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How to renew / reissue Indian passport after 10 years, in USA by post – BLS international

15 Oct

*** Update: Guys, before posting a question, please go through the post & comments already present in this post. I am getting a lot of questions which have clear answers in the posts or have been answered in the comments sections. In case you post a question here and I have just approved but not replied then please understand that the answer is present in post / comments or am posting for someone else to reply as I might have no idea about it.

This way I can get time to attempt to answer the questions which are not covered in either the post or comments and not repeating the same info again.

*** IMP Update:  Cox and Kings would be the knew service provider to Indian consulate after May 20th. If you can, wait for them to take over than submitting your application to BLS.

*** Update: 06/04 As per comments from many others it seems like BLS is still handling passport services so ignore the comment above

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/indian-embassy-in-us-outsources-visa-passport-services-to-new-firm/470326-2.html

** Check the end of the post for issues related to BLS & USPS express packages

** Check comments for FAQ

 Have woken from my long siesta to share some info on the process of getting an Indian passport renewed while staying in USA.

Thought of writing this post to help others like me, who may want to get their Indian passports renewed while staying in USA and are faced with little or minimal how to on the Indian consulate site.

***As of May 2013   The Consulate General of India  outsourced the handling of Passport and related applications to M/s. BLS International Services Ltd [Earlier it was with Travisa]

Step 1: –  Visit the Indian consulate site at http://www.indianconsulate.com/  [Check if another agency change has occured if not then the below is still valid info]

Step 2:- Visit the BLS International site at http://www.blsindia-usa.com/

Passport_Renew001

Step 3:- Click on the Passport link / image.

Step 4:– Click on the Passport menu ->> Reissue of passport after 10 years

Passport_Renew006

You will be re-directed to a page which has a lot of data about the process – general information, application centers, documents required etc etc.

Step 5:-Read through this page for an overview of the process then go to the Indian Passport application center section.

Indian consulate has divided various states into regions and they have 1 office catering to multiple states, please make sure you understand which application center you need to apply to as per the state / region you live in.  For me it was Chicago being in Indiana, click on the various application center’s to understand which center you fall in.

Application centres as per regions

Step 6:-  Go through the entire page to make sure you understand the process and the documentations required. The details on this page are pretty straight forward and shouldn’t be that hard to follow. I just had to get the passport reissued after 10 years hence my documentation requirement was pretty straight forward. Please check the page in detail as per your requirement.

Step 7: BLS needs you to fill an application form which can be found here http://blsindianvisa.com/orderform/passport.php

BLS Passport order form

In this form most of the fields are pretty self explanatory , will mention a few just for clarity

a) Location – This needs to be the passport application center and not the region you are located in.

b) Airway bill no : Provide the tracking number of your shipment, this is further used to track the package delivery on BLS website. This is provided in the receipt / slip that you will have from your shipping. Yeah its kind of confusing for some but basically we need to go and get the envelops from postal services [USPS / UPS / Fedex] prior to filling the forms.

Shipping - Airway bill number

Shipping – Airway bill number

[Please read the section below on how to send the documents to BLS.]

c) Airway bill no [return envelope airway bill no] It is always a good idea to send BLS a self addressed return envelope. This provides 2 way tracking of the application. If your postal tracking shows dispatched that means BLS has processed your passport and its on the way. It sure helps to have a backup tracking mechanism.

BLS passport form 2d) Address to be printed on passport:- This should be the US address as you are living in US, some people have reported even if they entered their Indian address it went through on the passport. I had called BLS center to check on this , as per them it should be US address only, but many of my friends have also got their Indian addresses printed without providing any address proof.

e) Payment details:- Here we have to mention if its a demand draft / money order / cashiers check and the check number associated with it. Please note cashiers check is not same as the normal check we receive on opening the bank account

Once you save this form , you will get an email on the email address which was provided by you , that email contains 2 documents

1) BLS Form :- Take a print out of this form , it needs to be submitted along with your documents in the application envelope.

2) BLS shipping label:- This contains the mailing address for BLS and your application / case number – Make sure that you paste this label along with your shipping label on the form. This has a barcode which gets scanned on receipt at the BLS office and it updates the tracker.

Step 8:- Once you are done with the BLS Passport form, its time to fill another form 🙂 The govt of India NRI passport application form located at https://passport.gov.in/nri/

NRI Passport Application form

Before you start filling this form please note the following –

  • Once you submit this form, you cannot go back and edit the form, the only way to update the info on this form is to fill up another form.
  • If you are not sure of a few things in the form, do not submit. You can keep the form partially filled and fill later on based on the temporary application id received while filling the form. [check the image below for the location of temporary application id]

NRI passport application form

Select the appropriate Indian mission ie the application center and the type of service ie reissue of passport.

The only thing confusing in this form is “File number” required in the passport section. This information is available on the last page of your passport as shown in the image below.

Passport file number

Once done filling the rest of the information, click save and then print the form. In case you do not print the form, you can always go back and print the form with the web file number. Once you print the form, you will get a 3 page document which contains some of the fields pre- populated based on the info you just filled and some fields which you need to fill in now to complete the form.

Will mention some of the fields here for clarity.

  • Amount paid should match the total of the amount shown at the BLS passport form, you can combine the total amount ie passport service + BLS service + ICWF for me it was $91.20.
  • For delivery by mail … should be NA since you are sending a self addressed envelope to BLS. In case you do not then you need to pay extra for them to ship the package to you.
  • Point # 10 : Education – People with Degree certificate etc fall under ECNR category. hence mention your education properly.
  • Point #11: When did the applicant first leave India – If you read the question properly it asks you the first time you left India not when did you leave india for this trip, hence in case, this is not your first trip out of India please mention the date of your first travel out side India. You can find the date on the passport pages stamped on the adjacent page by your visa.
  • Point #11: When was he / she last in India:- this should be the last time you left India if you haven’t yet returned to India then this would be your departure date- check the passport again for the exact date.
  • Point #12: Total time outside India – This is the time from your last date in India till now.
  • Point#13: Present emigration status ie ECNR or ECR- this is available on the 2nd page of your passport.
  • Point #19: references – these can be anybody [other than family] even in India .
  • Point #22: No of lost/damaged passport:- Since this is reissue of passport only mention NA here. Mention NA in the next few points where appropriate.
  • Point #29: Sign in the boxes.
  • Passport photo needs to be attached to the form in the designated space, Along with this the “documents requirements” section on BLS site mentions send 2 more photos. When I had called the BLS helpline they asked me to staple an additional photo at the end of the form below the signatures. I stapled one there and added an additional one by attaching it to the form with a u-pin.

Step 9:-Nationality verification form  – Can be downloaded from http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/forms/NationalityVerificationForm.doc

  • This form is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require any clarification – Its the same information which we have filled in the earlier 2 forms.
  • The only confusing part here is in document requirements section they have mentioned take 3 copies of this form and in the checklist they have mentioned nationality form not forms. I got pretty confusing answers from people, after calling BLS they confirmed its 3 forms [no idea why] with 3 photos attached to them in the space provided.

**Tip: – We can either print this form and then write on it or we can type in the document and take a printout directly. I did the later, saved me time.

Step 10:- Documents required – what goes in the package 

  • Money order / cashier’s cheque or demand draft
  • BLS filled form print out.
  • NRI Passport Application form. [1 photo attached in the space on 1st page and 1 more at the end of the form below the signatures.]
  • 3 copies of national verification form [each form needs 1 photo attached to it in the designated space]
  • Photo copy of 1st 5 pages of passport. [Page numbers are mentioned on the passport in case you are confused.]
  • Photo copy of the last 2 pages of passport.
  • NOTARIZED Photocopy of the visa page in passport.
  • Notarized photocopy of address proof for USA – either of Electricity bill, Mobile bill, Gas bill , internet bill , driving license suffices here.
  • Optional: Photocopy of graduation / post graduation certificate Just to avoid any delays had attached photocopy of my Masters certificate.
  • Optional: Affidavit for change in appearance – I had got my passport in my college days and as I had my travel trip planned within a couple of months from application for renewal of passport, I didn’t want to take the risk of any delays hence I had attached a change in appearance form along with the documents, its mentioned on the BLS site and can be located at the following location – http://passport.blsindia-usa.com/forms/ChangeInAppearanceAffidavit.pdf
  • Passport [Don’t forget this, its very easy to forget, also ensure you have removed the i94]

**** Tip: We can get the documents notarized at various locations in the city – banks, post office , mostly companies have a notary on their payroll too. Else the ones outside charge something around $7-$9 per document going up to a upper bar on the amount something like $20 irrespective of how many you notarize. If you have a bank account visit their branch they will do it for free.

Update 01/27: It seems Bank of America has stopped notarizing documents, PNC bank still continues to do so. Also read my comment below which has a link to diff places we can get notarization done.

**** TIPS ****

  1. Make a photocopy / scan important pages of your passport. Remember your passport identifies you as a valid Indian citizen.
  2. I have the habit of scanning any form I send, hence I have kept a scanned copy of all the forms , cashiers check etc sent for this application.
  3. Hand delivering the package doesn’t add any value to the processing time, I had called and confirmed with BLS if it would help in speeding the processing time. Of course If you live in the same city might as well go and visit personally. For me it was a drive from Southern Indiana to Illinois and not worth the time.
  4. You have an option of sending the package via USPS / UPS / Fedex. I chose USPS as it was right next to my office and it provided Express overnight delivery at a good price $15 envelope and $19 for cardboard box as of 11 OCT 2013.
  5. Make sure while getting the envelope from post office , you take a printout of your document to make sure you can fit them in and don’t have to fold them in.
  6. I took a cardboard envelope and a normal envelope for express shipping ie overnight shipping and put the self addressed shipping slip on the cardboard envelope and the TO BLS shipping slip on the normal envelope.
  7. While sending the documents , put them in the semi hard envelope [do not seal this] and then put the semi hard envelope inside the normal envelope which is addressed to BLS. [this gives your documents and passport the extra layer of protection].
  8. IMP info: I had shipped on Friday 11th and the package reached BLS office on 12th , as the office was closed on Saturday the delivery person took it back to the post office and left a notice for them. I had called USPS call center and then the local post office to make sure they redelivered to BLS. They had already planned to redeliver on 15th and the nice lady at the Chicago local post office went and checked to confirm if it had been sent out. I had explained the package contains imp documents ie passport etc to her.  Hence please time your package delivery accordingly, make sure it reaches them on a working day [Mon – Friday] and also take into account any holidays in the week to avoid wastage of days 🙂
  9. Photo — Based on my friend’s recommendations had visited CVS,  Wallgreens for getting a pic clicked, unfortunately I didn’t find any of their service good. The camera used by them were old, i had my doubts it would work and also pics clicked by them sucked big time and did not follow the photo specifications specified by the consulate at all. [Remember its 2 X 2 like US pics and not the 3.5 or XXX we have back in India].
  10. I finally visited SAMS club and they had proper equipment and in the system they had a proper template which checked for the placement of eyes, chin, ear in the pic as per the specifications. The quality of the pics was too good. [This was in Columbus, Indiana maybe your luck might be better in your region]
  11. Passport photos can be clicked at post office too. [I found this out while finally sending the package, they charge a whopping $15 for 2 photos]
  12. Some people suggest online sites http://www.epassportphoto.com/ ,  http://www.idphoto4you.com/ which help you crop the photo in the passport photo specifications.-personally feel its nor worth the hassle and risk to save approximately $20 – $25 [unless you do not have a time constraint] but of course choice lies with you.
  13. Payment:- Payment modes allowed are Demand Draft, Money Order, Cashiers check. Cashiers check is usually free to bank’s account holders check with your bank. Mine was PNC and they provided it free of cost to me.
  14. Copying and pasting from a reply to question as per suggestion by Keerti. 

BLS drops the packages in the drop box in their building. Unlike Fedex & UPS , USPS express packages need to be hand delivered in the post office to be considered as express mails [in spite of express mail packaging]. The express packages received via drop box get treated as normal mail and are processed as per the standard mail duration. I went through the same scenario during my application resulting in me running around USPS office and BLS/ consulate to track my missing passport.[BLS site claimed it was dispatched while USPS had no acknowledgement of receiving the parcel]

This was confirmed to me by USPS office / USPS pickup guy and they also told me they have repeatedly asked BLS not to drop express packages in drop box yet they do the same to save a few efforts [USPS office is 2 blocks away from BLS office]

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to track on USPS tracking site till it reaches a distribution center near your city. It took 3 days from Chicago to Columbus, IN. USPS showed no record of receipt of my passport till it reached Indy the reason being it gets acknowledged only at the distribution center, in my case Indy.BLS had dropped it on Monday and I collected it from Columbus USPS on Wednesday morning. Till Tuesday 8:00 PM USPS site showed no record of receiving the package.

 

Let me know if I missed adding any important info , would be happy to add more to this post.

**** Disclaimers ****

  • All the urls mentioned in the post are from BLS India website.
  • This is my understanding of the process and how I got my passport renewed, please make sure you visit their website and ensure the process has not changed since the date of this post.

Let me know your feedback on what is missing, what should be added etc

P.S: I had applied in the month of Oct 2013

 

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1,113 responses to “How to renew / reissue Indian passport after 10 years, in USA by post – BLS international

  1. sudhanshubhatt

    December 13, 2015 at 10:58 PM

    Hi Shaunak and everyone who has posted here 🙂

    First off, this is amazingly detailed post. I guess including the original post and comments, almost everything is covered.

    I went through the whole thread, and it looks like it is a matter of chance if you want to add your Indian address on the passport.
    So here is my question:
    If I put my Indian address in both the Address to be printed on passport and Other address fields, then isn’t that risky? I mean if they decide to not add my Indian address on the passport, then they have no way of knowing my US address and thus won’t even print the US address 😦

    So what would be a good thing to do here?
    a) Address to be printed: Indian address and Other address: US address
    OR
    b) Address to be printed: Indian address and Other address: Indian address

    Thanks
    Sudhanshu Bhatt

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      December 14, 2015 at 2:37 PM

      Hi Sudhanshu,

      I have heard conflicting views on this, some have got the Indian address printed [as long as their original passport contained the same Indian address] while some got US address in spite of having mentioned US address.

      IF you do not provide the information, they can return the package back to you too.

      S

      Like

       
    • sridhar

      December 15, 2015 at 3:45 PM

      I did exactly the same and had Indian address on my passport. I did not submit any Indian proof of address again.

      Like

       
    • Rishi

      December 15, 2015 at 5:25 PM

      Hi Sudhanshu,
      I too had the same query, I spoke with BLS customer care.
      As per their suggestion, I provided Indian address in Address to be printed and US address in other address. So to answer to your question, Go for point A if you need indian address.
      FYI, I received my passport last week from Chicago consulate with Indian address.

      Hope it helps.

      Regards,
      Rishi

      Like

       
  2. vyoma

    December 10, 2015 at 6:58 PM

    Hi,
    No wonder I am still folllowing this blog and helped many others.

    I am in need of an urgent query regarding passport renewal.

    I have scheduled my walkin appointment at BLS NY for passport renewal , I wanted to know is there a possibility if they can courier the passport after the renewal… and if yes then how it is done..

    and also can i have it couriered to my friend place as we might shift to other place during the month.

    thanks…please assist.

    Like

     
  3. Rishi

    December 4, 2015 at 8:49 PM

    Thank you Shaunak, for a well-documented reference guide to renew Passport.
    I followed the guided steps and received my renewed Passport in 3 weeks (Chicago Consulate).

    Below are few tips for starters.
    1) When getting the shipping label from BLS customer care, do take care that your ZIP code is correctly captured.
    2) I got my Indian address (old Passport Address) printed on my new passport. I improved my case, by getting even my old passport notary (Just in case if the authorities felt a document to validate the address)
    3) If your old passport has ECNR then you need not send any degree certificates.
    4) To avoid any delays and thereby hassles, go for a Change in appearance document. It’s a simple notarized self-attested document.
    5) I got my passport Photos shot by my DSLR and used some paid applications to edit it. It worked wonders.
    Note: I did visit Walgreens, but the photo quality wasn’t good. It may have got approved by authorities but the image was dull. After all, the photo would be an identity for next ten years, so didn’t take a chance.

    Regards,
    Rishi

    Like

     
    • sudhanshubhatt

      December 13, 2015 at 11:01 PM

      Hi Rishi,

      Congratulations 🙂

      I have a question i.e. you mentioned that you got your Indian address printed on the passport.
      So can you please tell me what address did you put in these two fields:
      a) Address to be printed on passport ? (my guess is your Indian address)
      b) Other address?

      Thanks in advance!!

      Sudhanshu

      Like

       
  4. Amit

    December 3, 2015 at 7:51 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Very well explained step by step instruction. It helped me to get my passport renewal. A big thank to you !!!!

    Regards,
    Amit R

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      December 4, 2015 at 6:09 PM

      Thanks Amit, glad to help

      Like

       
    • Kunal Soni

      December 6, 2015 at 3:54 PM

      Hi All,

      Sorry, but after reading all the steps I am still unable to start my application for passport renewal. I asked the Atlanta Helpdesk by email and they sent me link to fill order form, but it asks for order form no. and I do not know what that is.

      The Passport order form which is a different one asks for 2 airway bill no.s and I am not sure what that is either. For Airway bill no., it says Note : You would receive the Tracking no or Airway bill once you pay on Pick-up & Delivery Service.

      I think it would be 2 envelopes from UPS/ Fedex, so maybe the first step is to get the envelopes from UPS / Fedex. What type of envelopes do I get?
      I am also emailing Atlanta helpdesk but so far their responses have been confusing, with grammatical errors. Also, it seems that 2-3 other people are also seeing this deadlock trying to send postal application for passport renewal. I would appreciate an answer.

      Like

       
      • Shaunak Pandit

        December 9, 2015 at 4:44 PM

        Kunal,

        Please go through the blog, I have detailed out everything that you are asking questions on

        Like

         
  5. Daniel

    November 27, 2015 at 5:09 PM

    Shaunak, like many others who have replied to this post, I am very grateful that you shared your experiences and continue to facilitate discussion. Thank you for your diligence!

    I got my new passport today (along with the cancelled old passport) after 22 days from the consulate in Chicago. I used UPS Ground service with their Express envelopes for delivery and return. Some tips from my experience:

    * You can get passport photos from some USPS locations; you will need an appointment though. Even if you get your picture taken at a place that claims to do passport photos, make sure that the prints you get match all the requirements posted on the website (dimensions, background color, no shadows etc.). Some camera/printer operators just aren’t the best! 🙂

    * It’s best to fill out all the fields in the online application form (even the ones that are not marked as mandatory). For instance, (educational) ‘Qualification’ is a field that’s not marked as mandatory on the online application form, but when you print out the completed form you discover that this might be used to determine emigration status.

    * It is a good idea to print out almost all forms other than the nationality verification form using a laser printer. Inkjet printers might make the bar codes on these forms unreadable by a scanner.

    * If you have a colleague who is a Notary Public, he/she can notarize copies of your documents.

