Friday, February 04, 2011

Passport woes again..

Now it's time to renew my dear daugher's passport which is due to expire this May. I decide to try the famed PSK(Passport Seva Kendra) method, since that seems to be the only channel available now. BangaloreOne may still be accepting, but after my last experience ( Passport for Minor, Passport Saga contd, Passport here at last! ) thought should try the direct method this time.

Steps:
  1. Go to http://www.passportindia.gov.in/ and register to create an account. Once this is done, you can download the form, fill it online and upload the generated xml into your account.
  2. Time to make an appointment. Found to my surprize and disappointment that the next available appointment would be about 1.5 months away at Lalbagh PSK and about a week less than that at ORR PSK!!
  3. You can also upload all your supporting documents - I assume this would save time when you are at the PSK so they don't have to scan all the stuff again.
  4. Decided to try the walk-in option - I was told by their call centre that walk-ins are not allowed any more. Heard from a friend by chance that she had just walked in (at 9:30 am) and got her passport done last week! Yippee I thought - I have inside info so will try to get it done now.
  5. Yesterday (3rd Feb) reached the Lalbagh PSK at 9:05 am. The queue already had about 100-150 people in it and was snaking around one corner of the building. Went and joined it only to find at 9:45 that they give out only limited number of tokens (80 on that day) so to all the rest - bye and try again tomorrow!!
  6. This morning (4th Feb) reached the PSK at 7:00 am. They were just opening the outer gate of the compound and the queue which had already formed outside was making its way inside. Joined at the end and tried counting as I passed the ones in front of me - only to find there were already atleast 200(stopped counting!) people in the queue which now extended upto the back of the building. Some kind of weekend rush maybe :(..
  7. We are so used to being hopeful aren't we - even knowing that there was literally no hope - just had to stand there upto 10 or so when it was announced the tokens for the day were done!
All this done with my 5 year old daughter in tow! Found out that the first person in the queue had apparently been standing from 9 pm the previous night (don't know if that was an exaggeration - i sincerely hope so!).

Have taken the next appointment at the ORR PSK on 11th March. Am still making up my mind whether to give this walk-in thing another go next week - probably might try at 5 am and see if that's good enough atleast! Maybe ask hubby to bring D there by 8:30 so she'll not get tired out atleast.

P.S: The urgency is because we were hoping to go for an overseas vacation in April. I realized too late that the passport needs to have a 6 month validity for getting the visa :(. So the later I get this done, the more our plans are delayed - or we end up paying more of a premium for the tickets! If anybody has a solution - please let me know.

Especially for you Forever Mother - first step to getting the passport - make that appointment as soon as you can!! I will let you know how the process goes through the appoinment method if I go through it that way.

7 comments:

  1. ayyyyoooooooo
    my eyes just popped when your blog post title said passport.
    I thought you were done with it!
    OMG OMG, even we were thinking of planning a holiday overseas....and every time i raise the issue, hubby says "But what about Sonny's passport?" And there ends my planning
    Ok will do teh online thingy too.
    Maybe at least START the process. :-(
    Thanks for the warning about the walk-ins. I thought we were beyond such concepts where you wait to see if you'll even get damned token!

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  2. And woman u have patience!!!
    I would have stopped after the first snaky line!!!

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  3. Thanks Forever Mother for bringing a smile to my face :) Much needed the humour today! Was trying my best to not be frustrated by the process, but obviously it's got under my skin!

    And hubby agrees with you, totally rolling his eyes at my even thinking of attempting the walk-in again sometime next week. But I feel like i'm at war with the process you know, I totally have to beat it or die trying ;).

    Kicking myself at not doing daughter's passport along with son's.. atleast even if some additional hitches would've been all done at one go :(. Didn't know that *#!@*$ six month rule thingie!!

    The token limit - am trying to understand that it helps their process to limit the numbers - but not feeling so magnanimous after standing in line 3 hrs in chill winds! Surely they can do something better than leave people stranded (literally!) after waiting so long.

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  4. Good luck........am glad you are planning ahead...
    Lazy us... we took a year to get around to the passport.. and then over another year to get her OCI--- now all set.. just waitnig for out trip back to India.. and Miss V. now does not need a visa for her own country!!!
    Yeah Yeah!!!!!!!!

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  5. Thanks Garima.. don't know about the planning ahead part.. a couple of months ahead may not be enough but keeping fingers crossed :).

    Good luck with planning your India trip!

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  6. Err...haven't been following the passport saga on ur blog, but why not get an agent to do it for you? Why stand in line and go thro all this pain? I've used an agent three times, twice in bangalore and once in delhi, and its been a breeze. did i miss something?

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  7. Well Aparna, I've always had this unfortunate DIY kind of streak for these things ;). I generally like to figure out the small details and feel accomplished at getting it done and all that :).
    Plus now with the PSK system, I think agents are not allowed anymore, and you have to go in person to get it done (Not sure, but that's my understanding).

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