Remember the number of times, when you wished that you could go back in time to fix that one mistake? Well, this time you can keep those wishes aside and know the possibility of mistake even before you make one.
Applying for a passport might sound tricky, but it has become a much easier process than it used to be. In theory, it just takes 10 easy steps to get your Passport.
We also very well know that a process related to getting an important document can hardly be error-free. But what we forget is that a smooth process, even though rare, isn’t really an impossible task. Especially when you are about to get some hands-on tips from people who have already been through it all. Investing a little time in getting a good view of the process will help you avoid losing a lot of time and effort later, in re-correcting your application.
1) Before you fill the form –
The maximum probability of an error is when you keep getting interrupted while filling your form. It is advisable to take time out & fill it at one go. This would be possible only when you have all your documents in place before you are all set to fill the form. So make sure you have at least one document from whichever sections are applicable to you.
Once all your documents are in place, take a photocopy and self-attest the copies. Scan and save your documents in .pdf format. Currently, only pdf files are supported by the site. Additionally, scan your passport size image too in pdf format.
2) While you fill the form –
Try selecting the “Fill online option”. This will ensure that all your information is as per the requirements. The site won’t let you proceed if your information has errors. Whereas it will be a mess if any of the information filled in your offline form is incorrect. Needless to say, save your data often if you are filling the form online.
3) What is ECR/ ECNR? –
Why this point is here? This is one of the most popular questions asked by people when they are applying for a passport. The fancy sounding acronym simply stands for “Emigration Check Required/Not Required”. If you are a legal citizen and have the required documents to prove it then you will come under ECNR.
4) Before you choose an appointment date –
You may cancel or reschedule your appointment twice. But you won’t get the refund. Once you have filled and submitted the form you need not immediately book an appointment. But once you book it, make sure you will not need to cancel it unless some emergency comes up. Appointment cancelled will mean money lost.
5) Appointment location for people with temporary current address –
In the final process, when you are about to choose an appointment for your document processing, you will be given only limited options in terms of the Passport office. These limited options are usually determined by what you select as your nearest RPO (Regional Passport Office) area. Interestingly your nearest RPOs are assumed to be the ones that are in & around your ‘current address’. In simple words, you will only get to choose a Passport office that is in or around your current address.
The tricky part – chances are that you get an appointment date after you have moved out of your temporary address, i.e. if you are planning to move out in a month or two. The best way to avoid such a situation would be to check the appointment availability date exactly before you fill your forms. This will give you a clearer picture of where you will be, during the time of appointment.
6) Passport Seva SMS Services Enrolment –
You will get this option at the end of your form filling or you may find it on your account’s sidebar. It takes a small amount to get you enrolled but saves a trouble worth thousands. Often people end up going through filing an RTI or another daunting process of enquiry after a long wait without any updates. SMS service by far has been very efficient and a huge relief considering you would like to know what exactly is happening with your file.
7) The Passport Seva Kendra Security –
Once you are done with the online process of applying for a passport, make sure you keep your documents ready in one organized file. It is often an assumption that if you are a little late the PSK Security will be sympathetic enough to let you in. However, there have been cases where appointments have been cancelled for someone who was just 5 minutes late. You would rather reach early and wait than take the risk of making the PSK Security wait. It has been clearly mentioned that the PSK security reserves the right to refuse entry if you report after your appointment time.
We are almost done here. Just a quick note before you proceed – While we have tried to cover the most important points here, we encourage you to share your experience with us too! Nothing would make us happier than your comments helping someone who might be in need of an answer. Meanwhile, here is the link to the passport application site.