    Like

     
  6. Sai

    November 16, 2015 at 8:12 PM

    Appreciate your awesome job Shaunak. I do have one question and I could not find anything about it in the comments section. On the BLS website, i read the following :

    “Notarized Color photocopy of current valid US visa on passport or Green card or Employment Authorization Card or I- 797 approval notice documents. Student visa Status holders must enclose I-20 Document as well. If your visa has expired and/or or you have the receipt notice for extension of your visa then: NYC, SFO & HOU Jurisdiction Applicants – must provide a notarized no status affidavit with photocopy of the valid passport and the green card of two witnesses duly notarized + 7 Copies of Nationality Verification Form (Given in Point 2 above) are required and each copy must have an original photograph affixed on it. WAS/ATL/HOU/CHI Jurisdiction Applicants – must visit the consulate in person for an interview before applying at the passport application center.”

    From what I understood after reading that, it appears that if your current visa on your passport is expired, you have to visit the consulate in person if your jurisdiction is WAS/ATL/HOU/CHI.

    But I hear from my friends that this is not required and that they have sent their applications by post even though their visa on the passport has expired.

    If so, then what is correct interpretation of that paragraph ?

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      November 16, 2015 at 8:29 PM

      Sorry buddy no idea about the expired visa thing, hopefully some one else here knows about it and replies to you.

      Like

       
      • Sai

        November 16, 2015 at 9:38 PM

        Thanks for the quick response. My visa on my passport expired in May 2015 but I have an approved H1-B extension and I-94 up to May 2017. I have no plans of visiting India in the next 1 year, so I am NOT planning to go for any visa stamping.
        But my passport expires in March 2016 so I need to renew it. Isn’t there anyone here who got their passport renewed even though their visa stamping on their passport has expired ?

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        November 17, 2015 at 12:59 AM

        Did you try calling BLS and asking them? What are they saying needs to be done? Also if you find out do let all of us know

        Like

         
      • gbs gbs

        November 17, 2015 at 3:18 AM

        Hai sir,

        Kindly help how to renew my indian passport while working usa as it is going to expire by Dec’2015. I donot want to go to India for next 4/5 years as there is ‘Blue corner notice’ and crime in India as accused no. 1. I am in panic situation. Kindly help me and advise me. Please reply. URGENT

        Bye

        On 11/17/15, In the Line of Fire….Ramblings of the Incoherent mind

        Like

         
    • Sai

      November 17, 2015 at 5:00 PM

      After 2 days of trying to get through their phone lines, I was finally successful in talking to someone at the BLS. Please note that I have been trying to reach them even before I posted my question here.
      They confirmed that I don’t need to be in person for my renewal. In the instruction given on their site, when they said “Valid Visa” they mean “Valid Status”. Since I already have an approved H1-B petition valid till May 2017, I can send my documents via post.

      And here is one more thing that the person said to me before i ended my call. he said if I am willing to send my documents via post, he can send me AWB number and shipping label if I pay him $30.00 over the phone. He said they have partnered with UPS for pickup and delivery of the documents and passport and that they would be responsible for any delays or lost package. ALl he wanted was Applicant Name, DOB, Address and Email and $30.00 payment then he would send AWB and shipping labels to my email which I can use while filling BLS order form.

      However, I did not give him any details and told I will call him later. Did any of you try this ?

      Like

       
  7. Sidharth

    November 13, 2015 at 7:54 PM

    Shaunak, thanks for this detailed blog

    My passport expires December 19 2016, but I want to get the passport renewed after December 19 2015, would that be fine or BLS doesn’t allow that?

    I want to do this as my H1B1 application will be submitted on April 2016 & my immigration lawyer said it would be better to get the passport renewed as soon as possible.

    Thanks in advance for your reply

    Sidharth

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      November 14, 2015 at 5:06 PM

      I do think you can apply for renewal 1 year before the expiry of the passport. Although since I had done it in 2013, I may be not recalling correctly. Please do confirm with BLS if it is 1 year or 6 months.

      Like

       
    • sridhar

      November 30, 2015 at 6:11 PM

      Yes you can apply for renewal 1 year before the expiry date, I have done the same and waiting to get my passport.

      Like

       
      • sridhar

        December 4, 2015 at 5:06 PM

        Hi, just wanted to update that I finally my passport is with BLS back from consulate. Thanks again Shaunak for putting out all the steps. As for myself went to a UPS and got all the documents Notarized without any problem. The notary in our legal department refused to notarize my marriage certificate, but the UPS was fine saying that it is a Foreign certificate and wouldn’t be a problem. This is in Wisconsin, so you can use the same argument if it helps. Also I bought two envelopes prepaid (to BLS and from BLS) and sent all the document enclosed in the unused envelope.

        These tracking numbers on the envelope is entered in the BLS Order form.

        Here is the timeline for me, I got a little anxious when there were other timelines mentioned which were faster, but nothing to worry. I guess it all depends on the number of applications the Consulate receive.

        BLS Receipt Number => USAC01424015
        Current Aplication Status : Ready for Dispatch
        Application accepted by BLS:12-11-2015 , 15:09
        Application Processed on Date : 12-11-2015
        Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 12-11-2015 , 17:23
        Passport received at BLS Center : 04-12-2015 , 09:03

        Like

         
  8. Rushikesh

    October 27, 2015 at 3:56 PM

    Hi, Shaunak

    Thanks for such a nice detailed blog.
    I have a small question I read blog after i sent my application so I put my India address as to be printed on passport and i did not sent any proof for that (other than my original passport), but i sent US address proof as a driving license. I just sent application today.
    So do you think it will be a problem? or they will just print my US address on passport?

    Thanks,

    Rushi

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      November 13, 2015 at 2:24 PM

      Hi Rushi,

      As long as your India address is same as the one on your older passport, you are good. They had already verified your address at the time of your previous passport.

      Like

       
    • manishk

      November 13, 2015 at 4:25 PM

      I received my passport a couple weeks back from Washington DC Embassy and, despite my Indian address on the application being same as the one on my old passport, my current address in US has been printed on my new passport. I initially thought it could be a problem since I will move out of my current US address sooner or later. But I don’t think it matters. So far, I have never used my passport as a proof of address. Your address in India can change as well and I don’t think you are expected to update the passport every time you change your location.
      Rushikesh, you are likely to get your US address printed on new your passport though it could be Embassy dependent as well.

      Like

       
  9. Suresh

    October 23, 2015 at 5:14 PM

    Hi,
    I’m also facing issue in generating the Shipping label via BLS site since it was asking Order Form No… whereas in Order Form, it asks for Airway Bill No. I contacted BLS support via e-mail and they said Order Form No is not mandatory to generate shipping label.

    Does anyone face this issue while using their Pick & Deliver option?

    Thanks,
    Suresh

    Like

     
    • Kirtesh

      November 15, 2015 at 3:46 AM

      Hi, I am trying same thing and found issue and it seems deadlock for both form. How did you resolve it ? Order form no ?

      Like

       
    • Suresh

      December 9, 2015 at 6:06 PM

      Received my new PP yday 12/8. Thanks to Shaunak for wonderful blog… I had most of my queries answered here!!! Only once i contacted BLS support via e-mail since the Order form was not taking spl characters in address. They asked me to send covering letter with order form stating the spl char issue in the form.

      Application accepted by BLS: 12-11-2015 , 10:00
      Application Processed on Date :12-11-2015
      Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 12-11-2015 , 16:55
      Passport received at BLS Center : 04-12-2015 , 12:16
      Passport handed over to Applicant : –
      Passport Dispatched to Applicant :04-12-2015 , 12:16

      My pp has issue date as 11/20…and it took 04/12 to reach BLS.

      Here are few tips from my side.

      1) BLS order form won’t allow you to generate courier pickup & dropoff unless you have order form#. So, i went to nearest UPS and got the Airway bill# for 2 days service which cost $40 for both ways.
      2) Address in PP: sent my Indian voter Id as “Address to print in PP” along with my DL for US proof… In PP, only my Indian address with SPL CHAR got printed 🙂
      3) For Houston, I sent one extra photo along with the application + 3 national verification form (so total 3+1+1)
      4) In application form, i mentioned only the passport fee (excl BLS service fee). In sec 3 (a, b), mentioned only Indian address. My visa in pp was till Dec 2015… so didn’t send any additional document like reference by GC holders in it.

      Hope this info will be useful!

      Cheers,
      Suresh

      Like

       
  10. Yogesh

    October 7, 2015 at 3:29 AM

    Thanks a lot Shaunak for the detailed and extremely helpful post.

    A couple of questions on the form

    a) Amount to be filled on application form – will it be total amount of 91.20 OR the amount – BLS processing fee i.e. 78?

    b) #12 – How long has applicant continuously resided abroad ? Is this the total time from the day you entered first in US or the time from the last visit?

    c) What to fill for Emigration Check required ? The current status from your current passport OR the current status as per your current degree?

    The reason I am asking is because as per passport it is ECR and as I have Bachelors degree now , it should be ECNR – based on instructions in the sample application given on BLS website.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      October 8, 2015 at 3:23 PM

      Not sure about #C but the rest are already answered in the post & comments, please check there for the answers

      Like

       
  11. Natarajan

    October 1, 2015 at 8:18 PM

    I called BLS Atlanta and received the shipping label and transaction number for return as well. The call center person asked for basic details and everything went smooth. There seems to be some issues with return ship date for FED EX /UPS /USP and the Order form Number (mandatory field) which does not allow to pay for the courier service online. Finally relieved to have found a solution for this issue 🙂 Hope this helps.

    Like

     
  12. manishk

    October 1, 2015 at 6:22 PM

    Could anyone tell me what all gets returned when the passport is reissued? Is it just the old and the new passport or some other documents with it? I want to know if the return envelope can be smaller than one that fits A4 size sheets. Appreciate your help!
    This is a very useful blog Shaunak. Certain things, that were not very clear on BLS webpages, got clarified through your blog. So, many thanks to you!! 🙂

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      October 1, 2015 at 6:40 PM

      You are welcome.

      Just the passports , unless you have provided much more docs than required. Also, since we send the photocopies not originals , it wont matter if the box is small , they can always fold it and send it out.

      Like

       
  13. bhamarsd

    September 18, 2015 at 10:49 PM

    I followed the process on this blog and received the passport in 2.5 weeks from SFO consulate. Thanks for all the help. Wanted to add my 2 cents to the information:

    1. I opted for the BLS Courier Drop-off and Pick-up service. It costs 30$ for UPS 2nd Day Air option for both sending and return service of the passport. It’s fairly straightforward and fast. You need not go worry about airway bill numbers and so on. BLS will send you emails regarding the same once you sign-up.

    2. Notary: I made it slightly complicated by going to various banks and all of them denied. Eventually, I paid 7$ at AAA office and got One page declaration notarized wherein I declared that I have made TRUE copies of XYZ documents (make a list of everything that you are sending) and signed. Notary then attached his own sheet and gave stamps only on that document. I confirmed this with the BLS and they said it will work and it worked. This is the best way to do the notary and saves lot of money and documentation.

    Application accepted by BLS:03-09-2015 , 14:00
    Application Processed on Date : 03-09-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 04-09-2015 , 11:18
    Passport received at BLS Center : 15-09-2015 , 17:03
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :16-09-2015 , 14:07

    I received my passport on 18-09-15. On front page (photo page), I have a reflection or watermark of my photo behind the DOB location. It is 2 X 2 inch size watermark with photo. This is new as it did not exist on the old passport. Do any of you have such watermark/reflection ? I am wondering if this is new system or a printing error. Please comment.

    Like

     
    • nikhil noronha

      October 5, 2015 at 5:54 PM

      how were you able to fill the BLS Courier Drop off and Pick Up service form , It doesnt allow me to fill it up and keeps asking for order form no. Which I dont have as the order form cannot be completed without the airway bill numbers

      Like

       
      • Raj

        December 7, 2015 at 5:33 AM

        I have the same question, were you able to figure it out?

        Like

         
      • aditya

        December 8, 2015 at 10:30 PM

        I am having the same problem, did you find a solution for this ?

        Like

         
      • aditya

        December 9, 2015 at 4:22 PM

        I found/copied these instructions in some other blog, hope this helps

        I faced the same situation(Without AIRWAY Bill#, how to submit BLS Order form).

        Answer from BLS
        ***In case you do not have airway bill details while filling the BLS order form, you may enter ‘O’ or any details so that you could process the BLS order form
        ———————-
        I did the same thing. Put capitol “o” and submitted the form.
        Then competed courier formality using order form.

        Once you done, then edit BLS order from.
        How to do that: Put same entry and in the end it will say, we have existing form
        DO you want to update.
        Then do it and add AIrway Bill# and you will received modifed BLS order form in email.

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        December 9, 2015 at 4:42 PM

        Also, I have mentioned how to get the Airway Bill number so this situation shouldn’t usually arise.

        Like

         
  14. Vyoma

    September 17, 2015 at 1:47 PM

    Hi..

    I am back and this time its for me….I was able to renew my husbands passport a year back due to this blog…Once again I need help from you wonderful people…

    I am in USA , got married in India last year…My passport is getting expired in march next year..

    I am on H4 so have few doubts…

    1. Do I need to apply for renewal as individual..(I mean as not considering the fact as married)
    2. If applying as Married and being on H4 what all documents I need. (do I need my husbands documents as well)
    3. I am okay to keep my name same only can change marital status

    Please help me solve this…

    thanks

    Like

     
  15. Nitesh

    September 14, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    Thanks Shaunak for all these details…it helped me a lot while applying for my passport….received my passport today…
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using UPS Service. Tracking No.
    Application accepted by BLS: 31-08-2015 , 10:53
    Application Processed on Date :31-08-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 31-08-2015 , 16:16
    Passport received at BLS Center : 11-09-2015 , 09:09
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :11-09-2015 , 10:37

    now planning to follow your PMP blogs…thanks again…

    Nitesh
    Fort Wayne, Indiana

    Like

     
  16. Rajesh

    September 11, 2015 at 2:40 AM

    Passport Renewal 2nd Time from NewYork(lastime done year 2005)
    Pandit and Others Members Info was Good

    BLS Receipt Number => xxxxxxxxx
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.AWB xxxxxxx
    Application accepted by BLS: 28-08-2015 , 14:58
    Application Processed on Date :28-08-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 31-08-2015 , 15:24
    Passport received at BLS Center : 10-09-2015 , 10:21
    Passport handed over to Applicant :-
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant : 10-09-2015 , 10:21

    Like

     
  17. Swayam

    August 18, 2015 at 7:56 PM

    I received my passport within 2 weeks of application. NYC Consulate is pretty fast i beilieve in the whole processing thing.

    Application accepted by BLS: 07-08-2015 , 13:04
    Application Processed on Date :07-08-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 10-08-2015 , 14:53
    Passport received at BLS Center : 18-08-2015 , 11:12
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :18-08-2015 , 15:17

    Liked by 1 person

     
  18. vishnu

    August 13, 2015 at 3:21 PM

    Thanks a lot Shaunak Pandit for your effort.. It helped me too.

    I kept the return envelope while sending. but somehow BLS missed it and when i called the agent, some time they said they found it and later they said they don’t have it. So i have to pay another $15 to get my passport back. Other than that , overall smooth..

    Thanks again

    Liked by 1 person

     
  19. Nim Raj

    August 9, 2015 at 4:21 AM

    Hi! I recently applied for passport renewal and accidentally forgot to put my passport it. I’m freaking out. What do I do now? Please reply ASAP

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 12, 2015 at 5:02 PM

      Try calling BLS, they wont process till you send the passport. They might even send your application back

      Like

       
  20. Hariharan Ragunathan

    August 6, 2015 at 7:04 PM

    Just followed the process for my passport renewal – Just received my passport today – 8/6. Sent my documents on 7/30 to SFO from Seattle and came back in just a week. Thanks Shaunak for a very detailed Write up. Few additional Tips, Providing this so it would help others,
    1. For Notary, I went to First Tech Federal Credit Union, where I have a checking account. They provide 5 documents per day free notarization for members.
    2. Photos, Costco was the best deal 4.99 Dollars for 4 2×2 inch photos
    3. Just make your Step 7 BLS Form filling as the last step after all work is done ( may be this could be repeated in the comments, but I did not find out). After all document work done and filling of forms, and visiting a USPS post office to get a prepaid AWB number, we can fill the BLS form with this details and take the last printout and submit.

    Thanks again for providing all the details and continuing to provide help in comments. Great Work , Kudos!

    Like

     
  21. Shripad Rege

    July 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM

    Hi Shaunak, your blog is a big help especially with the BLS form. I looked at the steps and sending the documents through USPS with tracking option (cheaper option), but on submitting the BLS form online the recommendation pop-up comes to send it through UPS/FEDEX. If they have some problems with USPS, they should have mentioned the recommendation upfront or in some instructions, to guide people appropriately. I wished I ciuld have scanned through your comments section earlier (the one from Srini). Hopefully everything goes fine..fingers crossed.

    Like

     
  22. venkat

    July 20, 2015 at 4:10 PM

    First of all very very big thanks to Shaunak… thnx for putting ur efforts and helping others. I got my new passport yesterday. your blog helped me a lot. So many doubts clarified. I just followed the way Shaunak explained and got new passport. Good luck for others who r in the process of passport renewal.

    Thanks,
    Venkat

    Like

     
  23. Madhuri

    July 7, 2015 at 5:33 PM

    Hi Shaunak,
    Thank you for the detailed steps. It definitely helps lot of folks. I opened the BLS order form for payments I do see two options there which are not in the image you have. and they are confusing as the first one talks about pick up and delivery service payment (Pick-up & Delivery Service) and other talks about delivery only payment (Courier Delivery Service ) and I was wondering if both should be paid or if either one of them works.

    https://blsivac.com/orderform/passport.php

    Application Type: Airway Bill No.: Note : You would receive the Tracking no or Airway bill once you pay on Pick-up & Delivery Service

    1) Pick-up & Delivery Service Click Here

    1) Courier Delivery Service Click Here

    Prepaid Delivery:

    ~Madhuri

    Like

     
  24. johnc

    June 29, 2015 at 7:09 PM

    BLS New York flagged my passport renewal because I did not submit proof of address for the ‘other address’. The first address I gave as US address, with proof. The other address I gave as Indian address with no proof. They say I have to refill the order form. The form does not let me leave that other address field blank and I dont have proof of indian address. Any suggestions?

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 12, 2015 at 5:08 PM

      Sorry I am late to reply on this hopefully you got it sorted?

      Like

       
    • Giriesh

      October 8, 2015 at 1:22 AM

      How did you finally get around this? Did you submit proof for the Indian address? I’d like to know what are the acceptable documents for proof of Indian address.

      Like

       
    • kk

      October 8, 2015 at 3:14 PM

      Hi John, Can we keep the Other Address as Blank in the ORDER FORM ?

      Like

       
  25. Vijay

    June 24, 2015 at 2:53 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with renewal of passport and the process. It helped me a lot to get my passport renewal.

    BLS Receipt Number => USAHXXXXXXXXXX
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using UPS Service. 1ZRXXXXXXXXXX
    Application accepted by BLS: 08-06-2015 , 13:59
    Application Processed on Date :08-06-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 08-06-2015 , 17:38
    Passport received at BLS Center : 19-06-2015 , 16:04
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :19-06-2015 , 17:50

    It took just 2 weeks for passport renewal with Houston center for me.

