About a week after the first part of the police verification was complete (click for previous post), my landline rang. The local intelligence unit (LIU) was calling. They asked me to come to their office – didn’t ask to bring any specific documents. The person had asked me to come on Saturday morning – but he wasn’t there when I reached.
Anyway, he spoke quite nicely to me on the phone, and obliged me by coming to my house on Sunday morning. He asked the following questions (can’t remember every question):
- What do you do?
- More probing questions about my work
- Are you sure you don’t do service in Delhi and actually live there? (as opposed to my home town where this check was taking place)
- How long have you lived at this address?
- Other general questions
He also asked to look at the following documents:
- Old passport
- Additional address proof – he demanded a voter ID card, but I showed him a gas connection document – which was fine.
He took my signature on a number of documents, and finally took a bribe (Rs. 1000) and left. I haven’t heard any further – so I assume all is well, and the police verification is complete.
The local police in my home town (small town in UP) were quite efficient about it. About 10 days after my passport was approved, I got a phone call from the police station. They asked me to submit the following documents at the station:
- 2 passport police verification affidavits signed by my two local reference persons (the people I had specified on my passport application). This is a standard affidavit, and is available from any registrar/notary.
- 2 proofs of address (I had a copy of my Punjab National Bank passbook and a gas connection in my name)
- 2 photographs
All seemed pretty straightforward. Except that I couldn’t visit the police station in person (I was traveling for work). It was sorted out after paying a Rs. 1000 bribe to the official in-charge.
So, it seems, that the police verification is complete. Though I have no way of actually checking the status – the passportindia.gov website doesn’t seem to have any information on this.
The police never actually visited my home.
Today was my 5th visit to the Ghaziabad PSK since last July. They finally accepted my application. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed till I actually have the new passport in my hands.
The day was positive – but not without some drama. In my old passport, my father’s name was spelt “Rajeev”. But his name is actually spelt “Rajiv” in all other documents, including in the verification certificate (Annexure F) that I had got made for my passport application. I had to spend some time convincing the head of the passport centre that it is a minor spelling difference. Finally she agreed and let me use the verification certificate with “Rajiv” (though she refused to let me update the spelling in the new passport).
Let’s hope this comes through.
For those looking for guidance on passport application matters, please refer to a series of posts by me (in chronological order). This should give you a fair idea of what to expect.
Went for the fourth time to the Ghaziabad Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) yesterday. Multiple issues to report.
- My wife & I got appointments on different days, even though we booked appointments within a 30-second timeframe.
- I tried going into the PSK with my wife on her appointment – but that wasn’t allowed. Fair enough.
- The passport website’s document advisor clearly states that a copy of a spouse’s passport is enough address proof. I gave my wife all the following documents, but the PSK folks refused to accept them as valid address proof: My passport’s copy, My bank statement copy, and our marriage certificate. This is clearly in contradiction of what they say on their own website.
- On our last visit to the same PSK they had accepted the above documents as proof of address (but had complained about something else, and not accepted our application). They are contradicting what they themselves were willing to accept a few months ago.
Overall I think there’s some scam going on – I just don’t understand what. We even asked them to “recommend” a good passport agent – but they point blank said that applications can’t be made through agents. If any of you have ideas on how to deal with these folks please tell me – I have been struggling now for almost a year!
Shortage of Passport Booklets in India
Looks like there is a shortage of passport booklets in India right now, and there is a large backlog of passport applications. I was thinking of trying to apply for my passport again, but now I think I will wait a few weeks.
Click link below for the news item: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Short-supply-of-booklets-delays-passport-issuance/articleshow/30420348.cms
For those of us hoping that other countries would reciprocate and give Indians visa on arrival – I hate do dash your hopes.
Quoting the Indian Express: “The Bureau of Immigration will set up a website for this and upon submission of an application, it will email an electronic visa/travel authorisation within 2-3 days, allowing the tourist to enter India and also facilitate easier verification at airports.” (http://bit.ly/1fyO2U2)
You may have noticed statements like the above buried at the bottom of all newspaper articles announcing “Visa on Arrival” in India for 180 countries. This above statement doesn’t suggest “visa on arrival” at all!!
For it to be actually “visa on arrival”, the tourist should just be able to turn up at an Indian airport and complete all visa formalities there. Looks like India will still be requiring tourists to get a visa before travel.
Of course, if they implement what they promise, applying for a visa online and receiving it electronically is a far cry above having to wait in line for hours at various Indian Embassies around the world. So Kudos anyway!
This is the round 3 in my series of passport application related posts. See my older posts here (round 1) and here (round 2).
This time my wife & I both went. We were pretty confident we had all our documents in order. But the PSK found a reason to turn us away again. We had Verification Certificates (Annexure F) issued by the local customs department on 18 September. Today is 29 October. So the Verification Certificates are more than 1 month old. This was not accepted. We were advised to go back to the person who created the verification certificate, and ask him to change the date on the certificate & initial it.
The documents I took for myself are listed in this old blog post: here (round 2).
The documents I took for my wife are listed below:
- Marriage Certificate (for name change)
- Husband’s Passport – for address
- Letter from her employer stating that she has been employed since April 1 2012 (date mentioned explicitly) and that she has lived at our address since then (address mentioned explicitly). Letter has to be on a company letter head, with a company stamp & HR signature.
- Verification Certificate (Annexure F)
- Annexure I
The office said her documents were all in order, except for the expired verification certificate. Let’s hope he remembers this the next time we apply. I am a bit nervous about the name change documents requirement.