Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Passport Seva Kendra Pune - My Experience

Applying for a passport or renewing it has always been a herculean task for us Indians. The lengthy and dragging queues at the passport office and at least a couple of day's time and efforts wasted. No wonder travel agents were the best bet to get the process sorted out. Although it costed an extra little bit, it still was worth the hassle. Until now. Finally, we have an easier and simpler way to handle our passport issues through their online portal, Passport Seva. I will try my best to explain how it all works in this post.

The first step is to go to their web site and create a login id with password. Next, you can either download the passport form, fill it at your convenience and upload it or fill the form online and submit it right then. There are guidelines to refer to in case you face any difficulties filling the form. Once your form has been accepted, you can pay for the passport online either through online banking or debit/credit cards. You need to then take an appointment online for visiting your local PSK (Passport Seva Kendra). The appointment is generated by the system but you can change it to a later date too, if necessary. You will get a confirmation showing your date and time of appointment and payment details. Take a printout of this receipt. Once that is done, all that remains is to visit the PSK at the given date and time with the appropriate documents.

The documents to be taken along with you depends on the type of application i,e fresh passport, re issue, tatkal etc. In any case, the website has a link to Document Advisor which gives you information regarding the documents required. As for the passport photographs, for children less than 4 years of age, the parents have to carry passport size photographs with them when visiting the PSK (light background, dark clothes). For all other applicants, photographs will be taken at the PSK itself.

On the date of appointment, it is recommended to reach the PSK around 10 minutes earlier. Carry the printout of the confirmation receipt with you that you had taken at the time of submitting the application form. Upon entering the PSK, a token for each applicant has to be taken. There are separate queues not only for fresh passport and re issue but also for senior citizens and minor applicants.The documents have to be shown and a token will be given. This token will be your identification for the coming processes. There are kiosks and even a photocopier in the main hall for your convenience.

Once the token has been taken, you enter a waiting hall where you wait for your token number to be displayed on the screen. From here on, you will have to go through three sections of verification namely A,B and C. Each section is divided into numbered cubicles and the cubicle you have to visit will be displayed besides your token number. For example, if your token number is N233 and the number besides it is A21, then you have to go to cubicle A21 along with the documents. In Section A, your documents are scanned and uploaded and your digital photograph taken. Thumb impressions and signatures are also taken here. From here, you go to Section B and again wait for your cubicle number to be displayed, this time prefixed with the letter B. Here, your documents will be verified and then you will be sent to Section C. Again you wait for your turn and get your documents re-verified. After the three sections are done with, you will have to deposit your token in a counter located just before the exit and collect an acknowledgement. That's it! You are done!

Some useful points
  • Carry all your documents in original, extra photocopies and a pen.
  • There is a snack bar in the waiting hall before Section A. Helpful for those little passport holders and senior citizens.
  • After you've visited the PSK, you can track your application status online or through SMS alerts.
  • It is a quicker and better experience if you carry all your documents at the time of the PSK visit. So make sure you know exactly what documents to bring along.

I had to apply for a fresh passport for my younger son and renew my elder one's passport. I applied for both and came out of the PSK in exactly two hours time. My PSK visit was on the 13th of May and I received the passports on 21st May, five working days to be precise. I have applied for passports before and I must say that finally we have a segregated, well managed process and a commendable speedy delivery too.

Visit the website for more information:  Passport Seva


Unknown said...

Do we have to pay for SMS service ?

Unknown said...

Thanks a ton Chitra for such a detailed mail. I'm sure it will be very helpful for freshers like me :-)

Chitra Iyer said...

Thanks Lakshmi! Reghu, you can avail the SMS service by paying Rs. 30/-

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