The police verification is an important stage of security measures in the process of issuing or obtaining passports in India. The police verification for a passport can sometimes be done before or after the issuance of the passport, depending upon a few factors. Certain special cases do not require police verification. Read on to get more clarity on all the aspects and lesser known details of police verification for the passport.
There are three basic modes of police verification:
Before issuance or Pre Police Verification.
After issuance or Post Police Verification.
No Police Verification.
As the names suggest, the only difference between the first two is that the police visit the residence of the applicant to verify the identity before the passport is issued and dispatched in the first case, and after it in the second case.
The police verification, in most cases, happens after the submission of all required documents and annexures by the applicant but before the application has been approved.
Once someone applies for a passport, the passport office informs the relevant police station the identity and address details of the applicant to initiate the police verification process. A police officer is assigned the job of locating the address of the applicant, visiting the place and ensuring that the concerned applicant indeed resides in that address. The police officer also verifies the age and other relevant personal information of the applicant.
If the applicant is present at the address and accounted for, and if all the details are proven to be accurate, the police officer confirms the same with the police station. The police station relays this information to the passport office. The passport office then issues the passport and dispatches it to the applicant's given address.
Police verification is commonly done during the pre-passport issuance stage. However, in some cases, the passport office decides that the police verification can be done after the passport issuance.
This is common in the case of government or PSU employees /who submit a NOC or “No Objection Certificate” through Annexure “M.” Thus, such applicants have their passport issued prior to the police verification process.
Another example of this is the passport applications for minor children, done by his/her parents, provided that both of them are valid passport holders, and reside in the same address.
Since the police verification was already done for the parents when had they applied for their passports, the passport office allows them the benefit of doubt. It issues the passport first and then intimates the police verification team.
The police verification process has recently been taken to an online platform, and it is already working. Earlier, the police officers had to visit the applicant's home for verification. The submission of all the forms and documents would take a long time to be processed. However, these days, two constables in each police station have been equipped with a tablet. They are trained to collect all the information and documents online using the tablets. This optimizes the process to a huge extent. The police can attend to their higher priorities such as maintaining law and order in the area without slowing down the verification process. The verification is now possible to be completed in 10 days.
The Government aims to deliver passports quickly so that it is convenient for the citizens. Thus the police verification can take place after the passport has been issued, provided that the required documents are submitted during the application. The Government is striving to liberalize the police verification process for the passport.
MEA mandates that all applicants to furnish their Aadhaar cards, Voter ID Card, and PAN cards will get their passports issued faster, without paying any additional fees or charges.
The MEA also states that once the Aadhaar number of the applicant is verified online, the passport will be issued before conducting the police verification.
The mPassport Police application that has been launched recently by the MEA facilitates quick submission of the verification report. This application can facilitate field level verification to capture the report and feed them into the system digitally. It promises to reduce paperwork to a huge extent. It dismisses the need for downloading and printing the application and promises to digitize the entire process.
There are a few rare cases in which the Passport Office decides that Police Verification is not required at all.
Employees of government or statutory bodies and PSUs, who submit the “identity certificate” (in addition to the usual required documents) through annexure “b” receive their passport without going through the police verification process.
Applicants with official or diplomatic passports also do not require police verification while applying for an ordinary passport, provided that they submit the above-mentioned identity certificate through annexure “b.”
During the police verification process, the police issue and update different statuses marking their verification process.
Here are the types of verification statuses:
Clear - It indicates that the police have cleared the application as they haven't found any cause for concern. The applicant has a clean record with no pending criminal cases against him/her. It means that all information provided by the applicant have been proven to be true and correct.
Adverse - It indicates that the police, during their verification, have found certain inconsistencies in the information provided by the applicant. This usually results in the passport being withheld or canceled. These inconsistencies might refer to some incorrect or false information in their application or the discovery of the fact that criminal cases have been filed against the applicant which are pending in a court of law.
Incomplete - It indicates that during the verification process, the police have found the documents submitted by the applicant are incomplete, halting the process halfway. This could also be because the police station did not fill in the verification report correctly. Additionally, if the applicant has not stayed at his/her current residence for a long time and the verification from previous known addresses have not been possible, the police may label the verification as incomplete due to lack of sufficient information.
