Indian Passport Appointment Booking in Bangalore

Its time, I reissued my passport. Thought it would be a cake walk, given that I am living in a hi-tech city. But no!!  I am sharing my experiences here so that it might help many applicants like me.

I had a few changes to include in my passport.

1. Address change, stayed at two addresses in last one year. 
2. Spouse name addition
3. ECR (Emigration Check Required) deletion


I created an account on the passport India website, passportindia.gov.in, logged in with my email id and password. After you login, there are two approaches of filling the passport application form. One way is download the form, fill it offline, generate an xml and upload the xml. The other one is fill in the form online. I followed the latter approach. You can save your form and continue later on. Carefully fill up your form, and after you are done with everything, submit your form. Only after you submit the form, you can take passport appointment booking with any PSK.

After this stage, the difficulties came up.  One should visit PSK with a valid passport appointment and original documents to get your application processed. Now, these appointment booking are taken online. Every day, at 6 PM appointment booking are released in Karnataka for all PSK across the state. Bangalore has two of them, one in Prestige Libra, Lalbagh, another at Sai Arcade, Marathahalli. Everyday, I log in at around 5:50PM and keep waiting till the appointment booking stated. At 6 PM exactly, I try and book appointment, and it always says the slot was taken by someone else. At 6:01 PM, the site says all 630 appointments are taken for the day, please try next day at 6 PM. This continued for 10 days, and I couldn't secure any passport appointment booking. Some days, just after 30 seconds, the site says the appointments are over.

I have 4 Mbps internet connection and am a software engineer by profession. So, no doubt about software literacy. I am also pretty quick at typing in captchas, given the 13 years of keyboard typing experience. Still, helpless. Was always wondering about people who are not aware of computers? What about villages where there is no 4 Mbps internet connection? It didn't take long to realize that there is some racket behind capturing all the slots. I am not sure how and what they are doing, but it is happening. One thing I came to know is that, if you go to a broker, he can secure an online passport appointment booking for you. How come? Are there software programs written that hit other urls exposed to these guys? God knows!!

Luckily, I had applied in tatkal mode. (To mention, you DO NOT NEED any prior police verification certificate for re-issue in tatkal mode. It is only needed for fresh passport). Regional Passport Office (RPO), Bangalore is aware of the fact that people are not able to book appointments online. So, if you have applied in tatkal mode, you can go to RPO and book an appointment to go to PSK. This was the saving grace for me.

Bangalore RPO issues appointment booking from 9:30 AM till 11 AM only. I went to RPO at Koramangala by 9:40 AM. There was a huge line for appointments. About 100 people before me in line. By 10:45 I got a token. This token will be issued after you wait in the queue outside RPO. The person at the token counter asked me to show my original old passport. After that, he issued me a token. It is better to carry all your original documents to RPO as well. After getting this token, the security guard at the RPO asked me to go to Room no: 27 in the second floor. I went there and the officer promptly issued an appointment to me. He asked me which PSK I would like to go, I said Lalbagh, and thats all. No more questions asked. To my surprise, the appointment was on the same day. He asked me to go to PSK before 3PM. I came out of RPO at 11:15 AM and had to rush to PSK, Lalbagh.

I took some time to shave and look good, as photograph would be taken. Somehow, managed to reach Lalbagh PSK at 1:45PM. At the gate, security guard checked me and my bag, then allowed in. Asked me to go straight to a counter. I went there and gave the appointment I got from RPO. He asked me for my original passport. He glanced at it and asked if I have address change. Obviously yes! He asked for a proof of address. I had my BSNL bills and showed to him. Since my passport was issued in Hyderabad, he asked my for another type of address proof. I had my company HR letter stating the address. He promptly asked me for my company identity card. Luckily I carried it along in my bag. I showed it to him and he was okay with that. It is always better to have multiple address proofs, especially if you are non-local. He asked me since how long I was staying at that address. I said 6 months, and he asked if I had previous address proof. I had BSNL bills of the old address which was perfectly okay with him. He took my passport, address proof, company HR letter and asked me to wait for few minutes. He need to take a signature from a higher official to issue me a token at the PSK. This is because, I didn't get the appointment online, but from RPO.

After 20 minutes, he called out my name and asked me to show my marriage certificate as well. I showed him and gave him a copy of it. My marriage certificate was issued by Andhra Pradesh State Wakf Board. He was perfectly okay with it since it was issued by Wakf board. He went on saying that many people come without Wakf board issued marriage certificate and say that wakf board is not issuing certificates. I do not know about Bangalore and Karnataka, but in Andhra Pradesh you need to get it from Hyderabad. He issued me a token and was directed into the PSK. Here my token number quickly appeared and I visited Counter A. Here a nice lady collected all the xerox copies of the documents I have and she filed them. She also took my photograph.  She took one proof for my old address and two for my new address. They generally don't care about which month and what. She nicely scanned all my documents and uploaded to the site. She also edited my addresses a little bit. This was because of the character limitation, I tried to type in abbreviations (like Lyt for Layout). She asked me to verify all the data in my application, all names, mobile number, addresses etc. She asked me if I had class X certificate in original. She took the passport fee and gave me receipt and took my signature on passport cancellation letter. She asked me to wait outside for the next counter, i. e counter B. Here they will verify all your original documents. This lady spoke good English and was very helpful and warm.

