How to get your passport done

How to get your passport done

January 7, 2014

A passport is a government-issued document that certifies the identity and nationality of its holder for the purpose of international travel. The elements of identity contained in all standardised passports include information about the holder, including name, date of birth, sex and place of birth.

In India, the Consular, Passport and Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs provides passport services to…

  • those living in India, through the Central Passport Organisation (CPO) and its network of regional passport offices (RPOs) and passport seva kendras (PSKs)
  • overseas Indians/foreign nationals, through the Indian missions and posts abroad.


Passport Seva



A brief history

  • There was no practice of issuing Indian passports before the First World War.
  • During the First World War, in 1914, the government of India enacted the Defence of India Act which made it compulsory to possess a passport for anyone leaving or coming into India. The Act expired six months after the end of the War.
  • It was, however, decided by the British government that the government of India should continue issuing passports as per the rules of the Defence of India Act, in order to bring the Indian practice into line with that of other parts of the erstwhile British Empire and of other countries.
  • So the Indian Passports Act, 1920 was enacted by the government of India, which was renamed The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920.
  • Thereafter, the central government delegated to the state governments the power to issue passports on its behalf: many state governments opened regular passport offices.
  • Subsequently, the issue of passports became a central subject under the Constitution of India and was allotted to the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • In 1954, the first five regional passport offices (RPOs) were opened in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Nagpur. They were brought under a separate organisation under the foreign ministry in 1959, the Central Passport and Emigration Organisation, which changed its name to Central Passport Organisation (CPO).
  • The present Passports Act, 1967 came into force on June 24, 1967. This day is now celebrated as Passport Seva Divas.
  • The last major amendments to the rules for passport came about in 1980, when the Passport Rules 1980 was issued; the rules have been further modified partially.


How the Indian passport looks



Central Passport Organisation

  • The Central Passport Organisation is the organisation responsible for issuance of passports in India.
  • It is located in New Delhi.
  • It was created in 1959 as a subordinate office of the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • It is headed by Joint Secretary and Chief Passport Officer (CPO), which post is currently held by Muktesh K Pardeshi.
  • The CPO is also the Appellate Authority under the Passports Act, 1967.
  • Joint Secretary (Consular), currently Suchitra Durai, is responsible for consular affairs.
  • Joint Secretary (PV), currently Dr Neena Malhotra, is entrusted with visa matters.
  • The Division works under the supervision of Additional Secretary (CPV).



Where to apply

In India, applications for passports can be submitted at the…

  • 37 passport offices
  • 77 passport seva kendras (PSKs), which are extensions of the passport offices


For diplomatic and official passports, the place to go is the Headquarters (CPV Division) in Delhi.

For Andaman and Nicobar Islands, there is a separate office called Andaman and Nicobar Islands Administration.

For those Indians outside India, there are the 180 Indian missions/posts abroad.


Passport application in West Bengal

In West Bengal, there is one RPO, in Kolkata, and two PSKs, in Kolkata and Berhampore

Regional Passport Office

Address: 4 Brabourne Road, 1st Floor, Kolkata 700001
Phone: (033) 22254893/4084
Fax: (033) 22254762
E-mail: rpo.kolkata@mea.gov.in
Present regional passport officer: Geetika Srivastava.
Jurisdiction: West Bengal – all 19 districts
  Sikkim – all 4 districts
  Tripura – 5 districts, viz, Dhalai, North Tripura, South Tripura, West,Tripura Tribal Area Autonomous District     Council

PSK Berhampore

Address: Amita Automobile Building, Radhika Nagar, Post Office: Cossim Bazar, Jalangi Road,
Berhampore 742102
Jurisdiction: Districts of Murshidabad, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Malda, Birbhum, Nadia,
which have their separate offices.

PSK Kolkata

Address: Aakash Tower, Eastern Bypass Ruby, Kasba 781, Anandpur, Kolkata
Jurisdiction: All other districts of West Bengal, plus the districts of Sikkim and Tripura
mentioned earlier, which also have their separate offices.

