The Minister of External Affairs has recently simplified the process of passport application. Now it is possible to apply for a passport from anywhere in India, irrespective of where you stay.
Here's the good news! You don't need to wait for months to get your passport any more. Yes, now you can get your passport within a span of fifteen days. UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) has made the passport application and renewal process more accessible than ever. You don't need to carry a bunch of documents while applying for the passport. You can simply use your Aadhaar number to verify your identity and address. Aadhar card has made passport services quicker and easier and has reduced much dependence on various documents.
Moreover, the Ministry of External Affairs has started using Aadhar card for identification of passport applicant for the verification of the applicant's criminal record. For finding out the criminal history of the applicant, the department will now rely on the NCRB (National Crime Bureau) database. Earlier, it used to take months to get the passport, but now the entire process has been digitalised. In case you don't have an Aadhar card yet, you must apply for it and get a hardcopy before filling the passport application form online.
Steps to apply for a passport online using Aadhar card.
Step 1: To apply for the passport online, you need to sign up at the Passport Seva Portal. Open passportindia.gov.in and select "Ordinary Passport" option under the online services portal. Click on the "Register Now" option given below "New user" option. You will be redirected to a new page.
Step 2: You need to fill up the details such as passport office, name, date of birth, email ID, login ID, and password. After entering these details, click on the “Register” button.
Step 3: You will get an email on your registered email ID during the application process. Verify and activate the account by clicking on the verification link provided in the email.
Step 4: Give your username and password to login into your account.
Log in and click on the button "Apply for fresh passport/ re-issue of passport".
Step 5: You will be given two options named "Alternative 1" and "Alternative 2". To proceed with an online passport application, select the option "Alternative 2". Click on "fill the application form online" and duly fill the entire form with all the relevant information and submit the same.
Step 6: Visit "View saved/submitted application" page. Click on "Pay and Schedule Appointment". You can make payment using a debit card, credit card, or via net banking. After making the payment, take a print out of the submitted application. Online payment is mandatory for booking an appointment at any passport office. You can also use the SMS sent on your registered mobile number as proof of your appointment at the passport office.
Step 7: Attach a copy of your Aadhar card with the printed passport application form and visit the Passport Seva Kendra. On submitting the required documents, you will get your passport delivered at your doorstep within 15 days.
An Aadhar card contains a unique identification number issued to every citizen in the country, and it is a centralised and universal identification number. The Aadhar card is a biometric document that stores your personal details in the database of the Government of India.
The primary purpose of the Aadhar card was to make it easier for the citizens to avail subsidies provided by the government and have a unique identity number which works as an address proof and the identity proof.
While the government has published several uses of Aadhaar card through awareness campaigns, there are a few essential uses of Aadhar card that you should be aware of.
- Universal Identity card: The main aim to introduce Aadhar card has always been to give a universal and unique identity card to the civilians of India. However, Aadhaar is a card that does not have a specific purpose behind it. Unlike voter ID, whose sole purpose is to permit the holder to take part in the election process, Aadhaar was not introduced with any specific use. Instead, it can be used for several purposes, making it a universally acceptable identity card issued by the Government of India.
- Availing subsidies: One of the most important uses of Aadhar card is that it allows you to avail all government subsidies you are eligible for. Since the government has the database of all citizens, you only need to produce your Aadhar card in order to avail various grants and programmes offered by the government.
- Ease of availability: The Aadhar card is the only government-issued document that is easily available & valid anywhere in India. You can use the online version of the Aadhar card which is known as e-Aadhaar. It is a downloadable version of the physical copy of Aadhar card and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. This makes it convenient for individuals to always have a copy of a valid government-issued document that is easily accessible.
e-Aadhaar reduces the risk of the original document being misplaced or stolen.
Apart from the usage mentioned above, Aadhar card can come in handy while opening a bank account. Aadhar card can be used for KYC process, verification and identification purposes. Moreover, several programs introduced by the government such as Digital Life Certificate, Jan Dhan Yojana LPG Subsidy etc. can be availed using Aadhar card.
You can also link your Aadhaar number to your pension account and can have pension fund disbursed directly to your account. If you want to obtain a passport, you can apply for the same online by attaching your Aadhar card as the residence and identity proof along with the application.
The passport application process initially used to be time-consuming. Starting from passport application, getting an appointment, furnishing the bunch of required documents, processing your application, dispatching the passport and lastly, the police verification, Aadhaar has truly been useful.
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