I came out and started watching LCD screens for my turn. This is the most disgusting part of the entire process. I was waiting from 2:40 PM till 6:20 PM and my token number didn't come at all. There is a snacks counter inside where you can buy snacks and pass time. Toilets available inside. Not very clean, but bearable. Drinking water is available. Xerox machine is available inside, where you have to pay Rs.1 per copy. Still passing time is difficult. You can come with someone, but they won't be allowed inside. They need to wait outside only. There is decent arrangement for people waiting outside.

At 6:20 PM, when I was thinking that I might have to come another day, finally my turn came. I showed all my certificates and no questions asked. Soon after, I had to go to counter C, for passport cancellation. At this counter, he once again verified all the documents and stamped "Cancelled" on my passport. He asked me to leave. Before leaving at the exit counter, I gave the fee receipt and collected the acknowledgement letter. In the letter, it was said as passport granted and police verification on post issuance. After that I exited the PSK and the process was done.

On the third working day after submit of my application, I got a phone call from are police station of my previous address. He asked me to come to police station at any time before 8:30PM. I reached there with all the documents, id proof, address proof etc. I had bsnl original bills and rental agreement of the old house. The police as usual started drama. He said someone from the old address should give a written statement that I stayed there. They don't care/bother to see the BSNL telephone bills for the period. I took the civil dressed police man to the place where I stayed. Somehow, was able to convince a tenant for the statement. People are reluctant to sign on any thing for others. The old tenant was a lady who is a wife of a police man and daughter of a sub inspector. Still was reluctant. This police man with me, was able to manage it in Kannada and somehow took the statement. And he gets off the bike a few feet before police station and shamelessly asks for money. He didn't agree until I give him Rs. 400(cost for being a law abiding citizen of India). The police man was not aware of re-issue in tatkal. He says unless he gives a report, the passport won't be delivered. And on the same day, I got a SMS from RPO that my passport is dispatched. The policeman said that he would give report in one or two days.

On the fourth day, at about 11AM, I got a call from post man asking if I was present at home. Hitech post men these days. I was at home and he came and delivered the passport. The envelope was torn and before I could realize, the left the scene. Luckily everything was fine.

On a sunday, the same week I got a call from the police station near my current residence. (This is the second police station call). He told me to get ready with Id proof, address proof and passport size photographs, and told me that he would visit my home. I waited for 2 hours and he did not turn up. I called him up again and he told me that he might come that day or the other day and said that two people should vouch for my stay at that address. Finally two police constables came at 8PM on that day and took statements from house owner and a relative of mine. The statements were written in kannada and I cannot do much there. Luckily my house owner and relatives know kannada. So I was saved.  They verified all my original documents. The police man even saw my visas. 

Then, the police men asked me to come to the police station and meet the inspector in charge. I went there, but inspector was not present in the station. I was asked to come back again, the next day. On the next day, I called up the police and visited the station. I had to wait for a long time for the inspector to arrive. When he arrived, I went and met him. He was pretty decent and guided me to the other police men. The police man who came to my house took me to the inspector again, saying that he visited my place. Then the inspector asked me to show all original documents. He asked for address proof to prove that I stayed for one year. I clarified to him that I was not staying for one year at the same address. I also informed him that verification at the other address was over. He readily agreed with me and asked the police man to grant my application. They took me to the writer's room, where they took about 4-5 signatures of mine on an application form and took 2 passport size photographs. He asks me about my profession, if I had own house and if there are any cases on me. With this the writer asked me for xerox amount, which is Rs. 100 - the bribe. There was nothing for him to take xerox, I gave him all the copies. I had to pay and came out of the station.

Just to inform, I called up the police man who came to my house and told him that my verification was done and I was leaving. Now, the police man who came to my house started saying stories. He says that I was not staying for one year and passport won't come for that reason. I informed him that I already got passport, he was shocked to know. :) Then he says inspector won't sign, I reminded him that inspector approved infront of him itself and communicated the same in english. I think this guy doesn't even understand english. Then he says, if I write negative report for you, then you won't get passport. I asked why would he write negative report. Then he says inspector might write such report. He doesn't understand what is meant by passport reissue. He asked me to check with him on the next day, or come back along with my relative, who knows kannada. Now, I could understand that he was thinking big- knowing that I am a software engineer. I didn't call him again, and hope wouldn't. Lets see whats going to happen.

