The Indian Passport is an important document, which is issued by the Indian Government to certify that the passport holder is a citizen of India by birth or naturalization. Passports Act of 1967 mandates the rules and regulations related to it. The Consular Passport and Visa (CPV) Division of the External Affairs Ministry is the central passport organization. It is responsible for issuing Indian passport. Passports are issued across various locations throughout the country. Additionally, there are 162 diplomatic missions overseas, mostly consulates, High Commissions and Embassies, where Indian Passport is issued.
The Indian passport is an officially-issued document which permits the passport holder to travel to foreign countries. This highly important document also confirms that the person is indeed a citizen of India. It also confirms the passport holder’s identity.
The Importance and Necessity of a Passport
A passport, being a government-issued document, certifies the one's identity and citizenship. It is mandatory for traveling to a foreign country as it is the only acceptable form of identification. It is a necessary document for leaving one's own country and stepping into another.
New Passport Application Rules In India
The MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) has made some new rules pertaining to Birth proof (DOB) for passport applications. It says that an individual can apply for a passport with various types of documents as DOB proof. The MEA has reviewed the existing rules to help an individual in applying for a passport easily.
Before announcing these new rules, any applicant born after 26/01/1989 was obligated to provide his/her Birth Certificate as the proof of DOB. The new rules say that any of the following documents can be accepted as proof of DOB:
Birth certificate - issued either by the municipal corporation or by the registrar of births and deaths.
Transfer certificate or School leaving or Matriculation certificate - issued by the school last attended.
PAN card - issued by Income Tax Department.
Aadhaar card or E-Aadhaar - issued by UIDAI.
Driving license - issued by an RTO (Regional Transport Department).
Voter ID or Election Photo Identity Card - issued by the Election Commission of India.
A Policy Bond - issued by the Public Life Insurance firms.
Service record extract or Pay Pension Order that has DOB mentioned on it (only applicable for government employees).
The Women and Child Ministry has influenced the MEA to make various changes to the passport rules. Here are some of the interesting rules :
An applicant has to provide the name of only one parent instead of both. Therefore, children of single parents can now apply for passports.
The Passport Rule of 1980 asked for 15 annexes which has been brought down to 9. Few of them have been discarded as they were unnecessary; some of them have been merged to simplify the process.
The self-declaration can now be provided on a plain paper, without attestation.
Mentioning the name of the spouse or stating if a person is married, widowed or divorced is no longer mandatory.
Orphaned children can apply for passports with either a declaration from the head of the orphanage or from a child care home which confirms the applicant's date of birth.
A domestically adopted individual can confirm the adoption through declaration on a plain paper instead of providing the registered adoption deed.
Additionally, the government is setting up 'Point of Sale' (POS) machines at various PSKs. This would facilitate various payments and eliminate the need for cash transactions for services like tatkal passports. The MEA has also introduced various methods of diminishing the time to process passport applications. Moreover, applying for a passport by using Aadhaar expedites the entire process.
Types of Indian Passports
As per the Passport Act of 1967, the Indian Government issues the following three types of passports:.
Type P or Ordinary passport: ‘P’ refers to ‘Personal.’ These are issued to ordinary individuals for general travel purposes, such as holiday or business.
Type S or Official passport: ‘S’ refers to ‘Service.’ These are issued to people traveling abroad on official or government work.
Type D or Diplomatic passport: ‘D’ refers to ‘Diplomat.’ These are issued to diplomats, who always travel on official government work or to those Government officials who posted abroad.
Apart from these, some passport offices can issue regular Indo-Sri Lankan and Indo-Bangladesh passports to Indian citizens living in Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the North-Eastern states. These passports are only valid for travel to Sri Lanka or Bangladesh and cannot be used for visiting any other country.
What Does the Indian Passport Look Like?
The Indian passports currently come with a deep blue-black cover. The prints on the passport cover are golden in color. The Indian emblem is printed at the center of the front cover. The word ‘Passport’ is inscribed on top of the emblem and ‘Republic of India’ is inscribed below it in Hindi and English. A standard passport contains 36 pages. However, those who travel frequently can apply for a passport that contains 60 pages.
The information provided on the opening page of every Indian Passport are as follows:
Type (S-Service; D-Diplomat; P-Personal);
Date of birth;
Place of birth;
Place of issue;
Date of issue;
Date of expiry;
Photo of the passport holder;
Signature of the passport holder;
The Information page ends with an MRZ or Machine Readable Passport zone.
