Passport is an essential travel document required by every individual who wishes to travel out of the country for any given purpose. Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India is responsible for issuing the passport through its 37 passport offices located in the country and 180 Indian embassies and consulates located outside the country.
As per the Passports Act, 1967, the passport certifies that the passport holder is the citizen of India by birth or by naturalization.
Types of Passport issued in India
Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, issues two types of passports to Indian nationals. These are:
Ordinary passport: This passport is issued to the general public to enable them to travel abroad for education, work or holiday.
Official/ Diplomatic passport: Official or Diplomatic passport is issued to individuals travelling abroad on official duties.
How to Apply for an Indian Passport
One can apply for an Indian passport online by visiting the Passport Seva website or by downloading the Passport Seva app. To do so, follow the steps given below:
- Register at the passport Seva online portal. The applicants who have already registered can log in to the portal with the help of their registered login and password.
- Click on ‘Apply for Fresh Passport/ Re-issue of Passport’ link.
- Fill in the form and submit it.
- To schedule an appointment, click on the Pay and Schedule Appointment link under the ‘View Saved/Submitted Applications’ tab.
- After the payment is done and the appointment booked, print the application receipt containing the Application Reference Number (ARN) by clicking on the ‘Print Application Receipt’ link.
- Reach the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or Regional Passport Office (RPO) on the date of appointment on time along with all your original documents.
The applicants can also apply for the passport offline by downloading and printing out the application form, filling it and submitting at the passport collection centres. Else, the applicants can buy the application form, fill it and submit it along with the documents at the centre.
Documents Required for Indian Passport
The documents which the applicants need to submit along the application form are:
- Passport application form
- Proof of address
- Proof of date of birth
- Documentary proof for anyone of the Non-ECR categories
1. For Proof of Address: The applicant can submit any of the below document as address proof.
- Passbook of running bank account having the photo of the applicant
- Landline or postpaid mobile bill
- Rental agreement
- Electricity bill
- The voter ID card issued by Election Commission of India
- Water bill
- Income Tax Assessment order
- Proof of Gas connection
- Aadhaar card
- Parent’s passport, in case of minors
- Certificate from Employer of reputed companies on their letterhead
- Spouse’s passport mentioning the applicant’s name as the spouse of the passport holder.
2. For Proof of Date of Birth: The applicant can submit any of the below document as the date of birth proof.
- Aadhaar card/e-Aadhaar
- PAN card
- The voter ID card issued by the Election Commission of India
- Driving license
- A declaration by the Head of the Orphanage or Child Care Home confirming the date of birth of the applicant on their official letterhead.
- Birth certificate.
- Transfer certificate/school.
- Extract of the service record for government employees or pension order duly attested or certified by the officer of the concerned department.
- Life Insurance Policy bond having the date of birth of the holder.
How to Book Appointment for Indian Passport
To book an appointment for an Indian Passport, follow the below steps.
- Visit the online Passport Seva portal and log in using the registered login ID and password.
- Click on ‘Apply for Fresh /reissue passport’ link.
- Duly fill the application form.
- To schedule the appointment, click on the ‘Pay and Schedule Appointment’ link from under ‘View Saved/Submitted Applications’.
- The appointment slot will be allotted to the applicant.
Passport Issuing Authorities and Collection Centres
The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India works through the Central Passport Organization (CPO) through a wide network of Passport Offices, Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) in the country and via embassies and consulates outside the country for issuing passports and offering passport-related services.
- MEA – The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is the part of the Central government and is responsible for issuance of passports, and other related services.
- CPV - The Consular, Passport and Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affair is responsible for issuance of passports. The CPV located at Patiala House, New Delhi, looks into the processing of passport applications for Officials and Diplomats.
- DPC, SPC, CSC - District Passport Cells, Speed Post Centres and Citizen Service Centres uphold the responsibility of processing applications only for fresh passports. They do not process applications for reissue of passport, Tatkaal or other cases.
- PSK - Passport Seva Kendras are a dimension of Passport Offices which act as the physical space where front-end passport-related processes and services are done. It is here that the applicants are required to be physically present for submission of documents, photographs after getting the appointment online. The applications are reviewed here before reaching the Pos for processing. There are 77 PSKs which function under the PPP model and controlled by TCS.
- PSLK - Passport Seva Laghu Kendra is also a dimension of the Passport Offices. Their nature of work is similar to PSKs but they cater mainly to the eastern and north-eastern areas. Due to a large number of applications, PSKs are usually burdened. PSLK helps in easing out the load of PSKs. They help ease the burden of PSKs in these regions who handle applications from a large jurisdiction. There are 16 PSLKs which do not come under the PPP model and are operated and controlled by the government.
- PO/RPO - Passport Offices/Regional Passport Offices are responsible for carrying out the back end passport services and processes. They undertake matters related to issue/deny the issue of/ impound passports. They are responsible for processing the passport applications received from the PSKs and print and send the approved passports to the applicants. They undertake the financial, RTI activities and legal aspect of the passports and also deal with the MEA, state police and state administration. At present, there are 37 passport offices in India.
- Indian Missions Abroad – This body is responsible for issuance of passports outside the country. It encompasses Indian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates.