A passport is a very important document issued by the government of the holder’s country certifying the holder’s identity and citizenship. It is necessary if an individual wishes to travel to a foreign country as it serves as the only acceptable form of identification. It can also be used as an identity document within the holder’s country or overseas.
There are mainly 3 types of a passport issued in India
- Type P / Ordinary passport– ‘P’ denotes ‘Personal’. These are Ordinary passports issued to ordinary individuals. They are general purpose passports that citizens normally use for travel on holiday or business.
- Type S / Official passport– ‘S’ denotes ‘Service’. These are Official passports issued to people travelling abroad on official government/state work.
- Type D / Diplomatic passport – ‘D’ denotes ‘Diplomat’. These are Diplomatic passports issued to people who always travel on official government work including those posted abroad.
Along with the Women and Child Ministry, MEA has offered some changes to the passport rules.
Some of the interesting rules are:
- An applicant can provide the name of only one parent or legal guardian that allows single parents to apply for passports for their children.
- The total number of annexes has been brought down to 9 from 15 (prescribed in the Passport Rule, 1980)
- An in-country domestically adopted individual can give a declaration on a plain paper confirming the adoption instead of submitting the registered adoption deed.
- Orphaned children can submit a declaration given by the head of the orphanage or child care home that confirms the date of birth of the applicant.
- Seers and mendicants can provide the name of their spiritual guru as their biological parent’s name, however, they are required producing either the Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC), PAN card, or Aadhaar card wherein the name of the guru has been mentioned against the parent’s name section.
- Some of the Annexes have been removed while some of them are merged to ease the process.
- The self-declaration can be provided on a plain paper and no attestations are required.
- The passport application form does not ask for the name of an individual’s spouse if he/she is a divorcee.
There are 7 steps to apply for a passport in India online–
- Register through the Passport Seva Online Portal. (Click on “Register Now” link on the Home Page).
- Login to the Passport Seva Online Portal with the Login Id created in Step 1.
- Click “Apply for Background Verification for GEP” link.
- Fill in the required details in the form and submit.
- Click the “Pay and Schedule Appointment” link on the “View Saved/Submitted Applications” screen to schedule an appointment. Online Payment has been made mandatory for booking appointments at all Passport Seva Kendras/Passport Offices. Online Payment can be made using any one of the following modes: Credit/Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa). Internet Banking (State Bank of India (SBI) and Associate Banks and Other Banks)
- Click the “Print Application Receipt” link to print the application receipt containing Application Reference Number (ARN)/Appointment Number. (Note: Carrying a printout of Application Receipt is no longer required. An SMS with your appointment details is also accepted as proof of appointment during your visit to the Passport Office.)
- Visit the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK)/Regional Passport Office (RPO) where appointment has been booked, along with original documents.