Getting passport is going to take less than a week now, as police verification is going to be after and not before.
Presently, the police verification of fresh normal applicants is done before the passport is issued. By a new decision of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the procedure has been relaxed. Fresh applicants will still have to submit notary’s affidavit, besides a copy each of Aadhaar, voter’s identity, and PAN cards.
“Processing on post-police-verification basis will enable issuing of passport in just five-to-seven days without the payment of additional tatkaal fee, subject to online validation of Aadhaar number. Elector’s photo-identity card (EPIC) and PAN card may also be validated, if required, from the respective databases,” Chandigarh’s regional passport officer Rakesh Agrawal explained in a statement issued on Monday, adding: “If the applicants do not have any of the three cards, then the police verification procedure will apply as existing.”
Earlier, police verification for passport took 49 days, which was reduced to 42 in 2014, 34 in 2015, and 21 the same year.
In 2015, the passport offices in India and the Indian missions and posts abroad rendered nearly 1.2 crore passport-related services. On December 31, 2015, nearly 6.33 crore Indians held valid passports.
BOOK APPOINTMENT AT YOUR CONVENIENCE
The MEA now allows applicants to book an appointment at their convenience and any date of choice from the earliest five working days for the selected Passport Seva Kendra (PSK). So far, the Passport Seva system fixed appointment based on availability and first-in-firstout (FIFO) principle.
Now at the time of booking an appointment online, applicants will be redirected to a ‘pay and book appointment’ screen, where they can selected a date from the displayed calendar.
Applicants have to fill an online form and submit fee for scheduling an appointment through the Passport Seva system to visit the PSK later for further processing of their application.