    FYI: I got my new address in India printed on my passport 🙂 which was not the same as old passport. I no longer live on the old address. I gave notarized copy of Aadhar card which had address of my new house printed. I had mentioned new address in India as Permanent address in application form. I had confirmed with BLS customer support and they mentioned send notarized copy of electricity bill/Aadhar card as India address proof. Hope this helps someone who is looking for getting new india address printed on the passport.

    Thanks,
    Vijay

    Like

     
  26. Sudhakar

    June 20, 2015 at 3:36 AM

    PP renewal at SFO

    Application accepted by BLS: 06-06-2015 , 09:20
    Application Processed on Date :06-06-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 08-06-2015 , 14:25
    Passport received at BLS Center : 15-06-2015 , 16:37
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :15-06-2015 , 16:37

    Like

     
  27. Naren

    June 18, 2015 at 1:50 PM

    Applied @ Washington DC , with status below ,

    Application accepted by BLS: 05-06-2015 , 13:02
    Application Processed on Date :05-06-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Embassy : 05-06-2015 , 14:31
    Passport received at BLS Center : 17-06-2015 , 10:14
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :17-06-2015 , 12:37

    I had my passport with me on 6/18 .. as i had used priority mail express from USPS .

    Thanks to Shaunak pandit .. for this blog , .. 🙂

    Like

     
  28. venkat

    June 12, 2015 at 6:45 PM

    Hi Shaunak,
    Big Thanks for putting your time and helping others. I have to renew my passport in next couple of weeks. I read all comments but still I have one doubt. In BLS site they mentioned like
    “Notarized Photocopy of a residential proof of the applicant (Driver’s License, State ID, Utility bill such as gas, electric or water or Rental Lease agreement or Home Mortgage bill. Other bills or documents will NOT be accepted as proof. For applicants above 60 years of age who do not have any such documents, a copy of their State ID may be enclosed. In case documents are being sent by mail, please notarize residential proof photocopy.”

    Question 1: In last line they mentioned like , If documents sent by mail then we have to notarize residential proof of photocopy. Do you have any Idea on this, can you please help me on this.

    Question 2: this July 5th I will be getting my rental lease agreement and after 1 or 2 days I will apply for renewal. So can I submit this as proof, as I dont have any other proof for address currently( I came just one month back to us and living in some temporary accomodation).

    Your help is highly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Venkat

    Like

     
  29. Lilina Swaroop

    June 1, 2015 at 10:18 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    I had applied for my passport renewal (expiring in 2016) on May 4th .I had applied to BLS Houston since I reside in Denver.I got my new passport today….:)…so took almost 4 weeks.

    Didn’t face any issues and that’s because of your blog and all the valuable comments in here.
    Thank you so much for all the information provided here and also thanks to everybody else who came back and logged in their comments as well.

    Regards,
    Lilina

    Like

     
  30. Budi

    May 30, 2015 at 8:14 PM

    Hi

    I have submitted all forms for passport renewal along with additional photos but i got mail from Bls by saying as below. Please anyone help me on this.

    ***Pending Reason:
    ***please send photo as per Bls website.

    Can I take new photos again and send different photos than one i have attached to forms and included in cover?

    Thank you,

    Regards

    Budi

    Like

     
  31. Mihir

    May 30, 2015 at 12:13 AM

    Thanks for the detailed info, Shaunak!

    It really helped me make sense of the BLS website instructions for passport renewal. I sent my passport to BLS May 12th by next day UPS and got new passport by May 20th. My center was SFO, and it was enough to send 2 copies of the national verification form. Needed total of 3 photos only: 2 for national ver. form and 1 for application form. Notary in California (at least where I live) attached his own signature page and seal rather than signing on the documents themselves – this was accepted by their office though I was not sure if it was OK. Had to be careful with the whole “other address” thing, so thanks for explaining which address goes there.

    Only trouble I had was getting retail UPS stores to give me the tracking numbers (“airway bill numbers”) before shipment (as needed to fill the BLS form). But my university campus has a UPS store and they helped me out. Overall, looks BLS does a nice job when everything is sent as they require. But their website instructions and links to other instructions are sometimes confusing and inconsistent. Luckily, there is this forum:) – Mihir

    Liked by 1 person

     
  32. Mallik

    May 18, 2015 at 1:35 PM

    Applied in Tatkal due to medical emergency
    BLS Receipt Number => USAN0XXXXX
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using UPS Service. Tracking No. 1ZAXXXXXXXXXXX
    Application accepted by BLS: 14-05-2015 , 12:55
    Application Processed on Date :14-05-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 14-05-2015 , 15:32
    Passport received at BLS Center : 18-05-2015 , 09:18
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :18-05-2015 , 09:28

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      May 18, 2015 at 4:32 PM

      Thank you for the timeline, I believe you are the 1st tatkal applicant to submit the timelines here.

      Like

       
      • Deep

        May 27, 2015 at 5:40 PM

        Good Morning Shaunak. I noticed you are quite knowledgeable in this process, and I stumbled on this application process and I came across your page. I am hoping you may have some answers to my questions. First of all, I am applying for my mothers passport which has been expired for more than 10 years. We live in Los Angeles, and she just received her greencard. So while applying for reissuing the passport, one problem that has us scratching our heads is that on her Green CArd, her name ends with ….Ben, and on her Passport it is stated as …Bahen This is a common mistake that the passport offices make in India, and I want the new passport to state …Ben. Can I just have a notarized paper saying that she uses both names and she is one individual and send the application in, or do I have to take further steps and do name change on everything. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you

        Deep

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        August 12, 2015 at 5:12 PM

        Sorry for such a late reply had been busy in work, I am sorry I might not be the best person to answer this. Maybe you should try calling BLS to get official answer to this.

        Like

         
    • Nagaleela

      August 12, 2015 at 3:55 PM

      Hi Mallik,
      My Visa is going to expire next month and passport is going to expire in January 2016. I got email from my company that they cannot proceed with visa extension until i have a valid passport. So i want to use the thatkal services for Passport Renewal.

      Are there any other documents that we need to produce other than the regular checklist. I am planning to go in person to NY center and apply for passport renewal. Can you share the process for this?

      Thanks in advance

      Like

       
      • malik

        August 13, 2015 at 7:08 PM

        Its recommended to carry some evidence to justify tatkal processing. company email will work too but I found they just approve for almost everybody.

        Like

         
    • Payal

      November 12, 2015 at 5:43 PM

      Hi Mallik,
      Were you asked to provide proof of emergency?

      Like

       
      • malik

        November 13, 2015 at 3:03 PM

        Hello, yes. I had dr letter from india showing medical emergency of family member. I too observed other people not carrying anything and had just handwritten letter explaining the situation. They don’t worry much to verify it since you are paying more money. Good luck

        Like

         
  33. varun

    May 14, 2015 at 4:24 PM

    Hi..I have submitted my Passport to BLS New York by Post and it delivered through Fedex yesterday (05/13) at 9:30 AM EST. Does anyone know how long it will take for BLS to accept the application and update tracking num on their website?

    Like

     
  34. Varun P

    May 14, 2015 at 3:46 PM

    I have submitted my Passport by post to New York center through Fedex. It was delivered yesterday (05/12) at 9:30 AM EST as per fedex tracking. When i am trying to track the application in their website, no result found. Does anyone know, how long BLS will take to review the docs and BLS tracking no will be active in their website?

    Like

     
  35. vyoma

    May 14, 2015 at 3:29 PM

    hi Shaunak…

    Your blog rocks…I was able to guide quite a few ppl thru your guidance.. 😉 😉

    One more thing, do you have an idea regarding passport renewal in USA for H4 visa holders.

    Thank you veryyyyyyyy much

    Like

     
  36. Varun K

    May 14, 2015 at 4:13 AM

    Hi If this thread is still active could somebody plz help…since am applying for renewal , they need a copy of spouse’s passport along with my application.My wife is in india, i dont have her passport but i have a copy of the same attested by an official in india. will the bls/ny consulate accept it?

    Like

     
    • Abhi

      June 4, 2015 at 11:19 PM

      Yes! From what I know they want a notarized copy of any form of ID of souse.

      Like

       
  37. Vishnu

    May 13, 2015 at 6:32 PM

    Got my passport in less than 2 weeks

    Application accepted by BLS: 28-04-2015 , 10:55
    Application Processed on Date :28-04-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 29-04-2015 , 15:52
    Passport received at BLS Center : 12-05-2015 , 12:39
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :12-05-2015 , 14:10

    I got the new Indian address printed (different from the one in my old passport). I simply had to provide the attested address proof document

    Like

     
    • Prithvi

      May 13, 2015 at 7:15 PM

      Hi Vishnu,

      Which consulate?

      Regards,
      Prithvi

      Like

       
    • Abhi

      May 31, 2015 at 2:23 AM

      Hi Vishnu,
      Thanks a lot for the details. My family has changed its address in India, and I need my new India address to be printed on the passport (different from the one in old passport). What address proof would suffice? Would an SBI account statement or a utility bill (in my mother’s name) be sufficient?

      Thanks a lot,
      Abhi

      Like

       
    • vishnu

      July 23, 2015 at 1:29 PM

      Vishnu, May I know which center you applied ?

      Like

       
  38. Gaurav

    May 12, 2015 at 9:16 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Thanks for writing an awesome blog!!

    I have a small question, tried finding the answer in all the comments below but could not find it.

    I have got a money order made from the Bank of America. It says Personal Money Order on the top. Do you know if it is acceptable or I will have to get cashier’s check/postal money order.

    Thanks in anticipation.
    Gaurav

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      May 13, 2015 at 1:44 PM

      Glad to help, Gaurav. Am sorry but I cant confirm this, I feel they require a cashiers check.Hope somebody else here can confirm the same. If you find out do let others know by commenting here.

      Like

       
      • Naveen

        July 9, 2015 at 3:31 AM

        Thanks for this awesome post Shaunak; lifesaver indeed.

        Gaurav, I’ve the same question as you. Any resolution to this problem?

        Thanks in advance.

        Like

         
    • Naveen TL

      August 7, 2015 at 5:38 PM

      Gaurav,

      I got a money order done from Wells Fargo and it worked. Mine had the same thing “Personal Money Order” on the top right of the money order.

      Proof: My passport got delivered recently (Houston).

      BLS Receipt Number => USAH*********
      Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.AWB **************
      Application accepted by BLS: 14-07-2015 , 15:38
      Application Processed on Date :14-07-2015
      Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 14-07-2015 , 17:23
      Passport received at BLS Center : 05-08-2015 , 11:29
      Passport handed over to Applicant : –
      Passport Dispatched to Applicant :05-08-2015 , 15:39

      Hope this helps everyone.

      And once again thanks for this lifesaver of a blogpost Shaunak.

      Best,
      Naveen

      Like

       
  39. Prithvi

    May 11, 2015 at 9:37 PM

    I booked India tickets on 04/25 for travel date on 05/20 and realized that my son(Minor) passport is expiring on 04/28 . Hence immediately applied for renewal. Status says submitted to Atlanta consulate on 05/07. Will it be good idea to request Atlanta consulate to expedite renewal?

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      May 13, 2015 at 1:45 PM

      Hi Prithvi,

      You can try visiting the consulate/ mission if its close by to discuss the case with them. Hope you get the passport soon.

      Like

       
      • Prithvi

        May 21, 2015 at 10:53 PM

        Hi Shaunak,

        Thanks for the advice, I did make a visit to Atlanta Indian Consulate. Initially I thought they will not entertain my request but both front desk and vice consul were very kind and helpful. They checked their report and told me that it has been printed and dispatched from India and I will get it in 2-3 days. This was big help as I have to reschedule my trip.
        1) I submitted the application by post on 04/29/2015,
        2) I visited consulate on 05/14/2015
        2) BLS received passport on 05/18/2015 (As told by consulate)
        3) I received it today 05/21.

        Regards,
        Prithvi

        Like

         
  40. Jabeer

    May 7, 2015 at 1:25 PM

    Hello Shaunak,

    Thanks a lot for your Blog :), I followed the steps exactly and got the new passport yesterday

    Application accepted by BLS:07-04-2015 , 08:34
    Application Processed on Date : 07-04-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 07-04-2015 , 16:38
    Passport received at BLS Center : 04-05-2015 , 09:21
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :04-05-2015 , 11:01

    FYI: Houston it’s taking almost 4 weeks for the Passport renewal.

    Jabeer

    Like

     
  41. poojasblog

    May 6, 2015 at 6:15 PM

    Finally got my passport yesterday. Good luck everyone!!!

    BLS Receipt Number => USA*********
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.AWB *************
    Application accepted by BLS: 20-04-2015 , 16:33
    Appliication Processed on Date :24-04-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 24-04-2015 , 15:39
    Passport received at BLS Center : 01-05-2015 , 14:58
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :01-05-2015 , 14:59
    Additional Infomation
    # Comments On
    1 Received missing documents and placed for manifeast today (04/24/2015)

    2015-04-24 12:57:33

    Like

     
  42. Gobi

    May 6, 2015 at 5:41 PM

    Hi Shanuk,

    Thanks a lot for your Blog :), I followed the steps and got the new passport.

    BLS Receipt Number => XXXXXXXXXX
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.XXXXXXXXXXX
    Application accepted by BLS:28-04-2015 , 13:52
    Appliication Processed on Date : 29-04-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 29-04-2015 , 17:53
    Passport received at BLS Center : 04-05-2015 , 09:20
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :04-05-2015 , 12:51

    Like

     
  43. vinay

    May 3, 2015 at 11:27 AM

    My Passport will expire on Sep 2016. I would be leaving for US in August 2015 fro my MS. Can I follow the same process. I will be a student while renewing my passport

    Like

     
  44. Kal

    April 29, 2015 at 7:04 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Thanks for all the info provided on your blog.

    Below is my receipt from Houston Consulate

    BLS Receipt Number => USXXXXXXX
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.AWB XXXXXXXX
    Application accepted by BLS: 31-03-2015
    Appliication Processed on Date :31-03-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 31-03-2015
    Passport received at BLS Center : 23-04-2015
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :23-04-2015

    For Houston , it’s taking almost 4 weeks door to door as they print the passports in India and need to ship them back. So, plan accordingly.

    Thanks,
    Kal

    Like

     
  45. Varun P

    April 28, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    Hi All,

    Can anyone please confirm the correct address to send the Passport by Mail to BLS NY Application center? When i am trying to create a shipment label in Fedex, I am getting an error says

    Alert:
    Invalid or Missing Apartment/Suite/Floor.
    Shipment may be delayed and incur additional charges.

    Address i am providing to create shipment label:

    BLS India Passport USA
    28 West 30TH Street
    Suite 202
    New York, NY 10001

    When i click on “Perform Detailed Address check”, it is pointing to below address

    28 W 30TH ST
    NEW YORK NY 10001-4442

    Please let me know what i am doing wrong here or address on BLS WebSite is wrong.

    Like

     
    • poojasblog

      April 28, 2015 at 5:30 PM

      Hello Varun,

      This is the correct address.
      BLS India Passport USA
      28 West 30TH Street
      Suite 202
      New York, NY 10001

      I had the same issue on Fedex website as you. But my documents reached. I did put the Suite number to make sure t reaches the office.

      Also an update from my side:
      Current Aplication Status : Processing at Consulate General

      Thanks for everyone’s help and inputs.
      I will clear the confusion about resubmission. For resubmission of any missing documents:

      1) Get a money order of $13.20 from post office
      2) Follow the email for additional documents/missing information and complete everything as per email. Always get the documents notarized (If they need to be noatrized as per the initial requirements. – Driving license/Green Card)
      3) Use the ORIGINAL form. When I called they said do a new form but on the email they said use the copy of old form and paste it on top of the fedex envelope..

      Thanks

      Like

       
  46. vamsi

    April 22, 2015 at 6:47 PM

    Hi, Do you know what is the money order no. to be entered in the passport order form? The money order i took is from western union and it has a no. on the top and two no. in the bottom . not sure which one is the money order no.

    Like

     
  47. Vishnu

    April 22, 2015 at 5:43 PM

    This is incredible Shaunak. Very very useful information. One quick question – If I ask them to print my India address in the passport, would I still need to provide notarized photocopy of address proof for USA?

    Like

     
  48. Nishant

    April 22, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    Hi Shaunak, I just want to appreciate your helpful resource with the renewal process. Below is my receipt from NY Consulate

    BLS Receipt Number => USAN********
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.AWB 79**********
    Application accepted by BLS:09-04-2015 , 16:35
    Appliication Processed on Date : 09-04-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 13-04-2015 , 15:54
    Passport received at BLS Center : 21-04-2015 , 15:55
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :21-04-2015 , 15:55

    I have yet to receive the passport but glad that things went smoothly. I shipped it via Fedex with a return label and an empty envelope for them to ship it back. Overall it took less than 3 weeks for the whole process.

    Thanks,
    Nishant

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      April 22, 2015 at 1:15 PM

      Glad to help buddy! Thank you for the timeline.

      Like

       
    • Ashwin

      May 6, 2015 at 9:30 PM

      Hi Nishant, When did you actually mail your application and when did it get delivered to BLS? I am trying to find out how long it takes for BLS to show that the application is accepted after it gets delivered to them.

      Like

       
  49. Pooja

    April 21, 2015 at 2:48 AM

    Hi Shaunak, Your blog had been a life saver for me .. I did everything as per the siggesstions here.. Thanks for that. i submitted my application and now it is on hold becasue I forgot to send the copy of back of my green card to them Now they have asked for it with the resubmission fee 13.20. I have 2 questions:

    1) Should the copy of back of green card be notarized?
    2) Do I create a new order form?

    Please help. I need to send it out tomorrow before it is too late..

    Thanks

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      April 21, 2015 at 3:00 PM

      Glad to help Pooja!. I have no clue on that one, did you try calling and asking them? Hope someone else here can reply to your question.

      Like

       
    • Nishant

      April 22, 2015 at 12:31 PM

      Hi Pooja, My passport just got approved and I had the back of my GC notarized as well. Regarding the new order form, you might want to call them up to find out. I personally don’t think its necessary since you are not changing any information in the application or form but strongly recommend you call them to confirm. Hope this helps.

      Thanks
      NG

      Like

       
      • poojasblog

        April 22, 2015 at 1:28 PM

        Thanks Nishant and Shaunak.
        You are right I dont had to do a new form. But I did. 😦
        Actually I called the customer care number and I was lucky enough to get through since I started trying from 8 in the morning. He did confirm that I should get the GC notarized and do a new money order of 13.20. But I dont know why he said I have to do a new form and I did. I have sent my documents again with new form. I hope they wont get lost. Fingers crossed/. They replied to me email today stating that I should use the previous form. I already sent documents yesterday. I hope it reaches the right place.

        Thanks again

        Like

         
  50. rama krishna

    April 15, 2015 at 1:45 PM

    Hi Shaunak.. thank you so much for your blog.. it helped me immensely.. I have just renewed my wife’s passport and it took me 3 weeks door to door. you are a life saver 🙂

    Like

     
  51. Swapnil Khole

    April 14, 2015 at 6:58 PM

    Just to add, I received my new passport with new Indian address printed. The previous passport was having my native place’s address and no one stays there anymore. I attached my nototrized colored copy of the electricity bill for the new address. My friend shipped the original electricity bill to me from India. Just in case someone wants to do the same…..No police verification done in India for new address.