Besides these, all districts have passport application centres called district passport cell (DPC).


How to apply

Passport forms are available at the passport offices or can be printed out from www.passportindia.gov.in.

Passport application form



With effect from June 1, 2013 certain changes have been made to the passport application process.

  • As per the new process, appointment date/time for the submission of forms will be automatically allotted by the system and printed on the downloaded form as per the availability of appointment slots at the desired passport application submission centre.
  • Alternatively, the same can be purchased at any DPC for Rs. 10.
  • The applicant has to submit the application form along with the required documents to the respective passport office as per the appointment date and time printed.
  • An application for a passport may be submitted personally OR through a representative (any close member of the family or recognised travel agent(s) only) carrying a letter of authority.
  • Prior payment of passport service fee has been made mandatory for booking appointments at PSKs. For this purpose, the online payment feature has been introduced through the portal, www.passportindia.gov.in.


Online payment of fees is now mandatory. Online payment includes payment through…

  • credit or debit cards (MasterCard and Visa)
  • internet banking (State Bank of India and Associate Banks of State Bank of India only)
  • SBI bank challan (Applicants need to take a printout of the system-generated challan and submit it at a nearby SBI branch along with the application fee in cash. Payment will be reflected after at least two working days of depositing the fee in the SBI branch. Applicants can try booking appointments once the payment status is displayed as ‘Success’ in the system.)


Aspects of applying for passport

  • For those applying under tatkal scheme, the fee applicable under normal category has to be paid online and the rest (that is, the amount specially charged for tatkal) in cash at the passport office.
  • The online payment functionality has been deployed in a phased manner starting with the Dehradun Passport Office.
  • An applicant will be able to cancel/reschedule the appointment only twice within one year of first appointment date.
  • The system will not allow booking of online appointment once two reschedule options are exercised or first appointment was scheduled more than one year ago.
  • All original documents have to be shown at the time of submission of the passport application form.
  • Self-attested copies of all required documents need to be attached with the application form.
  • Illiterate applicants should put thumb impression in the box meant for thumb impression/signature.
  • In case an applicant has stayed at more than one address during the last one year, he/she should furnish two additional photocopies of the passport form for each additional place of stay.
  • To keep up with the times, a mobile application (app) called ‘mPassport Seva’ has been created to offer a wide variety of services to smartphone users such as passport application status tracking, locating a passport seva kendra (PSK) and general information on various steps involved in obtaining a passport. The app can be downloaded on to phones running Android, iOS and Windows Phone operating systems (see under ‘Value Added Services’ on http://www.passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/welcomeLink). 
  • Also, a service called ‘passport seva premium SMS service’ has been launched at some PSKs whereby applicants, after paying a nominal fee, can receive reminders, response to queries, alerts and updates for applications through SMS. (see under ‘Value Added Services’ on http://www.passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/welcomeLink).


Screenshots of the Android version of mPassport Seva



Fees


There are various fee structures. A fresh passport for most people in India would cost Rs 1000.

See http://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/fee/feeInput for details.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT (as per a notice issued by the Ministry of External Affairs dated December 9, 2013)

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has set a deadline of November 24, 2015 for globally phasing out all non-machine-readable passports (MRPs).Which means that from November 25, 2015, foreign governments may deny visa or entry to any person travelling with a non-MRP passport.

All handwritten passports with pasted photos earlier issued by the government are considered non-MRP passports. MRP passports have been issued since 2001. All 20-year validity passports will also fall in the non-MRP category.

Hence, Indian citizens residing in India and abroad and holding handwritten as well as 20-year passports should apply for re-issue of passports and obtain MRP passports well before the deadline of November 24, 2015 in order to avoid any inconvenience in obtaining foreign visa or regarding immigration.

For details related to passport services, visit the passport website, www.passportindia.gov.in OR any passport office, OR call up the toll-free national call centre number 1800-258-1800.


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Comments (1)
 
Joy Reply
January 08, 2014
Thankz a lot.. Very informative. Had been thinking of making one... Got the info at a pretty good time.
 
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