November 30, 2013

Indian Passport Renewal (Tatkal) in Bangalore



Tatkal v/s Ordinary

There are two methods to renew passport. Tatkal and ordinary. According to the official statement, if you choose tatkal, then you can expect to get your passport within 10 days and for ordinary it will take about 3-4 weeks.

Disclaimers

Couple of disclaimers before we start:-
  • As with government offices in India and state of an atom, your experiences may vary.
  • I am documenting the steps that worked for me as of December 2013. It is possible that rules might have changed.
  • I renewed it in Bangalore (SAI Arcade, Opposite To Intel Office, Outer Ring Road, Devarabisanahalli, Marathahalli, Bangalore – 560037). It might be different if you are doing it in another city/state.
  • Most of it applies for new passport also, but there might be some changes.

My Case

In addition to renewing the passport, I wanted to do these additional changes as well.
  • Change my address from Thrissur, Kerala to Bangalore, Karnataka
  • Change my marital status from single to married.
  • Include my wife’s name in the spouse column.
One thing I came to know is that, if you are married then it is mandatory to include your spouse name in the passport by providing the necessary documents.

Process

Here is the process in brief:-
  1. Submit your application online and get the appointment to visit PSK.
  2. Visit the office and submit the documents.
  3. Complete Police Verification.
  4. Receive your passport.
Process 1: Submit your application online and get the appointment to visit PSK.
  1. Register at www.passportindia.gov.in
  2. Log into the website with your newly registered username and password.
  3. Fill the online form and submit it.
  4. Upload 4 relevant support documents (PDFs) (Self Attested).
  5. Apply for an appointment at the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) through the same website.
  6. Appointments can be booked only 1.5 days in advance. E.g.: Appointments for a Thursday; open up only on Tuesday evening at 6:30 PM. You will get appointment only after paying Rs.1500/- online. (Remaining amount of Rs.2000/- You need to pay by cash at PSK)
  7. Print the Passport Application Receipt.
  8. Carry the original and one photocopy of all support documents (Self Attested).
In my case, the support documents are given below:-                                                     
(You will get a better idea from the Document Advisor link)
  • Bank Statement (with more than 1 year of entries) with Bank seal and official signature.
  • Company HR Letter (in Letterhead only) for address proof and the period of stay at the given address.
  • Company ID card.
  • Marriage Certificate.

The site is maintained by TCS, but don’t have any expectations. It is more or less at the same league of IRCTC. Links open randomly in tabs, captchas everywhere, random session lock-in etc. you got the idea right?

One very important thing to do, if you don’t want any random calls from tele-marketers is to make sure you un-check the “Share my details with tele-marketers” checkbox, while uploading your filled in form. Yes, you read it correctly! Honestly I was shocked when I first saw it. I don’t know why they want to do this in a site where you upload sensitive information about you. I don’t know how much MEA (Minister of External Affairs) or TCS (who is maintaining this site) is going to earn by doing this. Anyways that is the state of things and make sure you uncheck the checkbox and hope they respect it.


Process 2: Visit the office and submit the documents
  1. Reach the chosen PSK 30 minutes before your allotted time.
  2. Security officer will check your Passport Application Receipt and allow you to enter.
  3. You can see 4 queues; Enquiry queue, Tatkal Applicants queue, Normal Applicants queue, and Minor Applicants queue. Stand there in Tatkal Applicants queue after a shot wait your turn will come. (Mostly the rejection takes place here).
  4. Very efficient people at the counters. Asked me for following in order     
    - Passport Application Receipt
    - Passport Original and Photocopy
    - Marriage Certificate Original and Photocopy.
    - Company ID Card Original and Photocopy
    - Company HR Letter stating address original.
    - Bank Statement with more than 1 year of entries Original and Photocopy.
  5. He will put all Photocopies, Passport Application Receipt, Original HR letter and Original Bank Statement in a file and returned all other originals and ask me to wait for some more time in waiting lounge.
  6. Waited at an air-conditioned waiting lounge for around 15 minutes. This was when some pre-validation of my details was performed.
  7. After pre-validation, a person in enquiry counter called my name, I went there. He has given a brown colour file with all documents and Token number slip. (Mine was W-1). And asked me to proceed with ‘A’ counters. When your token number is called. The actual verification and process starts here.
  8. Was called at counter A-11 (There are around 25 ‘A’ counters. They are Customer Service Executives). They verify the Originals, Scan the photocopies, Scan my signature, Take my photograph and Take my finger prints. (You can see your details on the monitor; you will also have the opportunity to verify your application details and confirm the same before they are submitted. you can ask them to change if there are some mistakes). Paid Rs.2000/- there. Once this is complete, you will get receipt, your passport file and token number back and asked me to proceed with ‘B’ counters. When your token number is called.
  9. Now onto counter B-5. (There were 10 ‘B’ counters. They are Verification Officers). A Government officer verifies my Originals, looks at my passport, says everything is fine, signs somewhere and puts some red marks everywhere on my photocopies.  Once this step is complete, you will receive your token and file back from the counter B officer and asked me to proceed with ‘C’ counters. When your token number is called.
  10. Now onto counter C-3 (There were 5 ‘C’ counters. They are Granting Officers). Another officer verifies everything, asks me to sign somewhere else. Stamps "Cancelled" on my old passport, says everything is done and the passport file will be kept with the officer at counter C. You can now proceed with Exit counter.
  11. Finally, "Exit" counter. Showed my token and my fee receipt. They have given a feedback slip to fill and needs to drop it in a box. After that, they gave me a printed letter saying application has been approved, with a file number and all. All done! You can track your passport status online with the help of the passport file number.

If you are lucky the entire process should be done in around 45 minutes.

Process 3: Complete Police Verification

I received a call on the same day evening from Police station, asking me to come with address proofs and two passport size photos. I went there and submitted address proofs and two photos. He asked me to sign some paper written in Kannada (Signed in Column No.16) also I have written a letter to Police officer saying that I am residing in the address so and so date onwards. He asked me a fee of Rs.500/-. He also told me that next day he will visit my home; I said, I will not be available tomorrow. So he asked me another Rs.400/- to avoid visiting my home tomorrow. After giving that amount, he told me that everything is completed and you will receive the passport within two days. 

Process 4: Receive your passport

You will get a mail from Passport admin with Passport dispatch details and EMS Speed post tracking number. The very next day you will receive the passport. (For me the whole process took just 3 days!!)

 
The post man (who delivered my passport) gave me a nice smile and waited as usual for some ‘tips’.