    Like

     
  52. Arasi

    April 14, 2015 at 1:31 AM

    My timeline at BLS NY, see below. The Consulate took just 4 business days, BLS took the rest of the time 🙂 I was worried they would say my face changed lol… or that the CVS photo is grainy. Total time 20 days to come back to my hands. Sent by USPS Priority Express $19.99 and received via courier by UPS paid via BLS $15, that took just 1 day. I’m relieved as I have an upcoming trip. Thanks Shaunak.

    BLS Receipt Number => USANxxxxxxxx
    Application accepted by BLS: 25-03-2015
    Appliication Processed on Date :25-03-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 27-03-2015
    Passport received at BLS Center : 07-04-2015
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :07-04-2015

    Like

     
  53. Swapnil Khole

    April 13, 2015 at 7:41 PM

    I received my passport today. At NYC Counsulate.
    Here are the timelines:

    I sent the shipment through FedEx on 25-Mar-2015 and received passport in my hands on 13 April 2015.

    BLS Receipt Number => USA*********
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.************
    Application accepted by BLS: 31-03-2015 , 07:27
    Appliication Processed on Date :01-04-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 02-04-2015 , 15:46
    Passport received at BLS Center : 10-04-2015 , 15:11
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :10-04-2015 , 15:12

    Best way as someone described below is to create an online account at Fedex (you need to give credit card info while creating account but it’s always good). Create a shipment onine on fedex with return shipment info. In that case, Fedex charges your credit card directly and BLS has no say in that. Fedex charges your credit card once they deliver the package successfully, so no issues there too. They charged me $20 for standard overnight delivery option. So overall $40.

    Overall a please experience working with BLS and thanks to Shaunak.

    Like

     
  54. Rachna

    April 13, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    Your blog is really helpful and provides a great insight on how to proceed.

    Took less than 15 days for them to process my new passport .

    Application accepted by BLS :31-03-2015 , 13:02
    Application Processed on Date : 31-03-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 01-04-2015 , 14:10
    Passport received at BLS Center : 07-04-2015 , 17:28
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :08-04-2015 , 09:47
    Got my new passport on Friday 10-4-2015.

    P.S. -BLS didn’t accept my Return FedEx envelope having the credit card information. They mailed me saying either i have to send them a prepaid return envelope or i can use there courier service for which i can pay them online
    I opted for there courier service and they returned my new passport using UPS .
    I got my passport within 2 days from the time they dispatched

    Thanks a Lot
    Rachna

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      April 13, 2015 at 5:55 PM

      Am glad it helped Rachna and thank you for putting your timeline for reference to others.

      Like

       
  55. Santosh Sinha

    April 13, 2015 at 5:52 AM

    Hi Shaunak,

    I have a question about adding spouse name in the passport –

    When I had my passport, I was not married so there is no spouse’s name in passport. Now I am married is it necessary/mandatory to add spouse’s name in passport?

    Can i apply the application form as Single ??

    Like

     
  56. GG

    April 7, 2015 at 1:05 PM

    Hi,
    I’ve a unique issue with Passport application form.

    I sent the passport application form filled in manually (the whole form. not just from item 7 to 29). But BLS said, it’s going to return my application as it i did not apply in the BLS provided site (the one you have listed above in this article).

    The reason I did not fill the form on the link provided in BLS is because, I could not enter my father’s and mother’s name as mentioned in my current passport. My father and mother’s name in my current passport is printed as (names changed)
    A. Somanathan
    S. Gomathi

    I could not type ‘A’ and leave a space and type “Somanathan”. And I could not type ‘A’, a dot (‘.’) and ‘Somanathan’ either. If I do and click “save and continue”, it immediately displays Error message saying, “Enter Father Name full name” . It’s impossible to move to next page. That’s the reason i took the printout of the form from Indian embassy site and filled in manually and sent the form.

    As usual BLS is not taking calls. I do not know the solution for this. Please let me know what to do on this.

    Thanks,
    G

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      April 15, 2015 at 3:50 PM

      Sorry dont know how to help you here, In my opinion you will have to follow their process and not deviate from it.

      Like

       
  57. Swapnil Khole

    March 31, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    Shaunak, your blog is really helpful and provides a great insight on how to proceed.
    To date, BLS is still active.
    Just an update you may want to add in your blog:
    Once you sent the application through mail and you are sure that it has reached BLS, you would see “No records found” if you track the passport status with the Passport No / Application No for few business days. I was a bit worried after 4 business days about where is my application but I dropped them an email and received the above response. BLS states “Please note that your application sent by mail take approximately 7 – 9 working/business days to process from the date of receipt “. Surprisingly, as soon as BLS processes the application at their end, they drop you an email on the emailid you provided.

    Like

     
  58. santhosh

    March 30, 2015 at 9:04 PM

    Hi,

    I had lost my old cancelled passport which expired in 2005. I had filed a FIR in 2011 . My current passport is expiring soon. In verification of nationality status form should we mention the date of loss of the cancelled expired old passport or does it refer to the current passport.
    Thanks in advance

    Thanks,
    Santhosh

    Like

     
  59. Raghu

    March 27, 2015 at 9:23 PM

    This is my experience below based on the most recent passport renewal at NYC Indian consulate.So I got all the documents as per the checklist on the BLS sites and I read some blogs /comments while filling the application to address certain confusing questions in the application form. I did a walkin since I live in Stamford, connecticut which 45 mins away from NYC by train. I got an appointment around 11:30 but I went a early arounf 8:30 am on rainy day and found myself first in the queue and a few mins later 10 other people were behind me. When you reach BLS before your appointment timings you have to make special request to get your application processed ,I told that I had a doctors appointment the same day and the lady at the counter was kind enough to consider me . (otherwise they keep on calling out names based on the appointment timing).I had arranged all the documents in the same seqeunce as mentioned on the BLS website and carried extra copies of each document just in case… The lady at the counter took my documents checked them all and said everything looked good and asked me for shipping option . I said i would like to pay for 2 days UPS express which BLS provides ( You can carry your own One day shipping FedEx/UPS return envelope if you want to). So my total application fees 109.69 dollars.( Please take some Loose change while you go there ) I paid the money and got the receipt back . The lady at the counter said it would take 25 business days for processing which is i believe is their standard processing time. The whole process of submitting the application takes around 5 mins if you fill the application form correctly and arrange the documents as expected.It took around 10 days for me to get my passport processed. Below are the details
    Consulate: NYC Consulate
    BLS Receipt Number => USAN00XXXXXX
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using UPS Service. Tracking No. 1ZXXXXXXXXXXX
    Application accepted by BLS: 17-03-2015 , 09:23
    Appliication Processed on Date :17-03-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 19-03-2015 , 15:33
    Passport received at BLS Center : 27-03-2015 , 11:23
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :27-03-2015 , 12:49

    Like

     
  60. Niky

    March 21, 2015 at 9:39 PM

    a question about spouse name.
    When I had my passport, I was not married so there is no spouse’s name in passport. Now I am married but is it necessary to add spouse’s name in passport?

    if it is mandatory, what is the process? I do not want to change my last name as we have not done it in last 6 years and It is a hassle to change legal name everywhere. (thats my husband’s decision not to change it anywhere)

    Like

     
    • Jose Cyriac

      April 1, 2015 at 5:37 PM

      You dont need to change your name while adding your spouse’s name. Spouse’s name is added at the back of the passport. You are not changing your name while doing this. I think for changing your name, you need to publish it in Gasettete and all, it is a tedious process i guess. I just added my spouse’s name in the passport. Thats all.

      Like

       
  61. Rishu ghose

    March 20, 2015 at 10:21 PM

    Very easy process, thanks for this information Shaunak. and it was super fast also.
    My advise to others , just blindly follow what is written over here and you will get your new passport in a week.

    BLS Receipt Number => ########
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.AWB ########
    Application accepted by BLS:13-03-2015 , 16:26
    Appliication Processed on Date : 13-03-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 14-03-2015 , 09:33
    Passport received at BLS Center : 17-03-2015 , 17:16
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :17-03-2015 , 17:16

    Regards,
    Rishu Ghose

    Like

     
  62. Arasi

    March 20, 2015 at 3:56 AM

    Thanks Shaunak, superb desi pp renewal blog, wish I’d seen it earlier. Sent my appln 3/19/15, hoping to get it in 3 wks. Called BLS twice about extra photos, they very clearly said I don’t need them, just 1 on appln form, 1 each on Nationality Verification forms, i.e for NY jurisdiction.

    I’m a very detail oriented person and I should say this process gave even a person like me a run for my money and I was about to bang my head on the wall today. I filled out my father’s and brother’s reference on BLS order form, both in India. BLS said 1 US, 1 India reference, but not blood relatives. That was NOT mentioned online. So I had to re-do this form.

    I put 10 photos on my 10 Nat Verif forms (coz my pp exp 6 mos), then got a doubt about blood relatives (this is the problem with the human mind). So I called them again and said pls don’t tell me I can’t put blood relatives there. They’re like yes maam you shouldn’t put blood relatives. Luckily I peeled off those 10 photos and re-did 10 copies of the form. By now I should have banged my head on the wall.

    Funny how the checklist needs you to check everything and sign it but forgets to say “enclose your payment” haha….. I took b/w copy of old pp (BLS website did NOT say color copy) then find that the checklist says color copy of pp. Grrrr…. my family prevented me from banging my head on the wall (what do they know, they hold US passports, I’m the one that says mera bharat mahaan and doesn’t want US citizenship). BLS very easily said they changed the checklist. Why didn’t the fellows change the website too huh — no answer to that question except we’ll take your feedback maam.

    Sent by USPS overnight at a decent rate of $19.99 and I paid BLS the $15 for UPS 2nd day air which they will send it in. Thanks again!

    Like

     
  63. PI

    March 14, 2015 at 3:05 AM

    A very useful blog indeed. Followed this blog and I received my reissued passport yesterday. I must say the processing time was much shorter than expected – 7 business days

    Jurisdiction – Chicago BLS

    BLS Receipt Number => USACxxxxxxxx
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.AWB EK xxxxxxxx US
    Application accepted by BLS: 02-03-2015 , 13:10
    Appliication Processed on Date :02-03-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 04-03-2015 , 17:17
    Passport received at BLS Center : 10-03-2015 , 08:52
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :10-03-2015 , 10:10
    Additional Infomation
    # Comments On
    1 Deliverd by usps tracking no.ekxxxxxxxxus 2015-03-10 10:15:33

    Thanks to Shaunak and all those who posted their comments in here. The other posts and experiences are very detailed and informative so I don’t want to repeat it in my post here.
    Here goes my experience for the benefit of the rest who need to apply for re-issue. Few points worth noting :

    1. Shipping – After generating the order form, BLS states that they prefer UPS/ FEDEX with return shipping label rather than USPS.
    This was sort of annoying as they could have had this stated in the instructions. I used USPS priority express and then I was worried after reading the statement as I was at the last step!
    Also, I noticed that my passport reached Chicago BLS but the USPS tracking still showed that it was in transit and the same was the case with the return renewed passport. USPS doesn’t update their tracking information. I did not face any major issues in the shipping but save yourself from the mental pressure as its your PASSPORT, so my personal recommendation is to go with UPS/FEDEX.

    USPS has a field called Signature required checkbox – make sure you check this so that the passport gets delivered into safe hands and not into a drop box.

    Address – I wanted to have my Indian address printed on the passport – same as previous passport. I read the posts here in this blog and also called BLS to confirm that they would accept Indian address for printing on passport. They asked me to notarize a copy of my current passport if I wanted to retain the address. In addition to this, I also had my Indian bank statements (which had the same address as my passport) sent from India as additional proof of address just to be on the safer side. I got the passport with the address printed exactly the same as old one.
    To be clear, I also submitted notarized proof for US address (US Drivers License)

    2. Photos – A passport is going to be your photo identity document for 10 years and you want to have a good picture clicked. Got mine done at Costco, they don’t’ click the greatest photos but they are cheap and you get the same quality if you go to CVS / Walgreens etc.
    You need 4 – one for the main application and 3 for Nationality verification form(Chicago jurisdiction), make sure you check what your jurisdiction states.

    3. Nationality Verification form – Passport renewal in India involves Police Clearance for which the folks you add in your application are questioned for authenticity of the persons residing at the stated address. I went by this logic and asked for neighbours address and a relative’s in India and informed them that I was going to have them in my application.

    4. Return shipping label – Prepaid Priority express mail envelope from USPS. Self address Handwritten address on the shipping label. Somebody in this blog had stated that a printed shipping label was asked for so I also printed a self addressed label and sent it with the other documents.

    Good luck with your application folks!

    Like

     
  64. VINU

    March 12, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    Shaunak……my sincere thanks…..i followed exactly what you told me and I received my passport today (exactly in two weeks)

    Consulate: New York
    Application accepted by BLS: 27-02-2015 , 17:26
    Appliication Processed on Date :27-02-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 03-03-2015 , 15:34
    Passport received at BLS Center : 11-03-2015 , 11:58
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :11-03-2015 , 11:58

    My strong request to all those people reading this blog…..please do not ask the same questions over and over again and make this blog tedious and very difficult to understand. Shaunak has explained everything very clearly. All I did was i followed Shaunak’s instructions, read the info multiple times and it was a bliss.

    Few points which i did differently (if it helps) and also stressing on certain areas where i see repeated questions.

    Photos: 3 stuck on National verification form, 1 stuck on Application form, one attach it to the online app form with a clip – Please don’t staple
    Notary – i have a/c in BOA (Bank of America) – tell them this is for Passport and get all the photo copies notarized
    Cashiers Cheque – Again got it from BOA (Bank of America) for free since I had an account.
    Address Proof: I gave my New Jersey Gas Bill as Address Proof and I got my US address on my passport. (Please don’t ask or talk about Indian address because I don’t know. There are multiple questions already. Please don’t bring up again)
    I filled up in Block letters with Black INK and no special characters (Again don’t ask if comma can be used or if Blue can be used)

    Sorry if used strong words but I felt irritated when i saw so many repetitive questions which I felt unnecessary. Just because some are lazy to read the entire blog it was misleading to many.

    Again I blindly followed Shaunak and I did not have any questions in my mind. I did not ask anything in the blog, i read multiple times and got my passport in 2 weeks.

    Shaunak, Thanks Sir for such a dedicated blog and your patient response for many questions.
    Good job and for all the new applicants good luck!!!

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      March 13, 2015 at 1:31 PM

      Thank you Vinu, am glad I could be of some help 🙂 and also thank you for having my back by putting my thoughts in words in your comment there 🙂 hahaha you totally nailed it !!!

      P.S: I have stopped approving / replying to repetitive questions which are already answered in post / comments [ of course after adding a note asking people to go through the blog / existing comments before posting questions] so that takes care of half the stuff 😉

      Like

       
  65. Upinder

    March 9, 2015 at 8:11 PM

    Simply Superb !!! Very Very Quick … If you see the timelines below Indian Consulate Chicago processed the re-issue of my 6 year old in ONE business day.

    BLS Receipt Number => USACXXXXXXX
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.AWB 1ZRFXXXX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Application accepted by BLS: 02-03-2015 , 09:44
    Appliication Processed on Date :02-03-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 04-03-2015 , 17:18
    Passport received at BLS Center : 06-03-2015 , 07:54
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :06-03-2015 , 09:15
    Additional Infomation
    # Comments On
    1 Deliverd by ups tracking no.1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!2
    2015-03-06 09:20:54

    Like

     
    • parmod

      March 9, 2015 at 9:45 PM

      Thanks Shunak..For really helpful bolg it helped me a lot.. Here is my experience for other

      Application accepted by BLS: 05-01-2015 , 15:37
      Appliication Processed on Date :14-01-2015
      Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 19-01-2015 , 09:52
      Passport received at BLS Center : 05-02-2015 , 09:48
      Passport handed over to Applicant : –
      Passport Dispatched to Applicant :05-02-2015 , 09:48

      When i applied for My requirement was
      1.To get my passport renewed as it was getting expire soon.
      2. Split my name in new passport. (name change is total different its name split service what i use)
      3.Adding my spouse name in new passport.

      PLEASE NOTE ITS A PERSON EXPERIENCE PLEASE go to BLS SITE for MORE DETAILS. I may have miss something.

      The way i applied and doc needed.I applied in normal processing using postal service.
      1.Online Passport ( Mentioned name as per deed pool affidavit if your are splitting your name.Add spouse name or Martial status it you are trying to add your wife name in passport. Otherwise they will return your application back)

      Please fill up manually with black or blue pen from point No 7 to 29 other wise they will return back your application.

      Same tips while filling BLS form at the end.

      2. As i applied in sfo consulate so i send 2 copy of Nationality Verification forms. For other its different i think 3. Check BLS site. Please note if you are out of status you need +7 additional copy i guess.

      3.Photocopy of the first five pages and last two pages of the passport to be produced including observations

      4.Notarized colored Photocopy as Proof of Valid Visa or i-797.( Most company has their notary service in my case i ask my HR and we had one lady with notary service she notarized my doc and did not charge me anything other wise paid service is 3-7$ per sign)

      6.Four recent color passport size 2 inches by 2 inches (2”x2”) as per specification batter go for 6 just in case.

      7. Notarized color photocopy of marriage certificate to add spouse name .

      8.Dully filled & signed checklist (Print this checklist, tick and arrange your application accordingly before you are ready to submit in person at the application center or sending it by post.)

      9.Notarized Photocopy of a residential two proof of the applicant in my case ( i sent utilities bills gas and water) don’t send original bill they need photocopy which is notarized.

      10. then i go to postal office ask for money order of what ever amount need in my case $91.20 then write down favor of name and address.

      11.Create fedex account create ship i created for 1.5 lb its more than enough i use ground service for expedite shipping pick whatever you want. Create shipment label from your home to consulate then their is one tab to create return label create return label. Print both label.

      12. Now Create BLS order form using tracking number as per your fed ex labels. And add details as per your deed pool certificate,marriage certificate and passport.

      13. Don’t forgot to add original Passport even after you are adding photocopy of 5 first pages of passport. and Money order into your documents.

      14. paste return label to envelop and combine all these document and pack into one ship and paste shipping label and drop it to fed ex location or drop box.

      15. Important thing add loose extra photo with your document. They need it.

      Just in case you did some mistake in my case i did name as per passport not as per deed pool affidavit. They will sent it back.

      to send it again you have to follow.
      1. Get money order for 13.20$ again
      2. make changes what ever they ask.
      3.Scan recipient they will send in return document.
      4.Fill again BLS and Online application form take print out.
      5. combine all document again remove old BLS and Order form add new one. Add 13.20 Money order add earlier receipt. And send it gain with same shipping method.

      hope this will help.

      I suggest go though BLS site. If you need more that one service (like passport Expiry + name chg) go to those specific page and check for requirement meet all those requirement and then apply.

      Like

       
      • Shaunak Pandit

        March 13, 2015 at 1:26 PM

        Thanks 🙂 Glad I could be of some help

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • Westienut

        September 23, 2015 at 9:41 PM

        I recently got all the documents back for resubmission as they needed a notarized marriage certificate for proof of marriage, although I was not keen on having spouse name on my passport.

