Going abroad for the first time can be one of the most exciting and intimidating experiences of life. Shortlist the place, designs the itinerary, choose the experiences, apply for a new passport online if you don’t have one, and decide the budget – it all isn’t an easy task.
But one essential pocket item that is a necessity and can put a full stop to your wanderlust is - a passport.
Why should you even have a passport?
While you may think,” I am not planning an overseas trip right now, why do I need to apply for a new passport online?” The answer is – we all do.
A passport is not just a travel document, but also one of the most reliable forms of identification. It is a government certified proof of your identity and nationality and is used for getting other essential documents like Aadhar Card.
Also, everything in life isn’t planned. Your friend may decide to throw their bachelor party in Vegas or let’s be realistic - Thailand or you may get a promotion and have to visit Singapore for your next work trip or your parents decide to give you a solo trip to Bali as your 21st birthday gift ok enough with the dreaming the gist is – it’s always best to have your passport ready.
How to apply for a new passport online?
A decade ago, the passport application process used to be tedious and daunting. But times have changed and like everything else, the passport application process has also been digitized. The Ministry of External Affairs launched the Passport Seva Project in 2010. It requires all passport applications whether fresh or renewal to be submitted online.
Essential documents – If you want to apply for a new passport for the first time, here are some of the essential documents you will need –
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Step 1 – REGISTRATION
Visit the Passport Seva website and register by creating a new account. The registration process is simple – all you need is to create a simple login Id, choose a password, fill in the required details and enter a captcha code.
Step 2 – CHOOSE THE PASSPORT TYPE
Once you are registered, go to the passport application page and you will see the following options -
Step 3 – APPLICATION FORM
The application form can either be downloaded or filled online or acquired at various post offices and passport offices.
It is advisable to either download the form or fill it online as it will save time spent waiting in long office queues.
It is advisable to download the form and fill it at your own pace and then upload it back online. Just ensure you fill in the details neatly and do not fold or smudge the form.
You can also straight away fill in the form online; just make sure you have a fast and uninterrupted internet connection.
Step 4 – PASSPORT FEE AND APPOINTMENT BOOKING
Once your form is submitted, go to the application page to schedule an appointment. The fee of a regular passport depends on the number of pages chosen - 36 or 60 and the service requested - Tatkal or regular.
The fee for a regular 36-page passport of an adult is INR 1500.
You can pay the passport fees by using –
It is advisable to pay through an internet getaway as it will allow you to book an appointment right away. If you choose to pay through a challan you will need to take one issued by an SBI branch, wait for 2 days until the bank verifies the application reference number and then book an appointment.
Step 5 – RE-CHECK THE DETAILS AND PRINT
Once the payment has been processed you will be issued an appointment number and an appointment confirmation.
On the bottom of the page, there will be an option – PRINT APPLICATION RECEIPT. Before you click that option and print the receipt make sure you recheck all the filled-in details carefully.
Once completed, click on the print option and you will get the passport application receipt which will include your appointment details.
You will also get an SMS with your appointment details which are acceptable proof of a passport application appointment.
Try and not miss your appointment date and if due to unforeseen circumstances you have to, make sure you reschedule the appointment online beforehand. You can only reschedule/cancel the appointment twice a year, so make the decision wisely.
STEP 6 – REACH THE PASSPORT SEVA KENDRA
Try and reach the assigned Passport Seva Kendra/ Regional Passport Office a little ahead of your appointment time. Once you reach, you will be issued a token. If you reach after your passport appointment time you may not be issued a token and you will have to redo the process of applying for a new passport online all over again.
Note – Applicants will have to enter the PSK office alone with the only exceptions made for those with disabilities, minors, illiterate and senior citizens.
Make sure you carry all the essential documents and self-attested copies. Once the documents are processed you will be issued an acknowledgment receipt.
Step 7 – POLICE VERIFICATION
About 4-5 days after you get your passport acknowledgment receipt, you will be either summoned to your nearest police station or a police officer will visit your house for police certification verification.
Once the verification is complete, the documents will be processed. It takes about 25- 30 days for a passport to be issued after the verification.
You can track the status of your passport.
Once you get your new passport, Rejoice!! You are a free bird, my friend.
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Read more stories: All You Need To Know About The Indian Passport