Indian Passport Application: Mistakes to Avoid

The Indian passport is a must-have for anyone travelling abroad. However, barely 7.2% of Indians own a passport. Many reasons contribute to this low number. However, one of the most common factors behind this low number is making a mistake while applying for a passport. This article will highlight some of the most common Indian passport application mistakes.

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What Happens if There is a Mistake in my Passport Application?

The Government of India issues different types of Indian passports to its citizen depending on their eligibility. Until a few years back, the passport procedure was very rigid, involving detailed procedures and police verification. Thankfully, the procedure has been recently simplified since the introduction of the passport seva portal offering online passport application facilities.

Passport Application

Digitisation has definitely made things easier for many Indians, but even then, many applicants tend to make some mistakes. These mistakes are enough to delay the passport application procedure or may even cause passport rejection.

While in many cases you can rectify the mistakes, in some cases, it may lead to rejection. Therefore, it is very important to fill out the Indian passport application with utmost care.

Most Common Indian Passport Application Mistakes

For first-time applicants struggling with the passport procedure, we have compiled a list of mistakes to keep in mind. These are the most common mistakes that can delay or reject an applicant’s Indian passport application:

Typos or Inaccurate Information

Many people can make typing mistakes while filling out a form online because of haste or other reasons. Filling out incorrect spelling, wrong date of birth, or incomplete address are among the most common mistakes while filling out a form. Thankfully, applicants can apply for a correction in such cases, but there is a limitation. Some mistakes can even require them to apply for a re-issue of the passport. It may be time-consuming but it is best to read all the instructions before filling out the application for an Indian passport.

Missing Documents

Indian passport procedure requires certain documents that must be provided for a successful application. The guidelines provide a list of accepted documents so that applicants can easily arrange them. Any document that has not been listed will not be accepted.

Similarly, incorrect documents that may not necessarily serve as proof may not be entertained. For example, the Aadhaar card is a popular ID proof for address, but some may only state the birth year. In that case, another proof will be required for the applicant’s date of birth.

Unpaid Dues

The passport officials thoroughly vet all the documents presented to them. Especially when submitting bills for documentation, make sure that all the bills are paid for, and there are no dues to be cleared. Pending dues can reflect poorly on an applicant’s financial stability and raise doubts in the officials’ minds. Not clearing the dues is also among the primary reasons behind passport rejection in India, so ensure that all the bills are cleared.

Not just for the passport application, having a clean financial record is crucial to obtaining a visa for the upcoming international trip. Along with travel insurance and a valid Indian passport, the person must have proof of financial ability to get their visa approved.

Not Checking the ECR Box

ECR and ECNR are two categories that must be checked according to the applicant’s education. For minor passport applications, i.e. passport applications for Indians below 15 years of age, the passport issued has default ECR.

However, for anyone who has passed class X, they must tick the box for ECNR (Emigration Check Not Required). In reality, most people forget to tick this box, a common mistake that can delay their passport application processing. Even if the passport has been issued, the passport holder may be stopped at airports in certain countries like UAE or Thailand.

Incorrect Signature

With digital payments and procedures, forgetting one’s official signature is common. However, during the passport procedure, this is a crucial step. Even a wrong stroke or dot not matching the previous documents can result in a mismatch, ultimately leading to a rejection.

Another concern attached to this error is that re-signing fresh copies of documents becomes difficult. This error is only revealed later, so the applicant will most likely need to reschedule the appointment. Thus, it is strongly advised to practice signature before signing the documents and not rely entirely on muscle memory.

Unclear Documents

The passport documentation requires multiple copies of official documents. However, so often, these copies may be too dim, too dark or simply unclear. Xerox must be clear and decipherable. In case the documents are unclear or hard to read, it can lead to passport rejection.

Similarly, using older photocopies with stains or blurred ink is also a bad idea. Always insist on good quality photocopies that are clear and visible to the naked eye.

Issues with Police Verification

The police verification for the passport application process is an important step without which your passport may not be processed. This requires a physical verification by the local police officer who visits the applicant’s house to verify their home address etc. Thus, the applicant must be at home during this verification.

Especially if the applicant resides in another place or fails to make it home for this verification, it can result in passport rejection. It is important to be available for applicants with different residential and home addresses. The verification cannot be carried out otherwise.

Schedule Passport Appointment Carefully

After uploading the necessary documents and the filled-up passport application form, applicants need to pay the passport fees online. After the payment, they can see an option to schedule a passport appointment online. This is where many applicants don’t consider their plans and book in haste.

Firstly, they should choose the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) at their convenience and fix the date and time they are definitely available for. However, in case of cancellation or rescheduling of the appointment, they must try not to exceed three times. This is because applicants can only reschedule their passport appointment thrice a year.

Only on medical grounds, there may be an exception. Cancelling the appointment more than three times will also cancel the passport application, after which they must start a fresh application, including re-payment of the passport application fee.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget the Printout of the Appointment Slip

Applicants can only enter the passport seva kendra with a valid appointment slip. As soon as taking entry in the PSK, applicants will join the initial queue for submitting the necessary documents. After document submission, they have to give their fingerprints for biometrics and get a photograph clicked on the spot. The entire process takes around two hours, so ensure you have sufficient time.

Conclusion

To err is human, and there are provisions to rectify mistakes in the passport too. In case the mistakes are spotted after submitting the application form online, they can fix it later. The applicants are given a chance to rectify their mistakes at the passport office (local passport seva kendra) if the passport has not been issued.

However, for mistakes printed on the issued passport, they must return it for necessary rectification at the regional passport office. Once the authorities have approved the rectification, a new passport booklet will be issued.

You May Like to Read: How to Avoid Schengen Visa Rejections?

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