Apply for Indian Passport in USA
Most of them would love to have the information on how to renew the Indian passport when he/she is in USA. Here is my first hand experience on getting my passport renewed in USA. I have submitted my application and it is in process. This is one big post, just to ensure you have got everything covered.
First things first. Handling of passport related applications is now outsourced to M/s BLS International Services Ltd – hit this link for their services – http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/.
Here is a checklist on what needs to be done and what needs to be sent to the passport office for renewal. Do not use special characters like , = ) ( % & anywhere.
Download and print this checklist and arrange the documents in order listed in checklist. Complete this checklist, sign and this checklist need to be submitted along with other documents to the BLS office.
1) Submit Application at NRI Passport Application Page – http://passport.gov.in/nri/Online.do. Do note that, you need to use Internet explorer while submitting the form. Chrome or Firefox does not work well.
Sample application can be found here – http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/sample_form/application_example_file.pdf
Select the correct Indian Mission.
Bermuda, Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia – Select Washington DC
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. – Select New York
Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming – Select San Francisco
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin – Select Chicago.
Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Nebraska – Select Houston
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virgin Islands – Select Atlanta
If you are entering Spouse details, you need to have Marriage Certificate Handy.
Once submitted, save a copy of it and print it out. Some details has to be manually written after you print it out. Complete the application with all the details.
Sign at the required places (in total 4) and also paste a photograph in the first page.
Address to be printed on Passport – Need to be US address. Indian address can be provided here, but might need additional documents. Other Address can be Indian or US address – No proofs required here.
Amount paid – I entered 91.20 for a regular passport under regular mode for 36 page booklet. To know the current and correct fees visit this page – http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/passportFee.php
If you are sending by mail, Cashiers Check or Money Order should be with the above value and need to be written in the application form. Also, call BLS office and ask the folks to generate a UPS Shipping label. This shipping is for pickup and drop of passport of $30 charged to your Credit Card (details collected over Phone). Mention $15 in the Passport Application form.
Applicant first leave India, When was he/she in India last, and continuously resided abroad can be based on your current travel.
Present Emigration status – fill it as it is in your current passport, no proofs required to be submitted.
Name and Address of two relatives/friends – Can be US or India based.
Enter Yes/No as appropriate for all the Yes/No questions.
If Lost/Damaged passport – provide necessary details here.
2) Submit the completed Order form from BLS Website – Details should be as entered in the Passport Application form. – http://blsindianvisa.com/orderform/passport.php
Select Walkin or Postal. If Postal, you need to enter the UPS Airway Bill number generated (as mentioned earlier). Since you would have paid $30, the return Airway Bill number is the transaction number.
If Walkin, schedule an appointment with the BLS Office.
Take print out of the Order Form.
3) National Verification Form – 3 copies to be filled and 3 photos to be pasted on each form. Details should match with what is entered in the Passport Application form.
4) Original Passport (All the passports).
5) Photocopies of first 5 pages and last two pages of the passport.
6) Colored Photocopy of Current VISA OR Green Card etc (get detailed list from the Checklist). This needs to be Notarized.
7) Notarized Color Photocopy of current Proof of Address – Driver’s License / Utility Bills / Lease Agreement/ Mortgage bills.
8) Change in Appearance form – Not mandatory, but better to submit this form – To be notarized.
9) Change in Signature form – Not mandatory for all the locations, but better to submit – To be Notarized.
10) Marriage Certificate – Notarized colored photocopy. Along with Notarized color photocopy of Spouse Passport’s 1st and last page.
For lost/damaged, the number of forms and affidavits increases. Do check the requirements for the same.
Finally Photo Specifications – http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/photo_spec.php
If sending by UPS, it might take 5-7 days before the status is reflected online. You will receive mail notification when it is taken up for processing.
Once the application has reached BLS office, track the status of your passport using this link – http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/track_passport.php
About Notarization of documents – Some banks do the notarization for their customers for free. You can also visit UPS stores where the copies will be notarized.
About Photos – I needed 6 photos, 1 for Passport Application, 3 for National Verification forms, 1 for Change in Appearance. I sent one additional photo along with passport, though this is not mandatory. You can get photos in required specification at Walmart, Walgreens, CostCo etc.