My Experience with Re-Issue of Passport
Recently I got my son’s Passport Renewed/ Re-Issued and thought that I’ll share my experience. Though the old passport had expired way back in 2011 I wasn’t getting it renewed as, as soon as I thought about getting it done, I was reminded about standing in big long queues and that too early in the mornings for hours at ends and still, the previous time, it took three visits to the passport office for me to get the documents submitted.
When earlier this year in May someone told me that Tata Consultancy Services had taken over the initial process, I was hopeful that things may be different and decided to try my hands on this.
Upon searching on Google I visited the Passport Seva Website
Registration on the Website: Initially I had a little trouble registering a new user but soon got the hang of the website. Registered a new id (in my son’s name). Once I was registered I logged into the website and choose to apply for a new passport. The instructions and menu’s in the website are self explanatory.
DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FOR A NEW PASSPORT, EDIT & UPLOAD XML File: Upon going to the section of APPLY FOR A NEW PASSPORT I downloaded the Application File (PDF) from the site itself which has to be saved on your local machine and then data has to be entered in this PDF file itself. Once the data was entered, upon saving it, a XML file is generated. This file has to be then uploaded to the web portal itself.
PAYMENT & GETTING AN APPOINTMENT: Once the xml file was submitted successfully I was issued a RECEIPT for the same. Thereafter one has to make the Payment Fees for issue of the passport which in my case was Rs.1000 + Service Tax. And then an Appointment needs to be taken for submitting the originals and the rest of the formalities.
I was given an appointment for a date which was a good 25-30 days from the day of the submission of the documents. Perhaps it was due to the rush in the holiday season, nevermind I was in no hurry.
NOTE: though I made the payment in advance, I observed that some applicants were paying in cash at the venue itself.
DOCUMENTS TO CARRY FOR APPOINTMENT:
There is a document checklist on the Web Portal itself where the applicant can choose what kind of a service he/ she is availing for example Fresh Issue/ Re-Issue/ Re-Issue within 3 years after 3 years of expiry and so on. Once this is selected correctly the web portal will give you a set of documents which you need to carry in original for the verification on the date of the appointment.
In my Son’s case it was
1. OLD PASSPORT IN ORIGINAL (this was verified, cancelled and returned)
2. ANNEXURE-H (Required in original in case of Minors with signature of both mother and father)
4. Self Attested photocopies of Mother’s and Father’s Passport
THE D-DAY. VISIT TO THE PASSPORT OFFICE: So on the appointed date I visited the Passport Office. After wasting a good 2 hours & going through 2 different verification processes I was informed that the Applicant needs to be present in person.
As my son was in school I had the option either to drop this and reapply later OR to pick him up from school and rush back to the passport office before the close of public dealing hours which was 1PM.
If I choose the former then I would have to let go of the thousand bucks and go over this hassle all over again. So I decided I would try to get it done today itself. As it was already close to 1130AM and the office closed at 1PM I spoke to the supervisor there, explained the situation. She agreed to let me in by 2PM. Reached school in a quarter of an hour and again I had to meet the supervisor at the school and explain the situation and she too, kindly agreed. All the while from the school back to the passport office my eye was constantly on the clock and we made it barely just in time around 5 minutes to 2 PM.
The forms were submitted and the entire process was completed with clockwork precision. I took some notes that day itself. Sharing them below.
Passport Renewal Process – My Experience
Everything was done online including the payment.
The process of taking the appointment was a little troublesome but rest everything was quite smooth.
Upon entering the office one has to take a Token No which is allotted from one of the four counters in the entrance hall. There is a photocopy machine here as well (Re.1 per print) and yes they give you the change back 😀
As the morning token had expired I had to taken a token again. There is a number on this token something like N38/W40 etc. This is the number which is flashed on the LCD Screens.
Then first we went to A8 series counter where the signature of the applicant was taken along with fingerprints and photograph. Also I was made to sign some documents for canceling the old passport.
Then we went to Counter B1. (This took a lot of time as lunch time had just ended and the no of applicants was huge. But thanks to the excellent waiting hall facilities we had some decent coffee and patties.)
When our number came the executive told me that the address of the wife was pre marriage and it needs to be changed. Noted down the details and promised that I’ll apply for the name and address change soon.
Then again after some waiting in the main hall we went to Counter C1.
At this counter the officer was not accommodating and refused to accept the forms due to the difference in the address of the mother and the father.
He directed me to the APO Assistant Passport Officer. This person I believe was the senior most officer in the entire office. We had to wait for at least 30-40 mins before our turn came.
We entered his office he again gave me a lecture that it’s been 10 years since the marriage and we should have done this long back, etc etc.
I told him that we’ll get it done at the earliest and he made me write on the application form itself that we’ll definitely get it done within 60days from today.
Once again the waiting game started for counter C and the number came on counter C1, same as earlier. This time though, it took only a short while for the procedure.
Then I was told that I would most likely get the Passport within 30 days but I should make sure that I apply for the name change at the earliest.
Upon exiting, there’s a last counter where one is given the acknowledgement for the submitted application.
I also filled up the form for feedback.
Persons at the Entrance Hall Counters and Counter A series are all TCS employees.
Their services are quite good and efficient.
Toilets are also very clean.
Waiting all is clean, squawky, and with Big LCD screens so that one knows when the number is coming and/ or how long the wait will be.
The employees at counter series B & C including the APO are GOI employees.
I ain’t prejudice but one can make this out from the clothes they’re wearing and their altitude, especially the way they move about doing their work.
I entered the office at 11am & exited at 430pm. This includes 2 hours that I spent when I went to pick up my son from school.
It was raining heavily and I got completely drenched by the time I reached my car.
Parking is free and easily available.
Self Attested Photocopies of Father’s Mother’s & Rajvansh’s Passport were required.
Original’s were also verified.
The Print of the ‘Passport Application Form’ were not required (I’d taken them along)
Annexure H was also submitted in original.
Print of Payment Receipt & Date of Appointment Letter
“Just returned. It took almost the whole day.
Forms submitted and I should say that the quality of service has increased dramatically. One doesn’t even get he feeling of being in a government office. The 1st and 2nd level of staff is FROM TCS and the 3rd and 4th are of GOI. The best part is that they have well stocked Canteen, Clean Loos, Photocopying facilities, and on top the entire information being displayed on LCD’s. So no standing in lines. When ones number is displayed, just walk to the counter and get your work done.
Looks like India has started TO Shine, in some parts.
Also I didn’t mention that all he documents we submitted 3 weeks ago online and even the payment transferred by Credit Card. So only those people who’ve been granted appointment for a particular day can come and get their work done. No unnecessary rush of people.”
10th Jun’13: Application Submitted
02nd Jul’13: Appointment 1. This was cancelled and post-phoned.
24th Jul’13: Appointment 2. All the above formalities were completed on this day.
25th Jul’13: Email recd for Initiation of Police Verification
28th Jul’13: I don’t remember exactly but the police verification was completed on 27th or 28th of July
05th Jul’13: Passport Delivered at Home by Speed Post
In hindsight it was a great experience and now I would never shy for renewal and/ or re-issue of the passports. Lets hope other government departments also learn and implement changes like these to make the life of the population easier.
Enclosing some pictures of the passport office to took while I was there