In an era of globalisation, a passport is a necessary document for any Indian citizen. It is required not only as an identity proof but also as a document used for travelling abroad, issued by the Indian government. It could be said that a passport is an identity proof of being an Indian citizen in any foreign country, only a person with a valid passport is allowed to travel outside the country.
Earlier, passports were not very popular with the masses, getting a passport used to involve a lot of complicated norms. But in the present time, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has taken steps to ensure these problems do not stop the people of India from getting their passports. Recently the government opened new centres of passport verification in India, and there is not a single state where one would not find a Passport Seva Kendra. Hence there has been quick availability of passports for Indian citizens in recent times.
Before we get to know the process of applying for a passport, it is very important to look into the basic eligibility. All the citizens who are 18-years-old or above can apply for a passport. For minors, passport validity is restricted to 5 years, or till they become 18 years old. Those who are at the age of 15 to 18 years, are eligible to apply for a 10 year validity passport, or, they can also apply for a passport which would be valid till they attain the age of 18 years as an alternative option.
How to apply:
There are certain steps that one should ensure to get a valid passport, let’s talk about them step by step:
First step – one should visit the official website of Passport Seva (passportindia.gov.in)
Second step – one must register and create a new account in the portal as first-time users by giving the necessary details.
Third step – after logging in, click on the link saying ‘Fresh passport/passport reissue’
Fourth step – after clicking on the link, an application would be visible on the screen and one should be very careful while filling in the required details. After form filling the applicant will have to click on the ‘pay and schedule link’ and thus one can schedule an appointment to get a passport successfully.
Here is a point that should be notified, the online payment has been made mandatory for scheduling the appointment at Passport Seva Kendra or Passport offices. One can make the payment through credit/debit card or they can use the internet banking method too.
The documents you need:
While applying for a passport or at the time of verification at Passport Seva Kendra, the applicant is required to submit some documents which will prove their authenticity –
* PAN card, Driving license (if someone has).
* Identity proof, this could be Aadhaar card, Election voter ID card or any other valid photo ID.
* Birth certificate or school leaving certificate which will ensure applicant’s appropriate age.
* Proof of address, for example, electricity bill could serve as an address proof.
* Passbook of having a bank account
With the help of all these documents one can successfully fill the online application form and proceed for the offline verification at Passport Seva Kendra. The passport would be issued only after the successful verification by the officials. Generally it takes 7 to 14 days to get a passport.
It is very important to have a passport as it is an essential travel document as well as a proof of Indian identity. Earlier, people were not that bothered of getting a passport done, but with changing times most of the Indians are travelling to different countries for education, pilgrimage, tourism or for health emergencies.