        To my pleasant surprise, I had BLS reply back and forth to my emails, and one question I specifically asked was about the bls order form.

        I will cut and paste the necessary info from last email – ”
        Kindly check the below answers as per your query:

        1) Notarized Copy of 1st and last Page of Spouse’s Passport
        2) No need of providing a new order form as the previous filled will work.
        3) There will be no problem,you can send the previous filled form.

        For more information on passport service, please visit our website:

        http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/index.php

        Thank you for writing to us.”

        3) related to my doubt about the tracking number as previous one printed on the bls order form is obsolete. I got this answer from 2 people all within 6 hours of my email :-)…so..

        So for resubmission, this is what I did:
        1. take a money order for 13.20
        2. enclose all the documents requested for along with the ones stapled and sent by BLS
        3. Do not forget to enclose the “deficiency list” sent by BLS which was in that returned document package.
        4. Enclose the ORIGINAL BLS passport order form for easy reference. No need to worry about airway bill number and all that.
        5. In the outer envelope, ensure to write passport number and a statement ” additional documents for passport reissue – 10 years”.

        Well, fingers crossed. I will let you all know if things went well.

        The reason I replied to your comment is that you have asked to do a new BLS order form and all that, so now I am wondering what to interpret.

        Like

         
  66. Arunraj

    March 5, 2015 at 5:03 PM

    Hi Shaunak & all other who shared the experience and suggestions, a big Thanks to all of you especially Shaunak who started this.

    I got my renewed passport today which is little less than 3 weeks from the date I sent.
    Everything went smoothly except a little drama at the end while getting it in my hand 🙂

    I used USPS and sent the return envelope also, I got a e-mail from BLS stating my passport is dispatched on Monday and USPS tracking had the update saying it will be delivered on Wednesday and finally stated its delivered on Wednesday 11 AM, but to my surprise I couldnt find it in my mail box that day evening.

    Then called USPS and again they told they have put it in my mailbox only and told they will check tomorrow whether they placed in some other’s mailbox. I was very scared whether they lost it somewhere and I already started looking for the procedure to apply for lost passport 🙂

    Then to my suprise found it the next day morning in my mailbox itself, looks like someone find this in their box and gave to apt guys and they put it in my mailbox.

    Why am saying this is, the mistake I did is to not to opt for the signature option for receiviing the mail in USPS. If I would have did that, they would have handed it over in my apartment office instead of mailbox. So please dont forget to select that option if you are going with USPS especially for the return mail.

    Again Thanks for everyone who gave all the valuable suggestions 🙂 Good Luck

    Like

     
  67. Navee

    February 28, 2015 at 12:11 AM

    Thanks Shaunak , this blog is really helpful.

    I applied at Washington DC Center by post on Jan 23’15 and it took 4 weeks to get my passport back.

    i have mentioned indian address( with proof) at address to be printed but got the US address printed :).

    BLS Receipt Number => USA***********
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.AWB
    Application accepted by BLS:09-02-2015 , 10:17
    Appliication Processed on Date : 09-02-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Embassy : 10-02-2015 , 13:52
    Passport received at BLS Center : 23-02-2015 , 12:05
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :24-02-2015 , 18:35

    Thanks !!

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      March 9, 2015 at 8:37 PM

      Glad it helped 🙂

      Like

       
    • Minesh

      June 1, 2015 at 6:53 PM

      Hi Naveen,

      What proof you gave for Indian Address?

      Like

       
  68. Karthick

    February 27, 2015 at 9:19 PM

    Hi Friends, i missed to send my spouse passport attested copies thinking only they will not require it . but i came to they will add my wife’s name in my password when they shared renewed passport. I just got an email from BLS saying the passport copy missing but there is no direction how to send it . Can any help how to send clairification documents back to BLS?

    Like

     
  69. lisa

    February 22, 2015 at 7:09 AM

    Great info Shaunak. Wish I had read your blog prior to sending my passport renewal application. I was in a mad rush at the UPS facility today and forgot to attach the BLS shipping label outside the envelope and instead put it INSIDE the envelope with my documents and the BLS order form. Is that a big problem? In your opinion do you think they would send it back just because it’s not ON there? I am planning to call them monday.. but after reading some posts about how unresponsive they are on the phone, I am worried.

    Like

     
    • AS

      June 10, 2015 at 1:52 AM

      I am in the same situation as you Lisa. What did you find out?

      Like

       
  70. jack

    February 12, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    Posting the details of my experience since its a bit of an edge case. Getting this done was a huge pain.

    My situation – I had a 20 year issue handwritten passport with couple of years validity left. I wanted to get a new passport because the handwritten one slows me down during travel (most agents haven’t even seen handwritten passports).

    a) My passport was older than 10 years, but had several years validity left so I wasn’t sure if I was eligible for a re-issue. Called the helpline with my question but didn’t really get a convincing response (wasn’t even sure if they understood the question). So I decided to also use the ‘change of appearance’ rule as well just to be safe.
    b) I had already taken the pictures before I decided to include a ‘change of appearance’ affidavit. I ended up taking a new picture for the COA form. I was concerned that I was using two different sets of pictures, but turns out this is fine.
    c) collecting the documents was a PITA. My bank and most notaries I checked with refused to notarize documents like my state drivers license, green card, etc. I finally found one notary at a UPS who agreed to notarize everything
    d) Filling out the verification forms, etc – I just answered all the questions at their literal face value. For the question about contacts/friends in india, it can just be any contacts in india.
    e) created a fedex account. Got a flat rate small box. Could not figure out how to automatically include a return label. The fedex store person could not figure it out either. The required checkbox was just not showing up, we have no idea why!!! This was so frustrating, I just decided to include a pre-filled airway bill. **This is not acceptable for BLS**. They contacted me and told me to send them a prepaid label or use their own service. I opted to use theirs just to speed things up.

    Got my new passport in about 4 weeks.

    Like

     
    • Bidisha

      May 6, 2015 at 10:13 PM

      Hi,
      Where did you apply for your new passport in the US?
      My husband’s passport has been pending at the SFO CGI for over 5 weeks and his case is a mirror image of yours. unfortunately our H1 expires in 1.5 months….and we cannot apply for a renewal without a new passport.
      Any quick information , guidance will be a. Great help.

      Thanks,
      B

      Like

       
  71. S

    February 9, 2015 at 10:24 PM

    This website is really helpful.It gave me an overview within 5 minutes to understand what documents are required .Appreciate it .The comments are too really useful with each individual experience, thought of writing down mine too. 🙂

    Recently got my passport updated with my hubby name added and my Surname, First Name changed .
    I was not having any address proof in my name here (US),hence had attached Aadhaar card copy as address proof .

    Notarization – got it done from UPS ($1 per signature).
    Photo- Sams club.Had pasted 3 on National verification form and one on application form .Attached extra 2 with paper clip to the application form. (The extras were not returned back.)
    Affidavit for change of name due to marriage – one joint photo
    Shipping label – Fedex Online

    Posted all the required docs.

    Got a call from BLS saying that my application would be on hold since i need to submit US address proof .It was okay to submit electricity bill that was in my husband name.

    Regenerated order form and also a money order for $13.20 as resubmission fee and sent the doc again.better to mention as “sending additional Documents” on bls label so that it gets sorted out quickly.

    Was curious enough to wait to see what address would get generated .Finally got passport with Indian Address printed.

    Thank you again for this blog.

    Like

     
    • S

      February 9, 2015 at 10:31 PM

      oops it was not firstname change , i had my middle name changed and surname added .

      Like

       
  72. sunil

    February 7, 2015 at 11:10 PM

    Anyone know the current processing time for reissue of passport?

    Like

     
  73. Harini

    February 7, 2015 at 8:43 PM

    Hey Hi,

    Thanks for the detailed explanation. It really helps.

    I have an issue. I submitted the BLS Order Form stating Reissue and Tatkal. And then only i checked and saw that by post they dont accept the tatkal applications. I gave all the details money order which i took for 241$ and Shipping and return label as well. Now i am not sure what to do. Can we prepare another form with all the information again stating regular process.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      February 10, 2015 at 5:24 PM

      Sorry Harini, I have no clue on that

      Like

       
    • sid

      March 4, 2015 at 10:12 PM

      Any updates harini? I am planning to mail by tatkal so wondering if you had any progress?

      Thanks

      Like

       
  74. Sail

    February 6, 2015 at 10:57 PM

    Hi Shaunak

    Thank you so much man! This blog really helped me a lot to understand the process.

    I applied for renewal in SFO center in person and received the passport via UPS mail in 20 days.

    I got the indian address printed in passport( I provided indian address proof and also its same as my prev passport).

    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using UPS Service. Tracking No. XXXXXXXXXX
    Application accepted by BLS: 13-01-2015 , 12:30
    Appliication Processed on Date :13-01-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 15-01-2015 , 09:20
    Passport received at BLS Center : 02-02-2015 , 11:20
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :02-02-2015 , 13:46

    I really appreciate your efforts in helping out hell a lot of people!

    Thanks
    Sail

    Like

     
  75. Viral

    February 3, 2015 at 11:09 PM

    Thank you so much for your post. It really helped a lot.

    Like

     
  76. Steffi

    January 27, 2015 at 8:14 PM

    Hi Shaunak, Thanks for all information you provided.
    I sent my pkg to BLS location with “Signature required” on the package. Now the package is waiting for someone to pick it up at the usps office.
    Question – When you sent your package to BLS location, did you send it as “signature required on the recipients side ” ?

    Like

     
  77. mareedum

    January 26, 2015 at 10:16 PM

    Hello Shaunak, appreciate your efforts, your blog has been so helpful. I want to notarize my wife’s passport. Who would have to sign the document ? Me /Her?

    Like

     
  78. Razz

    January 26, 2015 at 8:40 PM

    Shaunak,

    I applied for my passport on Jan 13th, 2015 and it says processing at consulate.

    My passport expired in April of 2014, it’s handwritten and I have a greencard. My question was, whether that would delay any procedure and the time required would be more? The lady at BLS said it would take 4 weeks. I applied at the BLS Atlanta office.

    I am getting engaged in India in a 2 weeks and really need to get there ASAP!

    Alternatively can I go the the consulate and request for some sort of expedited process based on my reasoning?

    If anyone else has had an expired passport sent for renewal through Atlanta bls please share as well!

    Thanks!

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      January 26, 2015 at 8:47 PM

      Congratulations on the engagement 🙂 not sure about the 1st question but they don’t entertain marriage, annual leaves etc as emergency reasons.
      Emergency reasons – health matters of family members ie someone being critically ill, hospitalized, you needing medical treatment only in India etc I think they require letter from doc . I am not saying you should create stories on that but those are the ones which they allow if that helps you?

      Like

       
      • Razz

        January 26, 2015 at 9:26 PM

        Thanks Shaunak! Appreciate the quick response.

        I’ll probably go by the consulate tomorrow and inquire further details as to the status of the passport!

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        January 27, 2015 at 4:15 PM

        Welcome sir and hope you are clear on what you will need to expedite it 😉

        Like

         
  79. Surbhit Jain

    January 25, 2015 at 2:54 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Have a query regarding Point #11: When was he / she last in India:- this should be the last time you left India if you haven’t yet returned to India then this would be your departure date- check the passport again for the exact date.

    Query: Does the date has to be leaving India for first time irrespective of country or VISA. Or does it has to be first time leaving India to USA on a long term Visa like L1.
    Before travelling to USA on L1 Visa, I have traveled USA on Business Visa.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      January 27, 2015 at 4:14 PM

      Please check my reply to this question in the comments made before.

      Like

       
      • Gautam

        February 9, 2015 at 7:32 PM

        @Randeep
        That is not true. My old passport had my Indian address and the US address with a “address in USA” line. While renewing in Jan 2015, I gave the US address proof (PSE&G bill). The new passport has my Indian address. I did not even give the Indian address proof! Passport was renewed @New York.

        ~Gautam

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        February 10, 2015 at 5:26 PM

        I concur with you.

        There are cases where they have printed Indian address while there are cases where in spite of giving Indian address proof they printed the US address 🙂

        Like

         
  80. Randeep Dhillon

    January 22, 2015 at 3:05 PM

    This thread is excellent only one thing they only print US address as your Permanent address for which you provide notarized copy. Overall it only took 8 days for me to renew it in regular processing.

    Application sent date (Fedex overnight) : 13-01-2015 , 7.00 p.m
    Fedex Package recieved by BLS Chicago : 14-01-2015 , 10.12 a.m.
    Application accepted by BLS : 15-01-2015 , 09:53
    Appliication Processed on Date : 15-01-2015
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 15-01-2015 , 17:46
    Passport received at BLS Center : 21-01-2015 , 09:03
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant : 21-01-2015 , 11:02

    Like

     
    • Razz

      January 26, 2015 at 8:31 PM

      Randeep that was quick! Where did you renew yours? Also was your passport expired and or handwritten?

      Like

       
  81. Rahul

    January 18, 2015 at 6:51 PM

    Hello Shaunak,

    Thanks for the write up.

    I had a couple of questions:

    1) Did you put in special characters (commas, hyphens) in the application form? I have separated dates using hyphens but since the checklist mentioned not to use them I was wondering.
    2) I saw that you mentioned 2 photos on the application form. I can see space for only one. Did you read somewhere that 2 are required? The space below the signature in box 29 says for office use only so I am not sure if I can stick a photo there.
    Also, in the checklist I saw 4 additional photos required in addition to the 3 on the nationality verification form and 1 on application form. This brings my total to 9 (1 is required on appearance change affidavit).

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      January 19, 2015 at 5:47 PM

      #1 If they say don’t put in special characters , why do you want to put them in the form ? 🙂
      #2 I had attached the photos at the bottom

      Like

       
      • Rahul

        January 20, 2015 at 6:59 PM

        Thanks! How many total photos did you end up sending?

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        January 22, 2015 at 3:26 PM

        Check my answers given to the same question asked by others.

        Like

         
      • Rahul

        January 20, 2015 at 7:02 PM

        Also, what about email address in the application form? I have to use special characters for that. Did you face any issues for using them or you didn’t use them?

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        January 22, 2015 at 3:26 PM

        Hi Rahul,

        You do realize that if you are entering something invalid the form won’t let you submit it right? you can try it out and find out yourself than asking 🙂

        Like

         
      • Rahul

        January 23, 2015 at 2:42 PM

        Thanks again! I mean the form didn’t really prevent me from entering special characters but since it was mentioned on the checklist I was wondering.

        Also, did you submit the photos belonging to the same set or is it ok to have photos belonging to different sets? Sorry, I know I am asking a ton of questions.

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        January 23, 2015 at 3:19 PM

        🙂 all of the same set.

        Like

         
    • Mayur

      January 20, 2015 at 4:11 PM

      I had the same question (2). I just called the BLS help line and confirmed that total 4 photographs are needed for Chicago mission (3 to be pasted on Nat Verification form & 1 to be pasted on application form).

      Like

       
      • Rahul

        January 23, 2015 at 2:39 PM

        Thanks Mayur! I tried calling them but I was put on hold. Also, do you know if all photos have to belong to the same set or is it ok to have photos from different sets?

        Like

         
  82. GD

    January 14, 2015 at 1:49 AM

    Hi

    Hope you’re doing great. I just need to know in case of – (reissue and adding spouse name at the same time) – Is it required for me to visit CHICAGO BLS/consulate in person or not?
    I have all the documents ready except forms.

    As per the following point CHI jurisdiction applicants must visit in person but didn’t tell if it is applicable for “no status” only. When called BLS (5-6 times), I was asked to come over each time and he was in hurry to cut the call.

    Notarized Color photocopy of current valid US visa on passport or Green card or Employment Authorization Card or I- 797 approval notice documents. Student visa Status holders must enclose I-20 Document as well. If your visa has expired and/or or you have the receipt notice for extension of your visa then: NYC, SFO & HOU Jurisdiction Applicants – must provide a notarized no status affidavit with photocopy of the valid passport and the green card of two witnesses duly notarized + 7 Copies of Nationality Verification Form (Given in Point 2 above) are required and each copy must have an original photograph affixed on it. WAS/ATL/HOU/CHI Jurisdiction Applicants – must visit the consulate in person for an interview before applying at the passport application center.

    Like

     
  83. bvaishnav

    January 11, 2015 at 1:04 AM

    Hello All,

    Thanks for sharing input on this page, this was quite useful.

    Recently I applied for passport for my kid and got in 15 days. Over here I just want to share my experience in 7 key step which usually confuses the most to everyone. These steps are specially related to “How to send passport application by USPS ?” :

    (1) I went to USPS and I have chosen Priority Mail with flat rate option ($ 5.75) hence picked 2 same size Priority Mail envelope.
    (2) On USPS counter ask for 2 tracking number sticker (one “To go” and other for return) and mark back side of tracking number which one you want to use for sending document and which one you want to use for return.
    (3) Buy postal stamps of $5.75 to go + $ 5.75 for return.
    (4) Come back home and fill BLS Order form with correct tracking numbers from stickers.
    (5) Print BLS tracking number with address to send passport document and paste that to “To go” envelope. On return envelope write proper From and To address.
    (6) Paste postal stamps on both the envelope ($ 5.75 on each). Fold return envelope and put in the envelope in which you are using to send document.
    (7) Pack “To go” envelope, go to USPS counter (ask them to use same tracking number which is on the sticker), get receipt and relax.

    Thanks,
    bvaishnav

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      January 22, 2015 at 3:26 PM

      Thank you

      Like

       
    • Satya

      March 20, 2015 at 11:24 AM

      First of all thank you and all who is using this website and updating latest information,

      Hi Bvaishnav
      I used usps send and receive my passport. after delivery to BLS do we get any email or any update online to check . application status or processing?
      the usps tracking shows delivered on 3/18/2015.

      Thanks you

      Like

       
  84. Kingiva

    January 9, 2015 at 1:13 AM

    Thanks buddy for taking time to help others, It helped me and I am sure it helped many others like me. Thanks again.

    Like

     
  85. Anilkumar Narendula

    January 7, 2015 at 7:43 PM

    Hi Shaunak,
    You have provided very helpful information in detail. Thanks for that. I have a question. on the 2nd page of the online NRI application form it is required to fill your other address details which means your permanent address from India. It also has spaces for phone numbers, mobile numbers. Should I populate it with my USA contacts or contacts in India (probably my dad’s)?
    Please let me know.
    Regards,
    Anil

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      January 19, 2015 at 5:50 PM

      Hi Anil,

      Please check my earlier comment responses on this question.

      Like

       
  86. madvn

    January 6, 2015 at 3:08 AM

    Hi Thanks for the blog. It is a lot more easier to understand than the BLS website.

    I am a single student living in the US with all family members in India. How can I get a change of appearance affidavit? Also, the form says son/daughter/wife/husband :/ I have none of those lol..

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      January 19, 2015 at 5:45 PM

      Glad to help ! By just filling up the form and getting it signed from notary.

      Like

       
  87. Kshitij

    January 5, 2015 at 5:02 AM

    Thanks for your blog. Very helpful.

