Applying for a Passport has become a very easy process in India nowadays. The entire application process, including making the payment and scheduling the appointment, has been driven online. Not to mention that self-attestation of documents has ensured that applicants no longer have to run from pillar to post to get their documents notarized.
The following is the procedure to apply for a Passport online:
1. First-time users need to register at http://passportindia.gov.in/. On registering, you will receive an email with the login details on the email ID provided by you. Use those details to log in the first time, after which you will need to change your password.
2. After logging in, you will see all the relevant options on the left panel. You can apply for a fresh passport or a reissue, and do so under either Normal or Tatkal category. You can also either apply via an online form directly on the website, or download a PDF form which you can fill offline and then upload on the portal later.
NOTE: If filling the form online, you can also save your application midway and resume filling it later.
3. You can see the list of documents required for your Passport application via the Document Advisor link. In certain cases, some annexures may need to be filled and submitted along with the application form. The same will be listed in the Document Advisor, and you can download the annexures here: http://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/online/annexureAffidavit
NOTE: For minors below 5 years of age, you need to carry a passport size photo of the child. For others, the photo will be taken in the Passport office itself.
4. Once the application is submitted, you can proceed to schedule an appointment with the Passport office. You can choose the Passport office and time of appointment as per your convenience, from the available options.
5. Once you select the appointment slot, you will then be asked to make the applicable payment online via credit/debit card or net banking. The payment amount will differ based on whether the application is made under Normal or Tatkal category, with the latter naturally being more expensive. You can also opt for SMS tracking where you will get SMSes at each stage of the passport preparation till dispatch.
NOTE: For certain categories of applicants, such as senior citizens, minors below 3 years of age, differently-abled persons, etc. there is no need to make the online payment or take an appointment. You can just walk in to the Passport office of your choice between 9.30 and 11 AM within three days of submitting the application online. For details, refer http://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/pdf/Advisory.pdf
6. Once the payment is made, you can take a print-out of the online application which will contain the Application Reference Number (ARN). You must carry this without fail when you visit the Passport office on the appointment date, along with self-attested copies of documents specified as well as necessary Annexures. You must also carry the originals of all the documents without fail.
7. At the Passport office, you will have to go through a series of counters where the following steps will happen:
- First, your application form (ARN) will be scrutinized and the copies of documents brought by you will be verified (to ensure nothing is missing) and all the documents will be put in a file and given back to you. The file will have a token number written on it. If any documents are missing, you will be asked to go back from here itself and return on another day with the missing documents (but this time you can walk-in and don’t need to take a fresh appointment).
- After this, you will have to go to a second counter where your application particulars will be verified with the details given in the document copies. You can update or edit some details here, if required (e.g. address). The documents will also be scanned and uploaded to the system. Any balance payment, if applicable, can also be made here.
- At the third counter, your original documents will be verified to ensure they are in order.
- At the fourth counter, your file will be collected and you will be given an acknowledgement. With this, the application process is complete.
8. After this, you will need to wait for the Police verification process to complete, if applicable for your case. Fresh passport for minors and renewal of Passport no longer requires a Police verification. Many city Police departments provide an online tracking facility for the Police verification status.
If there are no issues with the Police verification, your Passport will be sent to you via Speed Post within the stipulated time. Remember to keep the acknowledgement safely till the Passport is received.
Tracking the status of your application
If you opted for SMS tracking, you will be kept informed of the status of your passport application at each step. If not, you can track the application online on the Passport Seva website itself by logging in, going to “View submitted/saved applications” and clicking on “View status”.