Earlier this month (Sep 2013), we got our son’s passport done at the Bangalore Passport Seva Kendra (on Outer Ring Road). I am jotting down my experience, hoping this might serve as a reference to others in a similar situation. Do note that this is how it worked out for me, your scenario might be different.
This was my situation.
- My son is 8 months old, born Jan 2013.
- He does not have any passport (Fresh issue needed)
- Both my wife (his mother) and I hold valid Indian passports.
- Both of us were present and able to go to the Passport Seva Kendra and none of us objected to having his passport done. This is mostly the case, but in some cases, one parent might not be in town. A few more documents are needed in that case.
- Both our passports have each others name endorsed on the back page under “Spouse Name”.
- We wanted a Tatkal passport because we are expecting to go for a VISA stamping shortly.
- We wanted to submit an online application. I am sure there is a paper process as well, but it was convenient for us to do as much work as possible online.
- The location is Bangalore, but I think most of it will work at other places.
The Passport Websites
There are two passport websites maintained by the government.
No. 2 is the one which is the gateway for online applications and the one you need to use. Do note that this website is under constant development and many of the screenshots might have changed by the time you are reading this !
Creating a login
You need to create a “user id” or “login” for your use. This is mandatory and very useful in the later stages. You simply need to provide an email id and a password. Do note that the email id is used in multiple steps along the way, so do provide an ID that you can check easily.
While there are a number of ways you can choose to submit an application, we chose the e-Form Submission, which is also the current recommendation. This mode is valid for both Tatkal as well as Normal applications. The process is quite simple and if you have filed taxes in India online, you would instantly recognize the pattern.
- You download a PDF form.
- You fill the PDF form with your (applicant’s) details
- You validate the form and generate an XML file by simply clicking on a button at the bottom of the form.
- Save the XML file to a convenient location on your computer.
- Upload the XML form onto the website (after logging in)
You can download the form from the left hand panel. (Over time this might change I am sure !)
You will note that the line in which you have to fill the “House No. and Street Name” will accommodate 42 characters only ! And it is likely that your address might not fit in here. Abbreviate as much as possible and worry not. This will be taken care of at the Passport Seva Kendra.
When you upload the XML, an Application Receipt Number of ARN will be generated. Do note it carefully, it will be required later.
These were the documents required by me.
- Front and back page copy of father’s passport, self attested
- Front and back page copy of mother’s passport, self attested
- Copy of marriage certificate, if parents’ names are not endorsed as “Spouse” in respective passports.
- Copy of birth certificate, attested by one parent
- Print-out of the submitted e-Form or the ARN (Application Receipt Number)
- Annexure H, signed by both parents, in original (keep a copy, but submit the one with original signatures at the PSK)
- Father’s passport
- Mother’s passport
- Birth certificate
Our’s was relatively a very simple and straight forward case because
- Both parents were available for the passport interview
- Both parents had valid passport (with ample time for expiration)
- Both parents had the same address (our current address) on the passport and this was provided as my son’s address too. This vastly reduced hassles around establishing evidence of residence.
Annexure H is a simple signed declaration by both parents which establishes that they are responsible for all fees and they take responsibility of providing correct information about the child. It is a very simple declaration typed and signed on plain paper, no notary stamps or special attestation is needed.
This is how it looked in our case. The Ashoka Pillar insignia was my creative genius to make the document look hip and formal; but it is not needed and probably best avoided.
What is NOT required
- Standard Affidavit or Annexure I is not needed for Minors.
- Verification Certificate for Tatkaal Passports (Annexure “F”) is not needed for minors
- Unlike what’s mentioned on some websites/blogs, there is no need to write an request letter for a Tatkaal or justify the need for a Tatkaal.
Hopefully this simplifies things ! I spent a lot of time on the net researching whether these are needed or not.
This is one of the more difficult exercises if your child is very young (less than a year). I clicked the photo myself, by laying him down on the bed on a large white cloth. I used a D-SLR but a reasonably good camera with sufficient resolution would suffice. Dare I say, one of the newer cell phones too ! After that I took a few candidate photos to Whizz ! and they picked one and did a good job of some post-processing and printing it out. Do note that it might be easier to take your child to a professional shop who know how to take passport photos (e.g ears much be visible, the child should not be smiling, correct angle and perspective etc).
Cute as they are, none of these worked !
Carry a set of photos to the interview, but likely you will need just one.
The Passport Interview
It’s called an interview, but it is essentially going to the PSK and submitting the documents and verifying the originals. The best thing is that you do not need an appointment for minors at the Bangalore PSKs. We just walked in around 10 AM. Also note that, per the same note:
Tatkaal applicants are allowed as walk-in category with effect from 23/05/2013. They can go directly to any of the PSKs, with Application Reference Numbers (ARN), during 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM on any working day.
So, I guess we had a double whammy on our side – minor + Tatkaal ! Note that this is only for some PSKs (including Bangalore) but not necessarily at all PSKs. Do check the website for information about your specific Passport Office.
You should see a drop-down box like this on the webpage from which you can find specific information about your passport office.
Do bring the minor with you.Sai Arcade has a convenient attached parking lot just behind it.This is how it went after we arrived.
- A little bit of explanation to the guard stating that we had come for a minor’s passport and a Tatkaal. The baby was in tow and the guard politely (well, not so politely) pointed us to a queue.
- There was a separate marked queue for minors and senior citizens. One of the TCS Citizen Service Executives asked for our documents, the copies as well as the originals. She made a nice docket out of the copies and promptly returned the originals. Then she printed out a paper token and requested us to go “inside” to counter A – the inner hall ! There is a copier at the PSK so just in case you are short of a copy, it can come quite handy. Re. 1 per copy.
- In the inner hall, there are three banks of Counters: A –> B –> C. To get access to the inner hall, you need the barcoded token from the outer hall and only then will you be let in by the guard through a turnstile. The inner chamber has provisions for water, light snacks and a baby centre for changing, feeding taking care of an infant.
- Counter A: This is where most of the work gets done. This is manned by TCS execs and is quite smooth. The CSE was very polite and went through the originals once again.
- She accepted a photo of the child and scanned it and uploaded it on the system
- She accepted INR 3000 as passport fees in cash (INR 1000 for issuance, INR 2000 for Tatkal). All receipts provided.
- She corrected the address (Which was abbreviated) by copying it from the father’s passport.
- She took my son’s fingerprint which was later affixed on the passport in lieu of a signature.
- She directed us to Counter B
- Counter B: This is manned by an office from the Government. There were no questions asked. We were asked to show the originals – birth certificate and parents passports. We were asked to go to Counter C.
- Counter C: Another govt. official and the same activity as Counter B. I enquired how long it would take and the person gently replied that a Tatkaal would take about 2-3 days.
- We were asked to leave for the day and near the departure gate we were handed over a receipt for the entire transaction.
This was quicker beyond our expectations – it took only an hour from walking into the PSK to walking out !
This was the overall turn of events.
|Monday||Filled in the e-Form ,uploaded the submission and got the ARN|
|Tuesday||Impromptu passport appointment (walk-in)|
|Thursday||Passport was dispatched via Speed Post|
|Friday||Passport was delivered to our residence|
If this blog post helps you (or does not), do leave a note or mention your experience as a comment so that others might benefit. Suggestions and corrections welcome.
In summary, a very pleasant experience in my case. Kudos to the Private-Govt partnership that makes this possible. I hope more people can experience such smooth interaction at government offices. Two thumbs-up !