    Like

     
  88. Joy

    January 2, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    Hi Shaunak,
    Your advises immensely helped me to prepare for my wife’s passport renewal. One quick question I’d like to get your opinion on, is, in the Govt of India NRI passport application form the declaration statement (#26) says “I owe allegiance to the sovereignty, unity & integrity of India and have not voluntarily acquired the citizenship or travel document of another country” (also #16). Since we have EAD with AP (advanced payroll) from USCIS before while applied for GC, what do you think we should do in this case? Because AP is essentially a travel document. I am so confused here, your valuable advise will be great help. We’re Indian citizen with US Green card.
    Thank you

    Joy

    Like

     
  89. rajat

    January 2, 2015 at 5:36 PM

    Hi all,

    I need some information and need to clarify a couple of doubts.
    1. what happens if my us visa expires after reaching the embassy (say after 3-4 days). It is valid at the time of application. Do i need to send additional documents.

    2. I went to fedex and got the form and filled in information for sending and receiving. I then filled in the online order form and pasted the printed label on the outer fedex envelop and included the order form inside. However I think the fedex address information on both outside and inside envelop are hand written. The once that i filled in myself. Is this going to be an issue? Please advice what can be done.

    Like

     
  90. Sahil

    January 1, 2015 at 10:47 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    I have filled the online order form for renewal of passport. I live in NJ and my passport is expiring in 20 days, however I am expecting the interview for Citizenship any day now, and am required to carry my passport for the same. Hence i am in the situation where if the day my interview is scheduled, i may not have my renewed passport if filed under normal processing schedule. Having said that I am inclined to file it under tatkal. Couple questions, do i have to really have emergency to be able to file under tatkal? If no, do i have to take an appointment for walk-in under tatkal, as the checklist form states “No appointment required for Tatakal applicants”. Pl advise

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      January 19, 2015 at 5:41 PM

      Tatkal as per them is actual emergency of health etc not expiry of passport. Sorry!

      Like

       
  91. Anup

    January 1, 2015 at 2:38 AM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Thanks for the big favor !! You must have saved thousands of man-hours with your blog.

    Does the checklist need to be printed and included in the package ?

    The ‘Documents Requirement’ section says:

    Dully filled & signed checklist (Print this checklist, tick and arrange your application accordingly before you are ready to submit in person at the application center or sending it by post.)

    Thanks,
    Anup

    Like

     
  92. Rishi Gautam

    December 31, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    Hi,

    Thank you Shaunaq for putting in the effort to formulate this and all of you for actively participating.
    I am initiating the process of renewing my passport from Chicago consulate(Iowa resident). It expires in June 2015. I was reading through people’s posts on the average processing time it takes? The BLS website mentions 6-8 weeks, does it usually take longer or you mostly end up getting it back beofre that? I am aware that it can vary depending on each application, just trying to get a general sense. Slightly anxious becuase I am planning to travel to India in March and was hoping it would get renewed before that.

    Like

     
  93. kanchan

    December 31, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Hi Shaunak
    Thanks for this post. I recently applied for tatkal passport renewal at NYC bls center in person. All my ddocuments were accepted by the guy however I later realized that I have made 2 mistakes
    1. I downloaded the nationality verification form from immihelp instead of bls site and they didn’t have signature entry there so I missed to sign all 3 of them
    2. Other mistake was I entered US friend’s address instead of permanent residance india address of my friends/ relatives.

    My question is just in case they reject my application and ask for submitting the docs again then how long would it take. I already have travel plans for next week Fri.

    Any advise is appreciated.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      January 19, 2015 at 5:43 PM

      sorry I got late to the comment, hope your issue got sorted out

      Like

       
    • Mallik

      May 11, 2015 at 8:06 PM

      Hi Kanchan, I am planning trip to BLS center NY for tatkal passport renewal due to medical reason and would like to know about your experience. Do we have to go consulate office to get approval or directly can go to BLS Center. DO i have to get doctor certificate from india showing medical urgency?

      Like

       
  94. Koti

    December 29, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Thanks for such a detailed blog on how to renew the passport. It was so easy. I am about the renew my Kids passport, when i see the instructions on BLS website, i am confused..

    For Minors should we do the renewal in person only? or can we process through post as well like you have done yours.

    Thanks
    Koti

    Like

     
  95. Raghu

    December 29, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Hi, In passport application form are we supposed to write the whole amount of $ 91.20 or only
    $78 excluding BLS Service Fee. In the sample application provided on BLS website, it shows that we are supposed to enter the amount excluding BLS fee. Please advise.

    Thanks
    Raghu

    Like

     
  96. Raj

    December 24, 2014 at 6:38 AM

    Hello Shaunak,

    Thank you very much for the information, I have applied for my passport renewal on 12/10/2014, I am in Washington state, I brought the Courier Pickup & Delivery Service from BLS who have got me posted my documents using UPS. I was successfully reissued and posted back to me on 12/19/2014 from SFO Center.

    Now comes the real problem the UPS didn’t deliver my package on time. I have requested updates about it but nothing positive turned up, today I raised a request to investigate for verification of package location hoping they didn’t lose it. I really hope and praying that they should find my package and get me back my old and new passports safely. What are the chances of finding my package

    Please reply and suggest me

    In worst worst case 😦 if they lose it what are the steps to be followed, do below things cover everything or if I am missing anything in the list please let me know
    1. I have to file a case in nearest police station showing the tracking updates from UPS
    2. I have to reapply for reissuing of passport saying its lost in process of shipping and what all steps to be followed are they similar to has renewal
    3. what about my visas (US and Canada) which were present on my old passport and steps to getting it reprinted again.
    4. How long is it going to take again for all this process any ideas

    And also can I file a claim with UPS for expenses, paper work and stress.

    Thanks
    Raj

    Like

     
  97. shankar

    December 23, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Thanks for all your effort which is helping so many souls here!

    My passport is expiring in June 2015. I am travelling to India on 11th Feb 2015 and returning back to US on 15th Mar 2015. I have a stamped visa until June 2016. Do you think I will have problem while entering US or even departing from Indian airport while returning?

    Since there are only few days left before I travel I am confused if I should go for renewal. Lets say if I am going with renewal do I need to take an appointment to drop the package or I can drop it anytime? I live in NJ, I can personally go and drop the package.

    Thanks,
    Shankar

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      January 19, 2015 at 5:54 PM

      US Immigration would not let you enter as you would not have more than 6 months of validity on your passport while coming back.

      Like

       
  98. Rajesh

    December 22, 2014 at 4:08 AM

    Hi Shaunak,

    I got my documents notarized from Bank Of America, but now i noticed that they i have singed and stamped on non printed area of the paper, is this Ok or part of the signature/stamp has to be on printed part of the paper?

    Thanks,
    Rajesh

    Like

     
  99. sreenu

    December 18, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    I live in California, Could you please tell me about the 2 references, should I give India references or some one in USA, as I am in USA now.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      February 10, 2015 at 5:27 PM

      Please check my detailed reply on this Q to another comment.

      Like

       
  100. Maha

    December 16, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    Shaunak,

    Thanks for this blog, the Indian embassy website was giving me a headache to navigate through. I have never seen a more convoluted process in my life, you should get paid! Well anyways, I have a question when on the bls india website http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/reissue10.php#tabs-quote-timeChicago

    One of the instructions reads the following:

    “Applicants – must provide a notarized no status affidavit with photocopy of the valid passport and the green card of two witnesses duly notarized + 7 Copies of Nationality Verification Form (Given in Point 2 above) are required and each copy must have an original photograph affixed on it. WAS/ATL/HOU/CHI Jurisdiction Applicants – must visit the consulate in person for an interview before applying at the passport application center.”

    I must have read this several times, not sure what no status affidavit is and if I even need to submit it, they want copies of two other people with green cards? Plus are they asking for seven more copies of the nationality verification form, so in total they want 10 Copies?

    Any help at this point will be appreciated!!

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      December 16, 2014 at 9:08 PM

      Hi Maha,

      Thank you 🙂 am glad it helped.
      I think they require those notarized no status affidavit / signatures etc only if you fall in particular category[ passport expired etc i think] Mine was a normal case so I had to send 3 national verification forms.

      Like

       
      • Rajesh

        January 13, 2015 at 1:10 AM

        Hi Shaunak,

        I am also facing same problem.. I have to notarized copy of my marriage certificate for re-issue of indian passport.. I am in Virginia and here notary cannot notarized – Birth, death & Marriage Certificate.

        Please assist how I can notarized my marriage certificate in Virginia.

        Thanks & Regards,
        Rajesh

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        January 19, 2015 at 5:48 PM

        Hi Rajesh,

        Please check the comment about places to notarize, apart from that I am sorry I have no clue how to get it done. Unless you visit consulate /mission.

        Like

         
  101. Sharan

    December 16, 2014 at 5:14 AM

    Hi, I would like to know when can I apply for renewal in my case. My passport expires on
    Jan 23, 2016. How soon can I send in my renewal application. Please advise.

    Thanks
    Raghu

    Like

     
    • Jose Cyriac

      December 17, 2014 at 5:26 PM

      Raghu, you can apply after January 23, 2015, ie within one year of your current passport’s expiry.

      Like

       
    • Ram

      December 28, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      Normally I do 6 months before. I am preparing today and will send it in a week for my renewal. My current PP expires 12JUL2015.

      Like

       
  102. Joy

    December 15, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    Hi Shaunak,
    Your blog is so helpful. My wife’s passport is expiring 3rd March, 2015. Do you think I should submit the renewal application now or wait till first week of January 2015? I am not sure what’s the holiday (Christmas/ end of year) schedule for BLS and Washington Indian consulate offices, and I just don’t want the application dossier sitting there for no reason without being looked at because of holidays. I called BLS office quite a few times but didn’t go through. Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
    Also what cost of return envelop I should provide them? Does it need to be hard envelop or soft envelop?
    Thank you for your time and help.
    Joy

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      December 16, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      hi Joy,

      BLS Chicago didn’t have a collection box for postal service to drop in on holiday time [ in my case Saturday] I would suggest plan for the application to reach them by 3rd-4th Jan since you don’t want the application sitting at their desk. You can of course check consulate and BLS holiday plans and plan accordingly.. You would still have a lot of time at hand for them to process it in time even if you send by Jan 1st week

      Like

       
    • Shaunak Pandit

      December 16, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      Forgot to add – check the post for detailed explanation on the envelope trick I had used.

      Like

       
  103. Eswar Ramisetti

    December 12, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Thanks for your blog which is really helped me, i thought I do not need to post here because all the information is available , but i have not found info about my query.

    My application is rejected, BLS is sending my documents back because of address proof of US(they are asking DL/Lease/Electricity bill) , I will send my lease document. Now they are asking me to pay $13.20 as a re submission fee and fill the BLS order form again.

    Query:

    While filling the BLS order form we need to enter ‘Airway bill number’ , which Airway bill number i need to specify there ?

    I have Airway number for $166.20 (passport lost fee, which i have filled in BLS order form on first submission) and now re-submission Airway number for fee $13.20.

    Thanks,
    Eswar Ramisetti.

    Like

     
    • Eswar Ramisetti

      December 12, 2014 at 10:53 PM

      Forgot to mention : I got my courier returned today with every document i sent even the cashier check of 166.20 . Could you please tell me how to proceed now. Do i need to fill the order form again with the re submition fee. or shall i send them fresh application with 166.20 ..

      Like

       
    • Shaunak Pandit

      December 16, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      Sorry Eswar I don’t know about re sending form, maybe someone here can help you on that. Also, go through the comments and you can reply to any person who has mentioned re sending they will be notified on their email and hopefully reply to your query

      Like

       
  104. Tushar Gore

    December 11, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    Hello Shaunak,
    Your Website is very much helpful. When I started checking for the Passport renewal process, I got very precise information from your site; I literally read your site first and then BLS. Your initiative is highly appreciated.

    I submitted my PP to Chicago BLS office through post on last monday (1st Dec) and it was processed with in a week and today (11th Dec) I have received my renewed passport.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      December 16, 2014 at 8:57 PM

      You are welcome sir 🙂 and Thank you for the info Tushar !

      Like

       
  105. kiran

    December 11, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    hi Shaunak
    First of all, thank you for putting this website together. it was a great help for me to order the documents and fill in the applications. I am not sure if you are still answering the questions as it has been a while (last answer on july 15th). but still i am giving it a try.
    while filling the online passport application, i used the temporary ID to edit and come back but i could not. After multiple attempts of failures, i started all over again with a new temporary ID and this time, i immediately filed after i filled it up. and printed it. When i checked my emails later in teh day, i see that i have accidentally submitted the first one already (hence, i could not use the temporary ID). The first one was almost complete except last couple of items. i am planning to submit with the latter, completed version. I feel that it is fine but I just wanted to make sure this fine. and i don’t have to call them to tell this.
    Thanks again for the website and thanks in advance for your answer.
    kiran

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      December 11, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      Hi Kiran,

      No problem at all, you are welcome. Yes I had filled up twice too by mistake 🙂 It wont be a problem.
      Regarding the last answer date – not sure why you are only seeing comments till July as I have replied to the ones till Nov / Dec.

      Like

       
      • kiran

        December 12, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        Thanks Shaunak for the answer.
        sorry, I must have been looking at the wrong thread in the comments section.
        Have a great day.

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        December 16, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        Cool no problem sir

        Like

         
      • Hitesh

        December 16, 2014 at 5:37 PM

        Hi Shaunak,

        Sample Immihelp Form:

        11. When did Applicant first leave India: 02-Aug-1997 When was S/he last time in India: 04-Apr-2012

        12: How long has applicant contentiously resided aboard? 15 years

        based on your blog #12: “This is the time from your last date in India till now.” 2 years

        Can you please guide for #12 ans? 15 or 2 years?
        ______________________________

        Also I came here on F1 visa for Masters but right now I am on H4. What should I mention in #14?

        Thanks in advance

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        January 22, 2015 at 3:23 PM

        Hitesh,

        Please check the replies on this question to other provided earlier.

        Like

         
      • kiran

        December 19, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        hi Shaunak
        I thought i post this here so others can benefit with this information as well. I will be getting my wife’s passport today! This was extremely fast (chicago consulate). I sent my application on last Friday with the two-day delivery window, I knew it is going to be reaching there on Monday. As expected, it reached BLS on Monday of this week where they processed and sent to the consulate on the same day. BLS received the new passport on wednesday from the consulate and dispatched on the same day. Based on the USPS tracking it is out for delivery today (Friday). I could not be happier! Mine was renewal after 10 years, within 6-months of expiration date. i had sent in degree certificate just in case (for the ECNR) and marriage certificate (to support the maiden name on the degree certificate). spouse name was already endorsed on the old passport. i had sent only 4 photos. one on the application form and one each on the 3 copies of the NVF. (all glued in the boxes).

        There was one small glitch i did not know what to do for a while though. On wednesday, (after the arrival of the new passport from the consulate to BLS) I received an email from BLS that said “Dear client we can not accept hand written shipping label you have to send us computer generated shipping label”. I had put a self addressed stamped (priority mail) empty envelope inside the bigger envelope with the tracking number label attached. I had “hand written” my home address on this empty envelope since i posted it in person (did not use online printing). I did not know what to do for a while. I thought of sending them one by post. I went to USPS.com and trying to create shipping label for this by registering. but this did not work out as i had to pay for the postage before i print the label, which i did not want to do! So I logged back into my email to reply to them that what i should do! When i logged into my email, i had received another email from them that said “Delivered by usps tracking no.xxxxx”. when i used their website to track my application using the order form number, I saw the same thing in the additional information section (see below)… It looks like they changed their mind and dispatched it anyway after about 50 minutes of sending the first email (look at the time stamp below from 9.21AM to10.09AM). i sent an email to them just in case if i should send them an prepaid, printed shipping label. I haven’t received the response yet!!!

        I did not come across anywhere while filling out the application that the return shipping label should not be hand written. I searched your blog and there was one mention of this by someone who had to send the printed return shipping label to BLS along with other documents that were requested of him.

        BLS Receipt Number => USAC-xxxxx
        Current Application Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.AWB no.xxx Application accepted by BLS:15-12-2014 , 16:05
        Appliication Processed on Date : 15-12-2014
        Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 15-12-2014 , 17:58
        Passport received at BLS Center : 17-12-2014 , 09:02
        Passport handed over to Applicant : –
        Passport Dispatched to Applicant :17-12-2014 , 10:01

        Additional Information
        # Comments On
        1 Deliverd by usps tracking no.xxxxx 2014-12-17 10:09:43
        2 Dear client we can not accept hand written shipping lable you have to send us computer generated shipping label 2014-12-17 09:21:58

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        January 22, 2015 at 3:19 PM

        Thank you for the info, didn’t know this

        Like

         
  106. Madhu

    December 10, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Hi,

    Thanks Shaunak Pandit for you effort.

    if my spouse name is not in my passport and I am applying for reissue of passport??

    I see
    from url http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/reissue10.php
    In case the current passport does not have Spouse’s name, a notarized photocopy of the marriage certificate is mandatory if your status has been filled as married in the application form. A copy of the passport / US ID of the spouse, is required along with your application. Women Applicants must include the notarized affidavit for change in name from maiden to married.
    from check list document,

    If married but spouse name not endorsed in passport :
    1 Notarized Photo Copy of marriage certificate
    2 Notarized Photocopy of spouse passport 1st & last page only (If US Citizen by birth then copy of their ID card or US passport is required)

    At one place it says passport copy in another place it is mentioned Notarized Photocopy of spouse passport 1st & last page. got confused since my wife is in India, I don’t have her passport to do notary.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      December 11, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      Sorry I have no idea about that, hopefully someone else will reply here

      Like

       
    • josh

      January 18, 2015 at 1:18 AM

      Hi Madhu, I am in the same boat as you now .. did just sending the spouse passport copy alone work ? .. I am applying reissue in sfo branch

      Like

       
    • arnab

      July 23, 2015 at 8:59 PM

      Hi Madhu,

      This is a pretty common scenario and I had confirmed with BLS and they need notarized photocopy of spouse’s passport.
      I would suggest you to try if a notary agrees to notarize the passport without the original one, but with other supporting documents like Marriage certificates etc.

      Like

       
  107. Anand

    December 8, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    My passport was dispatched from Chicago BLS today.

    BLS Receipt Number => USACXXXXXXXX
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.AWB EK XXXXXXXXX US
    Application accepted by BLS: 02-12-2014 , 11:55
    Appliication Processed on Date :02-12-2014
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 03-12-2014 , 09:43
    Passport received at BLS Center : 08-12-2014 , 11:07
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :08-12-2014 , 12:21
    Additional Infomation
    # Comments
    Deliverd by usps tracking no.ekXXXXXXXXXus
    On 2014-12-08 12:35:27

    Thanks for your guidance .

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      December 10, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      welcome sir! thanks for info will help others get an idea about the processing time

      Like

       
  108. mayank nema

    December 8, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    Nice article..it helped a lot. With this article also refer http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/pptchecklist/BLSUSPassportChecklist.pdf

    Also for folks in jersey city..you can go to shop opposite to Apna Bazaar- Global Mail…its one stop shop for passport photos and notarization.

