In what could bring much-needed relief to new passport applicants, the government said on Wednesday that Indian citizens can get new passports within seven days by furnishing just four valid documents.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday tweeted announcing the amendments to the process of acquiring new passports for Indian citizens.
According to the new changes, applicants can get new passports in a week by submitting copies of their Aadhar card, voter ID, PAN card and an affidavit of no criminal record including family details and citizenship.
The police verification, an integral part of passport issuance process, will be done after the issuance.
“The government has decided that henceforth normal passport applications of all first time applicants furnishing Aadhaar, voter ID, PAN card and an affidavit in the format of Annexure-I will be processed on Post-Police Verification basis, enabling faster issue of passport, without payment of any additional fees,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
However, issuing passport under this scheme is subject to successful online validation of Aadhaar number. And EPIC and PAN card may also be validated, if required, from the respective databases, said the ministry.
The police verification in granting new passports has been reviewed time to time. In 2013, the number of days taken to complete the police verification process was 49 days, it was reduced to 42 days in 2014, 34 days in 2015 and 21 days during the same year.
Meanwhile, fresh applicants can choose any appointment date from the earliest five available dates for Passport related services. That is a departure from the tradition as so far Passport Seva system fixed appointment based on availability and first-in-firstout (FIFO) principle.
During the year 2015, about 1.20 crore passport and related services were rendered by Passport Offices in India and the Indian Missions/Posts abroad.
In addition to the above, the ministry has also launched mPassport Police App for speedy submission of Police Verification Report (PVR).
The App would facilitate the field level verification officers to directly capture the PV report into the system digitally.