A passport is an official travel document that permits the holder to travel overseas. It also acts as proof of identity, confirming the holder is a citizen of the issuing country.
Passports are issued by the Ministry of External Affairs in India, and applicants are subject to stringent checks during their application.
Applications are screened at multiple levels, from document checks to police verification reports, before the passport is issued to the applicant.
Applying for a passport used to be a long drawn out procedure due to the police verification that had to be done prior to the passport being issued.
However, the Ministry for External Affairs has recently issued a notification stating that police verification would be conducted after the issue of the passport provided certain criteria are met.
Applicants will have to submit the following documents to avail the post passport issuance police verification facility:
- PAN card.
- Aadhaar card.
- Voter ID card.
- Affidavit confirming no criminal record.
While this is a welcome move for passport applicants, the new rule is available only to those applying for a fresh passport.
While this facility was earlier available for tatkaal passport applications, it has now been made available for all fresh issue passports. As a result of this, the passport application processing time has greatly reduced, as the police verification was the process that used to take up a lot of time due to the nature of the checks being conducted.
Applicants in certain states like Maharashtra will benefit from this move, as the police verification process generally takes between 21-40 days to complete, resulting in a long wait for a passport.
While a number of applicants will be rejoicing that the wait period will be reduced, those applying for a passport re-issue will have to go through the pre-issue police verification for the time being, as the facility has not been extended to passport re-issue applications.
However, as there will be a fewer number of applications to process as a large number can be processed after passport issue, it is hoped that cases that require pre-passport issue police verification will be completed faster.