    Like

     
  109. Narayana vasa

    December 3, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Hi,
    I am applying for reissue of passport after 10 years. Now as I am married I need to submit notarized photocopy of marriage certificate. But BOA people say that they are not authorized to notarize the marriage certificate. My wife passport contains my name as spouse. Is it enough to submit photocopies of my wife’s passport ? Or else where can I get the photocopy of marriage certificate notarized.

    Thanks,
    Narayana

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      December 4, 2014 at 3:12 AM

      Check my comment to others on this question plz

      Like

       
      • Manuel Vierring

        December 10, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        Hi!

        My wife has applied for renewal of her passport, cause hers is expiring in Nov 2015.
        My question is. When will the old passport get cancelled? We did not sent the original passport, we only sent the photocopies of the relevant pages.
        So we have to go to India in middle of Jan. Most probably the new passport won´t arrive till then.
        Can she travel with her still valid passport even when the new one has arrived at the consulate and is redy to be collected? As long as they don´t put the cancelled stamp in the old one it should be valid, right? Or does it get automatically cancelled in some database. Not that there will be some trouble at the airport immigration when we are flying.
        Thanks.

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        December 10, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        Hi Manuel,

        Not sure how you have not yet received a incomplete documentation update from them? Current passport is absolutely necessary for them to process the new one.
        They cancel the passport in system as well as physically by putting a cancel stamp on it.
        While travelling at airports they don’t just visually check our passports, they also scan it. This is where your passport will indicate its a cancelled passport. This is usually done when the newer one gets printed I think.
        I would suggest visiting consulate and discussing with this, you may land in trouble with govt authorities for travelling on a invalid passport.

        Having said that- Mostly the documentation would be returned to you due to incomplete application[ checklists mentions old passport needs to be submitted] or they will put on hold and ask you to send old passport. Take a call based on that if you want to go ahead with processing or withdraw.

        Best of luck.

        Like

         
  110. Arnav

    December 3, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    Hello,

    I had renewal of my passport in May 2014. But the passport was renewed for only one year (Houston Embassy). The Embassy official said that they had not received clearance from the concerned passport office in India which is why they had renewed it for only a year. They also said they will revert back to me once they get the clearance. It has been over six months now and seems they have yet not got the clearance. They are not even responding to my emails and their phone does not work. Any one else had this issue of one year renewal ? Any help will be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Arnav

    Like

     
    • indian071982

      December 10, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      Same problem with my renewal. Mine was renewed for 1 year till July 2015.
      I guess filing an RTI is the only way forward – http://www.cgihouston.org/page/display/23

      My email id is manasgaur@gmail.com if you want to discuss.

      Liked by 1 person

       
    • Arnav

      January 8, 2015 at 11:41 PM

      I finally got the passport renewed for 10 years. As usual the Indian Embassy was not responding to my emails, so I wrote an email to the passport office in India which had issued my passport and asked them to send the clearance to the Indian Embassy in Houston. Seems like that email worked and clearance was sent. Then, I then sent the passport to the Embassy and got the passport back with extension for 10 years. The new expiration date is however printed on the second page of the passport.

      Like

       
  111. Preethi

    November 25, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    Hai,
    Can anyone send the procedures and links to track the passport renewal.

    Thanks

    Like

     
  112. Kaustubh

    November 22, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    Hello,

    I would like to thank Shaunak for such an informative blog. The information he has provided plus all the discussion was a great help while putting my passport renewal application together.

    I got my passport renewed at Chicago via a postal application. I received my new passport within 15 days of my application, which was a pleasant surprise. I came across a couple of points during my application process that I thought I should mention.

    1. I did not receive an email from BLS with the shipping label. Instead, I was asked to print it off of the BLS website. You can print the shipping label as many times as you may need from here.

    2. BLS asks you not to use USPS for shipping your documents. Unfortunately, they tell you this after you have filled out your order from( by this time you have already paid for shipping). I used USPS and have no complaints about their service.

    3. Once my new passport was dispatched, I was able to track the package from day one. This means that BLS/Consulate now drops off the Priority Mail packages at the post office, something they did not do earlier.

    Regards.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      December 4, 2014 at 3:13 AM

      Thank you Kaustubh for the inputs 🙂 and glad I could help

      Like

       
  113. karthik devaraja

    November 18, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    HI Shaunak

    Finally my passport was dispatched from Atlanta BLS today Nov 18.

    BLS Receipt Number => USA
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier Using your Prepaid Envelope.AWB
    Application accepted by BLS:27-10-2014 , 11:10
    Appliication Processed on Date : 27-10-2014
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 29-10-2014
    Passport received at BLS Center : 18-11-2014 , 10:21
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :18-11-2014 , 10:21

    Thanks for your guidance .

    Like

     
  114. Narendra

    November 14, 2014 at 1:46 AM

    Hi,

    My wife’s name is blank in my previous passport. Can i add the name of my wife now?

    Like

     
    • Anil Gupta

      November 26, 2014 at 11:19 PM

      Yes, you should add your wife’s name. As far as I remember, it was mandatory to add spouse name in the new passport even if it was not added in old one.

      You will have that option on BLS passport order form in the ‘Family details’->’Spouse Name’ section.

      Like

       
  115. Brijesh

    November 13, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    My daughters passport was sent back to me stating that I did not send the affidavit for Minor. I am sending them the passport with all documents again. Should I again fill the BLS Order Form and print the label and attach it to the envelop? or I can use the old label without filling the Order Form? They didn’t mention anything about resending the documents in the notes when they sent back the passport.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      November 13, 2014 at 4:59 PM

      Sorry not aware of it, hopefully someone else will reply. Did you try calling BLS?

      P.S: If I have not replied to your comment but just approved it, please understand that the answer is there in the post/ replies to comments or I am unaware of it and hence approving so that others can reply.

      Like

       
  116. Rohitash

    November 12, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    Application status says SENT BACK. How can they send it back as they received it just today. As per their site, if any document is missing, they are gonna contact for 2 weeks before sending it back. And on top I have added both the documents which are shown missing as per the online status. Anyone else faced such problem?

    BLS Receipt Number => USAN21779514
    Current Aplication Status : Sent Back
    Application accepted by BLS:12-11-2014 , 13:56
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : –
    Passport received at BLS Center : –
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :-
    Additional Information

    Missing Documents
    If the applicant wishes to change name: two daily newspapers ads are required; one in usa and another in india, being circulated in the area of applicant’s permanent and present residence in usa. the ad must be a month old, require original full page newspaper along with your application

    Other Details
    Notorized sworn deed poll affidavit duly signed by the applicant reg change in name

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      November 13, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      Hi Rohitash,

      Did you try calling them up and escalating the matter? The call centre will log your complaint and someone from the main office calls and talks to you.

      Thanks

      P.S: If I have not replied to your comment but just approved it, please understand that the answer is there in the post/ replies to comments or I am unaware of it and hence approving so that others can reply.

      Like

       
      • Rohitash

        November 13, 2014 at 5:42 PM

        Hi Shaunak,
        I spoke to customer care and they are saying the documents are missing. I know I had put those documents and I feel stupid and it’s like making a fool of myself. But I don;t how to prove that they were there.
        Anyways, I will send the whole newspaper now and let’s see what those “High” bosses at BLS has to say this time.

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        November 17, 2014 at 7:24 PM

        Ho Rohitash,

        Sorry to hear that, yeah its a big pain to explain to them. Unfortunately there is no point in arguing with them.

        If you have not yet received a call from BLS office then do call call centre and escalate. The people sitting in the BLS office in the respec city will call you and you can discuss your case with them as they are the ones who process applications for that city.

        Like

         
      • Rohitash

        December 11, 2014 at 5:07 PM

        Hey Shaunak,

        Just received my new passport with updated name. Thanks for sharing the info.

        Rohitash

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        December 11, 2014 at 5:15 PM

        Cool, welcome buddy

        Like

         
    • Nauman

      January 1, 2015 at 4:07 PM

      Hello Rohitash –
      I am also in the same situation. The BLS online status (and email) says that the application is sent back to me. Did you receive your application back and you have submitted the entire package again or did you just send the missing documents to BLS?

      Like

       
  117. CJ

    November 12, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    Thank you for the wonderful help. Is BLS still service provider for passport renewal?

    Like

     
    • Nilesh

      November 17, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      Yes.

      Like

       
  118. Navin

    November 12, 2014 at 4:04 AM

    Hi Shaunak,
    have some questions which I hope you can help me with
    1.I am adding my name to my wife’s surname ,that involves a joint 2X2 photo – Can we just take a joint photo and ask the store to resize it to 2X2 or are there any other suggestions for exact size since 2X2 for joint photo seems very small.
    2. Do we need to submit all expired passports ? this is the second passport, the first expired passport is in india and cannot be submitted with the application,

    Like

     
  119. Shikher

    November 10, 2014 at 6:02 AM

    Hi Shaunak

    First of all a big thank you on behalf of the tonne of people who refer to this as the goto site for application of a new passport. You’ve truly helped a lot!

    Here’s my (not so happy experience):

    I applied last month for renewal of passport to SFO office (all my documents were perfect thanks to this site) but then I got rejected because apparently my passport was “damaged”. They’ve simply returned my application stating in exactly one sentence, “You need to apply for damaged passport” while I still try to figure out what part of my passport is damaged!

    My best guess is that lamination of the last page came off which has made my passport look “damaged” to BLS which might be the silliest reasons. I got no choice but to do as BLS says.

    They asked me to create and affidavit for the lost/damaged passport (I’m on it) and pay the lost damaged fee + reapplication fee.

    I now have a few questions which I’m hoping someone can help me with:

    1. Do I just prepare an affidavit, (get it notarized and all) and toss it in with the rest of the documents that they sent me back with the new cashier’s cheque with the correct amount?

    2. The BLS order form had my original tracking number when I first sent my application. Can I, with a pen update the BLS order form with the new courier tracking number? Or would I have to go through the whole process again to generate a new order form? On a similar note, can I update the value of the cashier’s cheque in the Application Form to reflect the new value?

    3. Can I make one cashier’s cheque of ( $179.40 ): 166.2 (lost/damaged) + 13.2 (reapplication fee) or need to make 2 cheques for this?

    Hope anyone can help me through this.

    Shikher

    Like

     
  120. Anand

    November 9, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Thank you so much for this post! I am trying to get my passport renewed and your post really simplified the whole process for me. I really appreciate the effort you have put in not just to detail your experience, but also to answer most of the questions in the comments! Thanks again!

    BTW, Bank of America notarized all my documents (on 7th Nov 2014 in Seattle) for free (I have an account with them).

    PS: Honestly, I think the Indian Consulate outsourcing passport services is a little like Google outsourcing search. Even if they were to outsource it, I really wish they would find a more responsive and accountable company than BLS.

    Best,
    Anand

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      November 13, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      Thanks buddy! I am glad I could be of your help ! lol totally 🙂 When they could not trace my passport they showed me a hazy CCTV footage of some guy in distant dropping an envelope in drop box and claimed that was mine !!

      Like

       
  121. Maddy

    November 6, 2014 at 2:08 AM

    Waiting for last 3 weeks to get passport renewed from BLS NYC.. Any one aware of the issue ? I see lot others facing this recently..

    Submitted to consulate : 17.10.2014

    Like

     
    • attrition

      November 13, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      Did you get any updates from them?

      Like

       
  122. Divya

    November 5, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Finally Some update on my passport:

    BLS Receipt Number => USAN******4
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier
    Application accepted by BLS: 07-10-2014 , 16:37
    Appliication Processed on Date :07-10-2014
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 13-10-2014 , 15:43
    Passport received at BLS Center : 04-11-2014 , 17:52
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :04-11-2014 , 17:52

    However, I’m unable to track it on the USPS site.
    can anyone tell me when this info can be tracked on the USPS site??

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      November 5, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      Already mentioned in the post 🙂

      Like

       
      • Divya

        November 5, 2014 at 6:50 PM

        🙂 Just read it. thanks so much Shaunak, for putting together all this info. It really really helped me .

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        November 13, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        You are welcome Divya 🙂 Glad it helped

        Like

         
    • Lipi

      November 5, 2014 at 6:37 PM

      Which consulate did you sent .. Is it Chicago

      Like

       
    • Brijesh

      November 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      Divya, Did you get your passport ? How long does it take?

      Like

       
  123. priya

    November 4, 2014 at 2:56 AM

    Hi Shaunak,

    I graduated from a US university last year and got my H1b approved this year and I am going to India in December for stamping. I got married in January 2014. My husband is a student in the US. Is it ok if his name is not yet added on my passport when I appear for the H1b visa interview?

    Like

     
  124. priya

    November 4, 2014 at 2:51 AM

    Hi,

    I got married in Jan 2014. I got my H1b approved this year and am going to India to get my passport stamped in Dec. I added my spouse name in the DS160 form when it asked for spouse details. My husband is a student in US. I am planning to carry the marriage certificate. Is it okay if his name is not yet added as spouse name in my passport?

    Like

     
  125. Divya

    November 3, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    Still waiting for passport..from BLS NYC( like many others in this forum. Its been 4 weeks and same response online/oncall that passport is being processed at consulate.

    BLS Receipt Number => USAN******14
    Current Aplication Status : Processing at Consulate General
    Application accepted by BLS: 07-10-2014 , 16:37
    Appliication Processed on Date :07-10-2014
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 13-10-2014 , 15:43
    Passport received at BLS Center : –
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :-

    Like

     
  126. Janardhanan

    November 3, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Not sure if this is a right forum to ask…My I94 was changed to my passport expiry date which is 3 months before my Visa expires..Once I have my passport renewe’d is there any suggested steps to get my I94 date corrected?

    Like

     
  127. Prasad

    October 31, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    Hi Pandit et al,

    Appreciate for all your inputs.

    I am going to renew my passport thru postal.

    A quick clarification,I need to correct my mother’s name in my passport. As per BLS passport checklist (http://passport.blsindia-usa.com/pptchecklist/BLSUSPassportChecklist.pdf) it says
    “Birth certificate or School leaving certificate and passport copy having correct spelling of parent’s name. Note: Some consulates may ask for the court order of the 1St Class Magistrate Letter”.

    ( Note: Here BLS just mentioned passport copy , didn’t mentioned very specific to notarize the parent’s passport copy)

    My question is, Do I need to notarized the photocopy of my mother’s passport copy? I have soft copy of my mother’s passport (unable to notarize because of unavailability of original passport), and I have my ‘Birth certificate’ with me.

    Submitting my ‘Birth certificate’ and a copy of my mother’s passport (non-notarized copy) would suffice the need?

    Did anyone had similar kind of experience, If yes please suggest me.

    Once again appreciate for all your quick thoughts and suggestions.

    Thanks!
    Prasad

    Like

     
  128. Roshin

    October 29, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    I got my passport application sent back to me because I was missing some documents. Do I need to redo my application or just a new BLS order form with a new airway bill no will do it?

    Like

     
  129. Janardhanan

    October 24, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    Hi, The blog has very presentable and does go to the grass root to help any individual looking for FAQ’s. Just a final question from my side there has been too many distractions between service provider – BLS (or) Cox & Kings. Is it true that BLS still does the passport renewal service in US (I’m located @ NYC)

    Like

     
  130. Akhil

    October 24, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Hi Shaunak:

    My passport is at the Chicago consulate for nearly 15 days. Is this normal?

    I can see that several others got their passports approved by the consulate within a day or two.
    None of the BLS/consulate numbers work & I need my passport to renew my US visa. Is there anything I can do? any suggestions?

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      October 24, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      Hi Akhil,

      Least I have heard is 1 week, no one has received the passport before a week. Keep in mind they will be having Diwali holidays which might have delayed your passport processing time.

      Like

       
      • Akhil

        October 25, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        Yes, even then it seems long? Is there anyway to reach someone at the Indian Embassy? whom do I get in touch with?
        The person on the phone at BLS didnt give me any more information that what was posted on the website?.

        I’m extremely worried.

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        October 27, 2014 at 8:59 PM

        Did you escalate? Call centre will always provide updates as per system, you need to ask him how to escalate and also I dont think the time elapsed is too much considering the festival holidays in between.

        Like

         
      • Nameet

        October 28, 2014 at 8:33 PM

        Hi Akhil

        I don’t think you need to worry.I have applied for my passport and this is the 6th week and still haven’t received it yet.Even i was tensed and went personally to Indian Consulate at New York for inquiry.According to them,my passport is safe and they are waiting for Police Clearance Certificate from India where my old passport was issued.They asked me to wait for 2 more weeks and if it doesn’t come ,Consulate will be sending a reminder to speed up this process.

        Thanks
        Nameet

        Like

         
      • Anup

        October 30, 2014 at 3:05 AM

        Hi Shaunak,
        Thank you so much for this informative blog ….

        I submitted my application in person to BLS, NYC on 06 Oct 2014 …..This is the 4th week (10/29/2014) ….. I still see ‘Processing at Consulate General’ …. BLS call center is giving me the same status as the website ….. does it take so long ….. is there any number where I can contact other that BLS helpline ….. I have to travel to india on Nov 10 … so pl provide your inputs.

        BLS Receipt Number => USAN******14
        Current Aplication Status : Processing at Consulate General
        Application accepted by BLS: 06-10-2014 , 14:51
        Appliication Processed on Date :06-10-2014
        Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 09-10-2014 , 10:29
        Passport received at BLS Center : –
        Passport handed over to Applicant :-
        Passport Dispatched to Applicant : –

        Thank you in advance,
        Anup

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        November 1, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        Check previous comments on this topic please

        Like

         
      • Anup

        October 30, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        Hi Shaunak,
        Thank you so much for this informative blog ….

        I submitted my application in person to BLS, NYC on 06 Oct 2014 …..This is the 4th week (10/29/2014) ….. I still see ‘Processing at Consulate General’ …. BLS call center is giving me the same status as the website ….. does it take so long ….. is there any number where I can contact other that BLS helpline ….. I have to travel to india on Nov 10 … so pl provide your inputs.

        BLS Receipt Number => USAN******14
        Current Aplication Status : Processing at Consulate General
        Application accepted by BLS: 06-10-2014 , 14:51
        Appliication Processed on Date :06-10-2014
        Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 09-10-2014 , 10:29
        Passport received at BLS Center : –
        Passport handed over to Applicant :-
        Passport Dispatched to Applicant : –

        Thank you in advance,
        Anup

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        November 1, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        Check previous comments on this please

        Like

         
  131. Diya

    October 24, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    Hi,
    Great info! Thx. I have few questions. My passport expired 2 years ago (less than 3 years) and I am in SFO with greencard.

    1. The BLS page shows that the emergency process is not available for expired passports. But since it is an emergency, is it possible to use tatkal or emergency process. If emergency process possible, then should I go to consulate or BLS.

    2. As the passport expired already, when I apply, does it go through identification verification process in India (as the nationality verification form, in the item#14 asking for two relatives/friends address in India)? Any idea how long this process would take.

    Thanks in advance for you help
    Diya

    Like

     
    • Praveen

      November 11, 2014 at 12:48 AM

      Did you get any response ?

      Like

       
    • Aamans17@yahoo.com

      December 13, 2014 at 5:11 AM

      I am having a same issue passport expired years ago and I need to go to India for a medical emergency. Can anyone share their experience in a similar case?

