Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Renewing your Indian Passport in the U.S by Post

India Passport
This process is no longer valid as the passport applications are now handled by Cox and Kings Global Services.

I recently renewed my India passport by post at the Houston, TX conuslate. You need to mail your passport to the appropriate consulate, based on your physical address within the US. The whole process took about 3 weeks for me.

There are several documents that have to be attached with your application and here are some key points compiling them.

Photo requirements: There're about 9 passport size photos that are needed to be sent/attached with this application. Walmart quoted  $32 for 10 photos, but I did this via an app on my Windows phone. I bet iPhone and Android have something similar in their store. The way this works is, you take the photo against a white background using this app, the app then puts 6 replica clicked photos on a single "photo", and you then print this collage on a 4X6 inch glossy paper at Walmart (or any other pharmacy) for 45c. So I got 12 photos for ~$3 using this method.

Notary: There're at least 3 documents that need to be notarized. This can be done by either going to a public notary or at any Bank of America or Wells Fargo branch and they will do it for free! Here is an article on notarizing photo copies, if you face any issues.

Cashier's check/DD: Please note that personal check or cash is NOT an accepted form of payment for postal application. You can get a cashier's check or a demand draft in favor of "BLS INTERNATIONAL SERVICES USA INC" at any bank or grocery store for a small fee. This needs to be done before you fill out the online BLS order form, as you will need to input the # in the form.

Shipping Labels: This needs to be done before you fill out the online BLS order form, as you will need to input both tracking numbers for shipments in the online form.
Below are the steps I followed for I bet FedEx has something similar though.
1. Create a UPS personal account from their website.
2. Create two shipping labels (for the packaging type specify UPS Letter)
      (a)  Destination BLS address
      (b) Destination: Your home address
File Number

Online Application: This was pretty straight forward, the only tricky part was a field called
"File Number". This can actually be found on the last page of your current passport. Here is a sample form filled out, that I found on the internet.

Nationality Verification Form: You need to submit 3 copies of this form, here is a sample. The only confusing part is point #14 on there, it seems like you can't enter your home address in India as a reference, so I had to use other addresses of relatives in India.
For #11, I entered the date I first left India for the US.
I left #15 blank.

Affidavit form for change of appearance: This is mandatory only for Houston jurisdiction, and needs to be notarized and signed.

Below is the grand checklist in the order I attached them, with the application:

1) Signed checklist
2) Original India passport
3) Cashier's check for $116.20 (Appropriate fee can be found here)
4) Passport renewal application
5) BLS order form
6) Envelope with 4 photos
7) 3 copies of Nationality Verification Form
8) Colored photocopy of the first five pages and last two pages of the passport.
9) Notarized color H1B VISA photocopy, as proof of valid VISA.
10) Notarized Lease copy as US proof of residence
11) Notarized Change in Appearance and Signature (Only needed for Houston consulate)
12) Return waybill for UPS
13) MS Degree copy for ECNR requirement

Once you mail in the application, it can be tracked here. My status started showing the next day after UPS delivered it to BLS.
Here is the entire timeline.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are moderated by your ISP.