A slew of measures had been undertaken to ease the process of passport application and processing, Prasanth Chandran, Regional Passport Officer, Kochi, said here on Thursday.
The process of police verification has been simplified, with inquiry just confined from now on to verifying whether the applicant was involved in any criminal offences. While the method of such cross-checking could be decided by the police, they wouldn’t be required to meet the applicant in person and obtain his or her signature in the police verification report, he told the media.
Another change that will bring huge relief to itinerant persons is that they are now free to avail services of a Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) under any Regional Passport Office (RPO) of their choice irrespective of whether their present residential address furnished in the application lies within the jurisdiction of the select RPO.
“Police verification, if required for a specific passport, would be conducted at the address specified in the application form. The passport will be printed and despatched by the RPO selected for application submission by the applicant and will be delivered at the address given in the application,” he said.
For instance, Keralites residing in other States may apply either at their present place of residence or in Kerala with address in Kerala as proof. Passport will then be delivered to their Kerala address. “This means that the requirement of a proof of their temporary address has been dispensed with,” said Mr. Chandran.
That applicants are free to choose their nearest PSK for submission of application will be helpful to thousands of applicants.
“For example, residents of Thiruvalla can now submit their application at Chengannur, Alappuzha or Kottayam Seva Kendras. This was not permitted earlier as Pathanamthitta district was under the jurisdiction of Regional Passport Office, Thiruvananthapuram, and the above mentioned Seva Kendras were under the jurisdiction of the Regional Passport Office, Kochi.”
Mr. Chandran said the mPassportSeva App made available on Android and iOS platforms had been an instant hit with applicants. “It is easy to use and has the facility to apply, pay and schedule appointment for passport services. You needn’t have access to computer or printer to apply for passport now,” he said.