis within 3 working days from the time and date of your appointment.

Police Verification Process

After submitting all your documents to the PSK, you will be subjected to a police verification where they will validate some of the information you mentioned on the form. For this, the police will visit the address mentioned on your application form.

Delivery Of Your New Passport

The Ministry of External Affairs has fixed a time limit of 30 days for issuance of new passports from the date you submit your documents to the PSK. Your passport will be delivered to the recipient in person by the postman.

Tatkal Passports

If you have an urgent need for travel and require a passport with 1-7 working days, you may apply for a Tatkaal passport if you meet the requirements. The Passport Seva website is where you can find all the information and details if applying for a Tatkal passport.

Cost Of A New Passport

The cost of a new passport with 36 pages is Rs. 1500 and Rs. 3500 if you’re applying for a Tatkal passport. Please check the Passport Seva website for the latest updates.

Renewing A Passport

If your passport is expiring or you have lost it or it has been damaged, you will need to apply for a new passport. If you have previously held an Indian passport, you may not be subjected to police verification. If this is the case, your passport will reach you within 15 days of submitting your documents to the PSK.

About the Author: Reeta Gautam

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