The information provided on the closing page of every Indian Passport are as follows:
Name of father or the legal guardian;
Name of mother;
Name of spouse;
Old passport number with date and place of issue (if applicable);
Documents Required for Passport Application
An applicant must submit the following documents to obtain an Indian passport:
Income tax assessment order
Gas connection proof
Registered rent agreement
Voter ID card
Telephone bill (mobile or landline)
Copy of spouse’s passport (the applicant’s current address should match the one mentioned in the spouse’s passport)
Passbook of an active bank account which contains the applicant’s photograph
Letter from reputed employer
Copy of parent’s passport (for minor applicants)
Proof of date of birth
Municipal birth certificate
Documentary proof for non-ECR categories (if applicable)
Indian passport application is an online process. One must visit www.passportindia.gov.in by creating a profile and then fill in the application form and make payment to get an appointment or time slot to visit the PSK for further procedures.
While applying for the passport, applicants must specify the kind of application - fresh or reissue and normal or tatkal. One must also specify the type of passport being applied for - regular, diplomatic or official. Users can also apply for Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) and Identity Certificate through the same website. Next, the applicant must fill the lengthy form - it can either be filled and submitted online or be downloaded, filled and uploaded to the website. All saved applications can be viewed on the site. The website also provides exhaustive information on the documents required, a fee calculator and an estimated availability of date and time slots for seeking an appointment with the preferred PSK. The fee can be paid online. After paying the fee, the applicant will be given the opportunity to book a slot with the concerned PSK. An application receipt is generated after the entire process.
For special applicants, such as minors, handicapped and senior citizens, the applications can be directly submitted at PSKs without prior appointments. These are called walk-ins. Applications for such cases must also be submitted online to receive an ARN.
New Passport Application System in India
The Union Cabinet approved a new system for issuing a passport in 2007 under the Passport Seva Project. As per this project, all the activities associated with the issuance of passports, the dispatch of passports, online linking of passports with the police department for verification as well as the centralized passport printing will be managed by the system. This new system has made the process very quick and hassle-free. 77 Passport Seva Kendras are working across the country process these applications.
The Passport Act of 1967 permits the issuance of other travel documents such as:
Certificate of Identity
Fee Structure for Indian Passport
Renewal or fresh passport with 10 years validity
36 pages (regular size)
60 pages (jumbo size)
Renewal or First time application under with ‘tatkal’ service with 10 years validity
36 pages (regular size)
60 pages (jumbo size)
New passport for minors with validity for 5 years
Replacement of passport in case of loss, theft or damage
36 pages (regular size)
60 pages (jumbo size)
Taking an Appointment for Passport
While applying for a passport in India, the applicant must visit a Regional Passport Office for the verification of the information that he/she has submitted in the application form. The applicant must first make an appointment by following these steps:
1: Login To the Passport Seva portal using the Login ID and password.
2: Click on 'Apply for Fresh /reissue passport.'
3: Fill and submit the form.
4: Go to 'View Saved/Submitted Applications' screen and click on 'Pay and Schedule Appointment' link
This will redirect you to a payment page. Once you have successfully paid the required fees, you will be redirected to a page where you can book a date and time slot with the preferred PSK.
The External Affairs Ministry introduced a new set of regulations for issuing a passport which has streamlined the entire process. A few important things must be considered before applying for a passport.
Applicants need to submit the copies and produce the originals of some of the following documents:
Election Photo Identity Card
Public Life Insurance Company issued policy bonds
Aadhaar Card or E-Aadhaar
Pay pension order
Service record (only for Government Employees)
Transfer certificate or School leaving or Matriculation certificate
It is not mandatory to enter the name of the spouse on the passport application form.Thus, separated or divorced individuals need not go through any hassle.
The name of either parent is sufficient for a passport application.
The passport application requires 9 annexures. It was 15 earlier, but some of them have been merged, and Annexes A, C, D, E, J and K have been eliminated.
All annexures provided by the applicant in self-declaration must be on plain paper. Attestation or swearing by executive magistrates is not required.
For children born out of wedlock, the applicant must submit Annexure G while making the application.
The unmarried applicants are not required to submit Annexure K or marriage certificate.
It is not mandatory to submit the registered adoption deed for domestically adopted kids.
In the case of orphans, where neither parent is available, a letter of authorization from the orphanage can be submitted.
Sanyasis and Sadhus can mention the name of their spiritual Gurus as their parent.
Passport Application Form Filling Guidelines
A person looking to apply for a passport must know where to find the form and how to fill it. The form might seem initially confusing but our guidelines can ease out all confusions. The form is available online and must be filled and submitted online. Click here to know more and get a detailed guideline on filling up the passport application form.
Tracking Passport Status
After submitting an application, it is mandatory that you keep a tab on what happened to the application. Passport applications can be tracked very easily. Tracking the application status will keep you updated and inform you if your application has been processed or not. As the application enters the system, it passes through various statuses, such as 'application submitted', 'under review', 'printed', 'dispatched,' etc. The website, mobile application and SMS can help in tracking the passport application status. Click here to how to track your passport applications status.
