A passport is a government-issued official document that allows the holder to travel overseas. Moreover, it serves as proof of identity and confirms that the holder is indeed a citizen of the issuing country.
In India, the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) is responsible for issuing passports. It is a tedious and meticulous procedure, and stringent checks are conducted on the applicants during the verification. The applications are screened at multiple levels. There are document checks and police verification before the passport is granted to the applicant.
Applying for a passport was earlier a long drawn out procedure since the police verification had to be conducted before the passport could be issued. However, the Ministry for External Affairs has issued a notification recently which states that the police verification procedure could be conducted after the passport is issued, provided that the applicant meets certain criteria.
For availing this facility, all applicants must compulsorily submit the following documents:
This convenient move is applicable only to applicants who are applying for a fresh passport.
Earlier, this facility was available for tatkal passport applications but has now been extended to all fresh issue passports applications as well. This new rule promises to reduce the passport application processing time, as the police verification procedure would earlier take up a lot of time owing to the time-consuming nature of the checks being conducted.
This rule will hopefully speed up the passport issuance rate in certain states like Maharashtra where the police verification process typically takes three weeks to more than a month to complete, resulting in a severe delay and a long wait.
Although many applicants will be rejoicing that the long and annoying waiting period is reduced, people applying for a passport re-issue have to still go through the police verification prior to passport issuance for the time being, since the facility has not yet been extended to passport reissue applications.