Once the police verification is done, a report is prepared, on the basis of which the passport application can be either canceled or approved. If the passport is not approved for an ‘Adverse’ or “Incomplete’ remark, the applicant can approach the police station which issued the verification report, and investigate into it.
In case the 'adverse' status of police verification has delayed the issuance of passport, the following might have happened:
A false address is provided: If the police verification report determines that the applicant does not actually live in the address that has been submitted in the application, the report will show an “adverse” status.
It might have been that the police officer visited for verification at a time when the applicant was temporarily unavailable. Such cases can be resolved by writing to the RPO with the file number and requesting for a re-verification.
Unresolved criminal cases: In case there are pending or unresolved criminal cases against the applicant, neither the police station nor the passport office can do anything to approve the passport until the case is resolved in court. Alternatively, the applicant can approach the court to obtain a court order allowing a temporary short-term passport.
If the criminal case has already been resolved, but the police verification reports the “adverse” status, the applicant can show the copy of the court order to the RPO to initiate a re-verification request.
If the issuance of the passport is already delayed, the applicant may contact the RPO with the relevant file number. It will give access to the information as to why was it delayed, or why has the process been held up. When the problem is detected, the applicant should contact the concerned authority to get the passport issued quicker.
If the reason for the delay in the issuance of the passport is a Police Verification report that says “Incomplete”, it might be due to one of the following reasons:
The applicant is residing at the current residence for less than a year.
Clearance has to be obtained from every address where the applicant has lived in the last one year. If the evidence indicates that the applicant has lived at the current residence for less than one year, and a clearance from the previous addresses cannot be obtained, the Police Verification report might be affected.
The police station has not filled out the report properly.
If the passport office gets an incomplete or inadequately filled report from the police station, it sends the report back to the police station concerned for re-filing or completion. In this case, the police department should be contacted in order to find out the status.
Incomplete documents collected: This happens if the Police Verification report carries a note that the officer responsible for the verification has not collected enough documents to establish that the applicant actually lives at the claimed residential address. If documents that prove the period of one's stay at a particular residence are not furnished, the report may be incomplete.
Filling up the form and attending the interview doesn't guarantee the issuance of the passport. Usually, the police verification delays the entire process. However, the new passport rules facilitate individuals to procure their passports within a much lesser amount of time and no hassle.
Applicants who submit their accurately filled out application form with the necessary documents, such as Aadhaar card, PAN card, Voter ID card, along with an affidavit of no criminal case, can receive their passport within a week. Police verification will be done later.
This new rule was the government’s decision to revise and liberalize the police verification process for the issue of passport. Earlier, the verification process for passport took up to 49 days, which was reduced to 42, then 35 and was ultimately brought down to 21 within a year. India is the third in the growth of the number of passport holders, closely following China and the United States of America.
Before the Passport Seva Kendras were introduced, the process of procuring a passport was quite complicated and burdensome. Police verification was always a very important aspect of getting a passport and it still is. Although the process has somewhat improved over time, the basic principle has remained more or less the same. The process confirms the identity and citizenship of the applicant and ensures that they do not have criminal records. PSKs have economized the process of issuing passports in a convenient and faster way.
If applicants provide copies of their Aadhaar card, Voter ID and PAN card, they will receive the passport within a week instead of a month. An affidavit (Annexure -I) must also be provided. The MEA has also launched an application called ‘mPassport Police Application.’ It ensures quick submission of police verification documents. Additionally, a five-day appointment window is available for passport applications to choose the date of appointment.
The passport office also decides whether police verification is required or not. An application submitted for a reissue of an expired passport, in which the applicant’s name, address and personal details have not changed has the facility of a post police verification.
However, if such an application contains a change in any information, the Passport Office will require a pre-Police Verification to ensure that the applicant’s address has actually changed and the applicant does not reside in the old address.
The records of the Passport Office and the availability of resources to verify the information play a major role in deciding these. The passport office takes the final call in deciding the type of police verification (“pre,” “post,” or “no”) required for different applications, depending on the case, the additional documents submitted, the additional annexures submitted, etc.