Procedure for Police Verification of Passport
After applying for a passport, Police Verification is mandatory. The procedure is to be done for both normal and tatkal types of application. The issuances of the passport hinges on this verification. One must know how the Police Verification Process and although it is a simple process, it might require some effort from the applicant's end in order to speed up the process. Click here to know more about the way a police verifications work and to find other relevant information.
How to Apply for Student Passport
The first thing that a student planning to pursue education outside India needs is a passport. The process of applying for a student passport is almost the same as applying for a regular passport. It includes an interview with the PSK and a police verification. However, it might require certain specific documents. Know about the procedure for applying passport for students by clicking here.
Processing of Passport Applications At PSK
After submitting the application online and paying the fee, an applicant has to visit the Passport Seva Kendra to wrap up the application process. The PSK is responsible for the verification of documents and the final approval. Click here to know more about the processing of passport applications at PSKs.
Checking ECR/ECNR Passport Status
All passports contain 'ECR' (Emigration Check Required) or 'ECNR' (Emigration Check Not Required) status mentioned on it. It denotes whether the passport holder requires emigration clearance for traveling to a few specific countries as listed by the Indian Government. This information is printed on the second page of the passport. Click here to know more about ECR/ECNR Passport Status.
Changing The Address In Passport
It is necessary for an individual to update their address on the passport in case of relocation or change in address. However, the process of updating the address requires applying for re-issue of the passport. The facility is available online and more information on changing the address in the passport can be found here.
Passport For Government Employees
Government Employees seeking a passport must first send ‘’Prior Intimation Letter’’ to their controlling authority prior to applying for the passport. This will speed up the whole application process. The remaining process is the same as that of regular candidates. Click here to get more relevant information on applying for a passport for government employees.
Features of the New Indian Passport
The Indian passport comes with several features which are as listed below:
Since November 25, 2015, all the handwritten Indian Passports became invalid. The new Indian Passports have all the information printed on its second page.
The new passports have several security features. The passport holder's photograph picture is printed on the document’s second page.
Emigration check is required for all those who hold ECR passports. This helps in preventing the exploitation of the less educated and unskilled workers of Indian origin.
Indians who have at least the matriculation certificate, or who at least hold diplomas from SCVT or NVCT can avail ECNR passports.
The Languages printed on the passport are Hindi and English.
Complexities in Passport Application in India
Certain complex cases cannot be handled by the officers at a PSK and are forwarded to the regional passport office. The following qualify as complex cases if:
An applicant who has been convicted for felony by any foreign or Indian court.
An applicant with an ongoing criminal case at an Indian criminal court.
An applicant with a sentence of imprisonment ordered by a court in India due to a criminal offense within five years from the date of application.
An applicant has a summon or warrant to appear or an Indian court has issued an arrest warrant currently.
An applicant who is prohibited from departing the country by an Indian court.
An applicant is repatriated and hasn't made the reimbursement for the incurred expenditure.
An applicant who has deported to India.
Minor children from Nagaland and Jammu & Kashmir.
An applicant who has changed his/her name due to marriage.
An applicant with either parent being of a different nationality.
Cases in which the applicant's photo ID has been compromised.
Cases in which there is a substantial change in the photo ID of an applicant from the past proofs.
Reissuance of an SVP or Short Validity Passport.
An applicant whose current address is not in India.
Applications that have been denied earlier.
An applicant whose passport has been revoked or impounded earlier.
The applicant is seeking or has already been given political asylum by a foreign country.
Passport Issuing Authorities and Collection Centers in India
Here is a list of various authorities who are involved in passport issuance:
MEA - The Ministry of External Affairs. It is a government body which regulates everything related to passports. Only 1 MEA is present in India.
CPV - The Consular Passport and Visa. It is the division of MEA which works for the issuance of passports. The applications for Official and Diplomatic passports are processed by the CPV at Patiala House, New Delhi.
PO or RPO - Passport Offices or Regional Passport Offices. The POs handle the back-end processes and services. They exercise their authority over PSKs. POs or RPOs process the applications, print them and dispatch approved passports. There are 37 passport offices in the country.
PSK - Passport Seva Kendras. These are extensions of POs. The PSKs handle the front-end processes and services. It is a physical space where applicants physically present themselves after they get the online appointment. All required documents are submitted and verified here, photographs are clicked and the applications are reviewed before they are passed on to the Passport Office for processing. 77 PSKs function in the country.
PSLK - Passport Seva Laghu Kendras. These are the extensions of POs providing services similar to that of PSKs. These were set up to cover eastern and north-eastern areas to ease the burden of PSKs. 16 PSLKs currently function in India.
DPC, CSC, SPC - District Passport Cells, Citizen Service Centers and Speed Post Centers. These bodies can process applications for fresh passports but cannot re-issue passports or handle tatkal or other special cases.
Indian Missions Abroad - 180 Indian Mission / Posts for are available abroad to enable the issuance of passports outside India. These are mostly Indian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates.