It was month of September, year 2015 and my passport had just 3 months to expire, and little time for me to initiate the process of renewal. Later on I came to know that even after expiry upto 3 years you can renew without any issues and with same process.
My expiring passport was issued from Uttar Pradesh, and had my hometown address of UttaraKhand, but my current location is in Hyderabad, Telangana, so I had to change the address also.
On 24th September I applied online via [http://www.passportindia.gov.in] site and checked all required documents, which were as follows:
1. 8017 – Old Passport in original with self-attested photocopy of its first two and last two pages, including ECR/Non-ECR page (previously ECNR) and the page of observation (if any), made by Passport Issuing Authority and validity extension page, if any, in respect of short validity passport.
2. 7001 – Proof Of Present Address List of Acceptable Documents.
There are two ways, either download the soft copy PDF or fill online, I filled online as its more simpler.
Paid online fee of 1.5k INR. Opted the Ameerpet PSK, which was very far away from my home and office. I opted this PSK because of early appointment date, didn’t knew that all problem would start from this PSK only.
–> 1st appointment: So on first appointment day (Sept-29) as the PSK was far from my home and I didn’t had exact idea on how much time it would take, I got late by few minutes, because of time spent in finding car parking area. And at the PSK gate guards didn’t let me go in and asked me to reschedule the appointment. I came back and rescheduled this time for the nearest one at Toli Chowki.
–> 2nd appointment: On second appointment day (Oct-1) I went to Toli Chowki PSK on time. Took the token from front desk and waited in a hall for my turn. When my token number flashed on the screen I went to first Counter-A. Here they scanned all my documents and uploaded into their system, took finger prints, photo and SMS fee (~35 Rs). At Counter-B they verified the documents duplicate and originals. Finally at Counter-C, the officer inspected and did some thing in his PC and gave me another appointment to furnish my Higher and Senior Secondary School Certificate as I had ECR (Emigration Check Required) stamp on my old passport.
What’s ECR (Emigration Check Required)? If the passport was issued before January 2007 or if an Indian passport holder having an educational qualification of 10th standard (SSC, Matriculation). The idea behind ECR is for the safety of Indian citizens due to the legal conditions of countries like:
–> 3rd appointment: Could not go on the third appointment day (Oct-5) as I had some urgent work in my office, so I rescheduled it again to get 4th appointment.
–> 4th appointment: (Oct-9) I took my HSC and SSC certificates in original and showed to them, but they told that I don’t have proper address proof that proves my last 1 year stay in Hyderabad. I had carried my Telephone landline/broadband as address proof (Airtel), its also mentioned in List of Acceptable Docs, but they didn’t accepted it, and gave me an another date after a week.
This time I felt like cheated by the PSK staff, why didn’t they told me when they asked to furnish HSC & SSC certificates?
On asking them what document I can produce they told if I have a bank account then I can get a passbook with last 1 year bank transactions with current address on it. I went to ICICI bank and they told that they provide passbooks on request, but it will take 2-3 days.
Imp: As you can reschedule your appointments only for 2 times in 365 days after first appointment date is over and the passport fees paid is valid for 365 days. Thus after rescheduling 2 times, I missed the last appointment due to delay in procuring this address proof (passbook) from bank.
–> Till now my passport was expired and came to know that the process is still the same to renew it, thank god for that !!!
Reapplication: As I had exhausted my all appointments, on Dec-31 I reapplied on the Passport site, and paid 1.5k INR again. Without realizing and reading the term and conditions in fine line I created a new second application file without closing the first one. Took 1st appointment (Jan-11) to the nearest Toli Chowki PSK again. This was the biggest mistake, or I would call ignorance.
–> Re-appointment: I went to the PSK on the new appointment date (Jan-11), and produced all documents, and was waiting for the shocker. They checked all my docs and file and asked my why I opened second application file without closing the first one? I was like clueless and didn’t knew what they meant by “second application file” that time. They asked me to go to Secunderabad RPO (Regional Passport Office) and get the first application file closed. They put on hold my second application file and told me that I’ll have to pay fine of 1.5k INR as I did all this. I was completely pissed off on this whole setup what Passport office has done. Can’t they just don’t allow you to create a second application file without closing first one on the portal itself, or some alert or something?
–> Application File Closing: Next day (Jan-12) I went to the Secunderabad RPO will all documents in original and duplicate. Had to stand long in queues for around 2-3 hrs, and had to go to 2-3 counters A,B,C to get the application and documents verified. Finally I ended up with an officer who asked me some questions and why I opened up a new application file. I provided him slip from Toli Choki PSK. He asked me to got to some “Inventory room” do some more paper work, again a big queue. Returned back to the same officer, and it was time for lunch break. Waited for around an hour, and finally he closed my application file on his system and have me a receipt. The process took almost 5-6 hours, felt like returning from Tirupati darshan, totally exhausted, but much relaxed !!!
I got an SMSs on for the same:
1. Your File No. HYxyz is closed by RPO Hyderabad on . Please visit Regional Passport Office for details. (Jan-11, 1:32 pm)
–>Final approval: Went to Toli Chowki PSK again on the next appointed day (Jan-21), and provided the receipt form Secunderabad RPO. Had to go through all A, B, C counter again. They verified all things and asked me to pay 1.5k fine. I didn’t had cash so I went to the nearest ATM, withdrew money and paid it there. Strange, they don’t even have card swipe machines. Finally at the last counter my application was accepted and got the approval from the officer verbally 🙂
I got an SMS on the same day (21st Jan):
2. Dear applicant, Penalty of Rs 1000.00/- imposed on your application (File No xyz) has been paid in full. (11:22 am)
3. To track status of your application SMS “STATUS File-Number” to 9704100100. (11:37 am)
4. Your application with File No. xyz has been granted on No Police Verification basis. (11:37 am)
5. Passport printing initiated for your File No. xyz. You will receive SMS once your passport is printed. (12:31 pm)
6. Passport printed for your File No. xyz. You will receive SMS once it is dispatched. (4:34 pm)
After 5 days I got an SMS:
7. Your Passport has been printed and You would receive an sms/email once the passport is dispatched. (Jan-26, 9:100 am)
8. HYxyz: Passport No.xyz dispatched on and can be tracked using Speed Post Tracking No. xyz (Jan-27, 6:57 pm)
9. Passport xyz has been dispatched on 27/01/2016 via Speed Post Tracking Number xyz. (Jan-28, 1:29 pm)
10. You have received Speed Post Article Noxyz for delivery. Thank you for using India Post. Please track further status at http://indiapost.gov.in (Feb-2, 6:19 pm)
I checked the status on the site mentioned on the above SMS with the article number and went to the Post Office and got my Passport !!!