Alas!! The unfortunate thing happened and lots of tension. After about a month, I checked the bangalore police website with my passport details. Since I had verifications at two places, I checked for both. The report was clear for previous address and adverse for present address. The passport india website says "your passport is under review at RPO". I saw this on a Friday and for two days, until Monday had undergone tremendous pressure. I never faced such a situation and donno how to tackle it. Went to police station straight away and asked the inspector. He was not even ready to talk properly. He was trying to bully me, and finally came to know that he rejected because I didn't have address proof. However, I submitted BSNL bills to the police station. I showed them, and he then said I didn't have one year bills. How idiotic. I had to explain to him again that I was undergoing verification at two places. He then started telling stupid stuff that he has strict orders to not approve candidates who do not have 1 year address proof. He then asked me to leave immediately from there. Feeling helpless, could only ask him one thing. What can I do next? He asked me to apply after six months or apply in tatkal mode. I understood how stupid and useless is to talk to him. Left the place with sad face and do not know what to do.

In this tough situation, internet was of good help. Searched all forums, similar cases and even read the passport act completely. Mr Narendra from India Mike forum was very helpful. He asked me to go to RPO and find out the reason and then write a letter to RPO explaining the situation. I also read many supreme court and high court judgements which say that adverse police report doesn't always mean passport should be denied. The RPO has rights to discard police report. This gave me some hope. But weekend was hell, thinking about it all over. I was over reacting, unknowingly. Common man!!

The next monday, I went to the RPO again. Stood in line, got token and then went through a couple of counters. The officer there asked me that police had mentioned that I didn't provide address proof. I told the officer that I provided same proof as I provided to the RPO. Also in police report they mentioned that "One year sufficant address proof not provided" (pardon indian police for spelling mistakes).  I already mentioned to RPO that I stayed at two addresses. This was mentioned in my application. So, I am relieved. I had to mention the staff at RPO are very people friendly and helpful. They scolded police for this nonsense and cleared "Stop Imposed" flag on my tatkal passport within minutes. The Assistant RPO then told me that I can travel anywhere now and need not come to RPO again regarding this passport. I felt really happy!!! God saved me.

Hoever, after a month(2 months after application) of this incident, I got a SMS from Bangalore Sakala services that my police verification report has been submitted. I went and checked online and it was same as before. Passport application rejected, one year sufficant address proof not provided. Two days after SMS, passport india website changed my application status from "under review" to "passport dispatched via speed post". Assuming, all is well !! I hope this saga ends here.



Few things to note, if you are applying for Re-Issue

1.  Marriage Certificate:
For Muslim candidates, marriage certificate issued by Wakf board is perfectly valid.

If your marriage is performed in  Andhra Pradesh, here is the procedure. Take nikah nama (in urdu) to District Government Qazi and get it translated. He verifies it thoroughly, and with valid identity proofs and details will translate it to English and put his stamp on it. He charges a nominal fee of Rs.200 for it. Then, take this translated certificate to Andhra Pradesh State Wakf board in Hyderabad. Pay challan (I guess Rs.100) and submit details. He will take the original nikahanama, translated english version for records. In a day or two you will be issued Marriage certificate after verification.

If you do not have Wakf board issued marriage certificate, then you can use Annexure D form (from passport india website) and get it stamped with a public notary. The form should have joint photograph of husband and wife. This should not be difficult.

2. Attestation is always self attestation on xerox copies, as you will be physically present there with all original documents. If you are applying by post, then you might need to get xerox copies attested by Gazetted officer.

3. Multiple addresses
One address proof for old address is enough. For current address, they take two address proof documents and two types of them. In my case, two BSNL bills of current address and company HR letter. You can also get a bank statement. They also ask a separate letter from bank stating your details(account number, address) along with the statement. The stress is on primary address proof, the other type of proof is for supporting purposes and mostly for non-local candidates. It is always better to carry company identity card, if you are showing company HR letter as one of the address proofs.

4. Police Verification certificate not needed if you are applying for Re-issue in tatkal. This can be verified from the document adviser link on passport website. So,  chill! It is always better to apply before your passport expires, at least a month before.

5. For ECNR stamp, only class X certificate asked. You may have PhD, but they don't care. Otherwise, PAN card is accepted. So, do not forget to take you class X certificate along.

6. If you are planning to booking passport appointment from RPO, be there by 9 AM. You can quickly get token and finish the process quickly. Candidates who get tokens from RPO can directly walk in, no times mentioned. You have to get in to the PSK before 3 PM on the same day usually.

7. After few days of 6 PM failures, you might realize that you are not capable of booking online appointment. Don't  be sad, it is natural. :) I hope some day government officials will resolve this and help common man. I came to know that brokers are charging as much as Rs.1500 just for Passport appointment booking. I am not sure of them, as I don't know. Not only tatkal, there are many other categories of applicants who can get appointment from RPO. Please check. Nobody will ask you to prove your emergency. 

8. You might get tortured by police for mentioning multiple addresses. Because they only know one thing, one address, one year proof. Be ready to face the music. But remember one thing, what ever the difficulty it is, truth prevails and God helps the truthful.


Passport Appointment Booking

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