My passport has run out of pages. I need a new passport, before I can apply for any further visas.
Problem #1: I currently live in Delhi, but haven’t lived here for 1 year. Through second hand experience I learned that the Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) won’t even accept your application if you can’t prove that you have lived in their jurisdiction for 1 year, and that too at the address where you currently are.
Solution: My current passport has my UP address in it. Hence I decided to apply at the PSK in Ghaziabad UP. This way I don’t get my Delhi address in my passport, but that’s not the end of the world.
Problem #2: The Ghaziabad PSK sent me away. Why? They demanded an ‘Annexure F’ form from me. The passportindia.gov.in website has a ‘document advisor’. This advised me only to take my current passport & my marriage certificate (because I wanted my wife’s name included in my passport). It did not give me any hint that I needed an Annexure F. This Annexure F (aka Verification Certificate – VC) is apparently required because my current passport was issued abroad (in London). The PSK in Ghaziabad did not have my details on their system because of that.
I will fill Annexure F and take it to the next appointment. Thankfully I don’t have to pay the Rs. 2000 for the Tatkal appointment again. I’m just very afraid that when I land up there next, they will find some other reason to send me away! I think I’ll be super cautious and take every possible document with me, whether or not their website explicitly asks for it.
The Lesson: While the passport process has been relatively modernised by outsourcing it to Tata Consulting Services (TCS), remember you are still dealing with a giant slow government entity. Don’t trust the website. Use your judgement, be over prepared, and if you can, use a tout and pay a bribe.