      Like

       
      • Shaunak Pandit

        December 16, 2014 at 9:01 PM

        Hi,

        Consulate gives Tatkal passports [ the same day] only if you have a genuine medical emergency and can prove it. Process is to visit [take appointment] consulate , prove your case to them. They will give you an approval letter which you take to BLS office and fill forms and BLS processes your passport.

        Like

         
  132. Subodh

    October 23, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    Hi,

    I had a query regarding walk in process. Is it possible for my wife to submit my documents in person at BLS NY location? I have scheduled a walk in appointment for this monday and I called BLS to confirm the query but no one pick up?

    Like

     
  133. gayathri

    October 22, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    hi , i have a medical emergency and i need to fly to india by November 21st. i have appiled for my renewed passport at chicago cosulate. This is my present passport status

    BLS Receipt Number => USAC20688914
    Current Aplication Status : Processing at Consulate General
    Application accepted by BLS: 13-10-2014 , 13:16
    Appliication Processed on Date :13-10-2014
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 16-10-2014 , 10:28
    Passport received at BLS Center : –
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :

    Can anybody tell me whether i will receive my passport Before 20-11-2014 since i need to go to india for a surgery atleast will i get my old passport back so that i can travel.

    Please do reply

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      October 24, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      Hi Gayathri,

      Hope you have received your passport by now? if not call and escalate the matter. also please note US immigration will not allow you to enter unless you have 6 months of valid passport.So you may want to have a plan to get your passport shipped to you if you travel on old passport.

      To get the old passport you will need to visit consulate with details of your emergency and request them. They will stamp the old passport as cancelled the moment the new one is printed so act on it fast.

      Best of luck

      Like

       
      • gayathri

        October 25, 2014 at 5:20 PM

        hi shaunak, i didnt get mt passport till now sine 16th it shows it shows as Processed at indian cosulate, i am travelling to india on November 21 st . can you advise i guess by this time they would have cancelled my old passport and even to escalate i dont kno how whom to contact nobody picks up at indian cosulate. i really dont know what to do now

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        October 27, 2014 at 9:02 PM

        Hi Gayathri,

        Please go through the comments here, you will get the suggestions I have made to various other users in such scenarios.

        Like

         
      • gayathri

        October 25, 2014 at 5:22 PM

        nobody gives a definite reply if i call indian cosulate chicago it just goes to some automated answe asking for extension

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        October 27, 2014 at 9:03 PM

        3129945682 BLS Chicago office

        3125950405 Chicago consulate

        Try dialing random extensions if you are not getting correct replies, also please go through the comments and my replies – I had provided this info before to others and also mentioned some tricks [whom to contact] to get responses from them.

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        October 27, 2014 at 9:04 PM

        Also, you have enough time at hand unless there is some issue with your application. Visiting them might help if the suggestions don’t work for you

        Like

         
  134. narendra mandiwal

    October 21, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Hi Shaunak,
    Thanks for this page. I have a quick question.
    I need to renew my passport in USA. My current passport has my Indian permanent address and I want to retain the same address in new address also.

    Question: Can i put the same old permanent Indian address in “other address” as well as in ‘address to be printed on passport’ ?

    Like

     
    • Dillip

      November 1, 2014 at 5:15 AM

      hi Shaunak,

      Thanks a bunch for putting this altogether. Really helpful and active blog. Keep it up! I have the same question as Narendra. I would like to retain the same permanent India address in new passport which is there in current passport. Benefit of doing that would be, since I am staying in rented house and most likely change every couple years – I do not need to apply for change of address again and again. This would be a pain financially as well as physically.

      I rad through few of the post here and seems like people have got the old address in new passport provided that they send address proof. I do not have any current address proof (other than current passport itself) that ties with my permanent address. Any one has any thoughts?

      Thanks
      Dillip

      Like

       
      • Shaunak Pandit

        November 1, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        check prev comments on this topic please

        Like

         
  135. Basheer

    October 20, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    hi Shaunak,
    I got my renewed passport, but they gave US address in that…will that be any problem if I travel back to India…should I change at any cost.
    Thanks,
    basheer

    Like

     
  136. Shailesh

    October 18, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    Shaunak, first of all thanks a ton for this detailed info. I am going to apply for reissue of my passport and this blog provided most detailed info about the procedure and hurdles one might face! Well done!

    I have a quick question about shipment. You mentioned that you had included self addressed return envelope. How big this return envelope should be? The main/outer envelope being used to send the package should be big enough so that all the printed forms are placed without any folds which means big enough to place letter size (8.5″ * 11″) paper. But I wonder if return envelope would contain only old and new passport or it will also contain other documents those were sent?

    Do I need to get my change of appearance notarized? Please advise.

    Thanks,
    Shailesh

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      October 20, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      Hi Shailesh,

      Thank you
      Please check the section on shipment in the blog all your queries will be answered and yes they ship back every additional proof photocopy you sent them

      Like

       
      • Shailesh

        October 30, 2014 at 5:59 AM

        Hi Shaunak,

        Thanks for your reply. I have a question about some of the fields in Nationality Verification form. Could you please let me know what needs to filled in for these fields or Should we just leave the space in front of them blank?

        11. DATE OF LEAVING INDIA: Is this supposed to be date when one left for the very first time or the date when one left last time?

        12. PERIOD OF STAY ABROAD: Again do we have to count all the periods of stay in US since first arrival date or just the period from last arrival date?

        13. DATE OF LOSS OF PASSPORT: If this is not applicable, do we leave it blank or should we write “N/A”?

        15. NAME & ADDRESS OF TRAVEL AGENT INVOLVED IN SENDING\ THE INDIVIDUAL ABROAD: leave it blank or write “N/A”?

        Also could you please let me know if we are allowed to resubmit BLS Order Form with the same info? Made a mistake while selecting Service. I emailed them but it’s over 5 days now and no reply?

        Your help/inputs would be much appreciated wrt above questions.

        Thank you,
        Shailesh

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        November 1, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        Check previous comments on this topic please

        Like

         
  137. DC

    October 16, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    Thanks Shaunak for writing this blog. It indeed helped me a lot to renew my passport. I submitted my passport to BLS Washington DC office in person on Oct. 7. Just an update, BLS office will no more allow you to collect your passport in person, instead you have to pay $15 for UPS 2nd Day Air deliver. Today I received an email that my new passport has been processed and BLS dispatched my passport to my address. I am expecting to receive it by tomorrow afternoon. (Some tips for new applicants who want to submit passport in person: BLS would not mention you the tracking number of your passport delivery shipment in email, but if you want to track it you can do the same by opening an a/c with UPS with your delivery address. You can see the delivery time and can track your shipment through your UPS a/c. Hope this will help!).

    Like

     
  138. Gauri Patil

    October 15, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    I applied for Passport renewal at SFO in person. All documents were fine and accepted. The lady at counter pointed out that my father’s name was not spelled correctly in my present passport. Meaning it had an additional “a”. My father’s name is spelled correctly as my middle name but not on last page of passport. I asked her if I need to get back, she said you will be fine, it has to be mentioned the same way in the application and accepted all the documents. Now its 4th week since submission and status is showing my passport as ” Processing at Consulate”, is it a matter of concern ? I mean should I be worried about the delay ? what should I do and whom should I contact as I need to travel soon.

    regards,

    Gauri

    Like

     
  139. Seeni

    October 15, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Thanks for providing all information regarding reissue of passport.I came across this blog after i applied for passport :-). The address to be printed on passport column was confusing for me and i had to print the USA address. Now that i don’t have any address proof in India,i would like to know if there are any procedures to print the Indian address on the passport.It would be helpful if you could provide any information on this.

    Thanks
    Seeni

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      October 15, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      I guess you might need an address change application

      Like

       
      • Seeni

        October 15, 2014 at 4:54 PM

        Thanks for the response.Can this be done through BLS or from INDIA

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        October 20, 2014 at 8:24 PM

        Check with them please

        Like

         
  140. Josh

    October 14, 2014 at 6:23 AM

    I just want to share my experience. BLS SFO received my wife’s application form on September 24th and the new passport was shipped back on October 9th. I used FedEx Next Day for shipping. We notarized the copies of address proof and legal status document since BLS check-list explicitly asks for notarized copies of these two documents. For safety sake we included the “change of appearance” form, 3 copies of national verification forms (BLS asked for 2) and 4 extra photographs in addition to the ones pasted on various forms. This blog was huge help. THANKS!!

    -Josh

    Like

     
  141. Bobby

    October 14, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    Hi who need to sign the Nationality Verification form please advice

    Like

     
  142. JonD

    October 13, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    First of all, thank you for this information. I live in suburbs of Chicago. Can I mail my passport application (renewal) instead of visiting personally? I heard on BLS website, you need to make an appt.if it is passport renewal. Thanks again!

    Like

     
  143. PK

    October 10, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    How can I get Approvals from Consulate General for Tatkal Passport ?

    Like

     
  144. Romeet Singh

    October 9, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Thanks for the detailed information provided by you,
    Based on that i sent them the documents for my passport renewal today.

    However i missed to send the return envelop inside the package. Even though i have paid for the return also, i missed putting it inside.

    So i wanted to know the process how my new passport would be returned to me .

    Thanks
    Romeet

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      October 15, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      Hi Romeet,

      Do you mean you paid for return envelope on the postal side or with BLS? If it is postal side then you will need to call BLS and make arrangements to pay them so that they can use their own postal service and ship out your passport. Check with them if you can mail in the return envelope or something?

      Like

       
  145. Ketan

    October 9, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Hi,

    BLS website instructions for Re-issue of passport after 10 years states:
    If passport is expired less than 6 months a self-explanation letter explaining “why the passport was not renewed in time” is required.

    However, the checklist document that one needs to print out and send with the application does not make any reference to such a letter. Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    KP

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      October 15, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      Hi Ketan,

      If they have asked for it then you will need to provide it irrespective of missing mention in checklist 🙂

      Like

       
  146. vyoma

    October 8, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    hi Shaunak…
    Sorry for updating late….but thxxxx a lot for the info here…I successfully renewed the passport as per the guidelines given by you. thanks for helping out.

    Now I have few queries for H4 visa processing..Can you or any forum help me out in that…please refer…

    Once again thanks a lot.

    Like

     
  147. Manthan

    October 7, 2014 at 2:40 AM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Thank you for this Blog.

    Do you know what is the procedure to get prior approval for Tatkal Service from Consulate office?

    Thanks,
    Manthan

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      October 15, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      Hi Manthan,

      As far I know you will need an appointment at consulate get an approved letter from them and then take it to BLS for them to process in Tatkal.

      Thanks

      Like

       
  148. Akhil

    October 4, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Hi there,

    I did several people who posted that when they tracked their passport application on BLS website , it said “Error: No record found”, but didnt find any follow ups from there.

    My passport & application reached BLS Chicago center on Tuesday (09/30/2014) – I have proof through Fedex tracking.

    However, when I try to use the tracking postal application (BLS website : http://passport.blsindia-usa.com/postaltracking.php ) – this just gives me a blank page & the BLS application page ( http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/tracking.php ) says “Error: No record found”.

    I want to know if some of the folks who had the same issue , did they get their passport in time? what was the issue? any help , kind of anxious here.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      October 15, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      Hi Akhil,

      They lag in their system updates, mine was showing at consulate till almost the last day.

      Like

       
    • Rahul

      January 29, 2015 at 5:35 PM

      Hello,

      Did the status ever get updated? My passport was received 2 days ago and I am still seeing the same message. Please let me know.

      Like

       
      • Shaunak Pandit

        February 10, 2015 at 5:24 PM

        Why are you still concerned about the status since you mentioned you received the passport already? Enjoy , Travel around with the new PP 🙂

        Like

         
      • Rahul

        February 11, 2015 at 8:20 PM

        Hey Shaunak,

        I think you mistook me to be someone else. I still haven’t received my passport and although the status got updated to processing at Consulate General it has remained at that since almost 2 weeks now. I think I will escalate it if I don’t get any update by next weekend.

        Thanks!

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        February 11, 2015 at 8:39 PM

        Hey , I thought you mentioned passport received 2 days back or something? sorry about that , well in case you still haven’t received – they take time to update the system, usually they do update in a couple of days but some people commented here how they received the passport but the status still showed as with consulate or something 🙂

        Yes escalate the matter, when you call the call center tell them you want to escalate the matter they will note down your details and pass them on to the actual processing office, you should receive a call from them and they will be able to provide you with actual details as its a very small office with handful of employees.
        You can also try to track with your postal service label to see if it got shipped out

        Like

         
  149. Babinu

    October 3, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Thanks for making the point regarding the removal of i94 form

    Like

     
  150. Babinu

    October 3, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Thanks Shaunak for the nice explanation and especially pointing out the part about removing i94

    Like

     
  151. Medha R

    September 30, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    Hi!
    I graduated from an American university last year and had been on OPT since May end this year. I got my H1B approved this year and it will be in effect from October 1st. I have my I-797 approval notice and a valid F1 visa stamped in my current passport as well. I am going to India in Dec for getting my H1B stamped but my current passport is going to expire in Feb 2015 so I wanted to renew my passport before filling DS-160 and going for my interview.
    I have a few questions regarding this and would really appreciate your advice:

    1. Am I considered out of status since I was on cap-gap from Jun 1st to Sep 30th ? (Do I need to take the No status affidavit with me?)
    2.Should I instead take a chance and renew my passport in India before the interview?
    3. Does the passport number on my DS-160 need to match the passport I take with me for the visa interview? (In case I fill the form now and renew the passport later)

    Thank you, I could really use some help.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      October 15, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      Hi Medha,

      Am sorry but I don’t have sufficient knowledge on this to advice you. I know for a fact that before you can enter US you will need to have a passport which is at least valid for 6 months from your date of entry. So you will surely need to get the passport renewed before coming back.

      Hope someone else here who has been in similar situation can guide you.

      Like

       
  152. Karthik

    September 30, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Hi, Please help me out.
    BLS is asking for 2 witnesses with green card and passport for no status applicant processing.
    I do not know anyone with green card. Can you please let me know the process. Thanks.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      October 15, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      Hi Kathik,

      Am sorry but I have no clue on that, could you elaborate which status processing etc they are talking about? Maybe someone here can help guide you.

      Like

       
  153. mj

    September 28, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    I have a question. I have gone through all your responses but I still don’t understand this. The website says

    “Applicants who wish to apply for the renewal/re-issue of a passport must wait 10 years from the date of issue”

    My 10 year Passport expires on July 2015 and its september 2014 now. Does it mean I have to wait for my passport to get expired before I can renew it?

    There is an other sentence that says
    “Applications can be submitted no more than one year before the current passport’s date of expiration.”

    Its like these both sentences contradict themselves

    Since you have helped so many, can you help me please

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 28, 2014 at 9:45 PM

      Hey

      you can apply for the passport renewal after 9 years of the passport. ie when 1 year is remaining for the expiry

      Like

       
      • MJ

        September 29, 2014 at 12:23 AM

        Thank you for your quick response. I really appreciate it

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        September 29, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        Glad to be of help Mukesh

        Like

         
      • Nazma Tabassum

        October 4, 2014 at 8:28 PM

        Hi Shaunak,
        If there is any slight difference in signature do you think problem may occur to get my passport renewed?

        Thanks

        Like

         
    • Sameer

      September 28, 2014 at 11:36 PM

      MJ, the problem is that you are smart! Yes, you are absolutely right that the statements are contradictory. The instructions on the website are anything but rigorous. As SP pointed out, if you apply 9 years after the issuance of your current passport, they will process your application.

      Like

       
    • Lijo

      October 8, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      MJ, You can submit your re-newal application no more than one year before your current passport expiration date. eg: You passport expires on July 2015, so you can apply for re-newal from Aug 2014

      Like

       
  154. Divya

    September 26, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    hi Shaunak

    I need to renew my minor child’s passport and would like to know which documents apart from the affidavits need to be notarised

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 28, 2014 at 9:48 PM

      Hi Divya,

      I don’t know the details about minor’s passport, hope someone here replies to your queries. Also would suggest checking some of the comments made earlier about minors passports and posting the question on those comments so that those people get a notification and may comment on your question.

      Like

       
  155. sweety (@sweetyspicy88)

    September 25, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    hello.. i sent all the documents to bls. but they sent back to me stating that i did not send the affidavit for no status. In the affidavit for no status form they have asked my green card holder details. but i am on j2 visa. i don”t have a green card. secondly, they have asked for the witness 1 and 2 in the affidavit for no status form. what should i write on them.. also they have asked me to fill on the application for affidavit for no status for question 7. i dont know what to write on them..:( also they have asked for the resubmission fee of a $13.20. how do i need to submit? should i again fill the bls order form like first taking a money order and then filling online bls form and then sending all the documents?? should i buy a new usps priority mail or should i keep the same envelope i used for sending the documents and also should i keep the same return envelope for delivering my passport in the priority mail?

    i tried calling to newyork bls but none picking the phone.no reply thru mail too. am really desperate. my passport expires on feb 2015.plz help 😦

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 29, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      Hi,

      – GC You will need to connect with them and clarify that you don’t have one.
      – Witness has to be someone outside the family as far as I remember.
      – Sorry, but don’t have details on process of resubmission [ As far as my knowledge goes once a envelope is used for shipping you wont be able to re-use the same]

      Like

       
      • sweety (@sweetyspicy88)

        September 29, 2014 at 8:26 PM

        thank you for the reply. i called them and they said its a mistake from their side. the fact that my passport is not expired is true.:)
        Once again thank you for the blog.u have done a great job!

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        October 15, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        Thank you for the kind words 🙂

        Like

         
    • Jose Cyriac

      September 29, 2014 at 8:10 PM

      @Sweety, you dont need to be desperate ;)..you have enough time before February 2015.

      Like

       
    • karnisai

      September 29, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      you don’t have to write anything to them just revise your application according to their suggestions and re-submit it

      They are not asking about your GC details but details of the GC holders (which will be your witnesses in affidavit for no status)

      you need to send re-processing fees of 13.2$ (hope they have returned your 91.2$ postal order?)

      you need to fill-in BLS order form again

      you need to buy new priority envelops one for sending your application and other for receiving your passport (document the new airway bill number in BLS order form)

      let me know if you need further info

      Like

       
  156. sarvaa krishna

    September 24, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Shaunak

    Wow! Impressed with all the information related to Passport Renewal. Thanks a lot.
    I have couple of questions, on the USPS Shipping label.

    1. How much weight i should mention to the USPS employes to get an accurate shipping label?
    2. What Kind of Label i should purchase? Priority Mail or Express Mail?

    Thanks in Advance.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 25, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      Thank you 🙂

      1) You only get the unfilled label , they fill the info once you take it back to them for submission.
      2) Depends on your requirement ie if you need it next day then express – though read through my post on USPS express mail issue created by BLS so you can taken an appropriate action.

      Like

       
  157. Victor

    September 24, 2014 at 3:05 AM

    Hi, thanks for the blog.I have a passport renewal appointment next week in nyc.I would like to know if it is necessary to notorize proof of address(i have driving license as proof) and legal staus document? My friend did before 2 months without notorizing the documents but i am not sure how is it right now.If you have any idea, please let me know.Thanks.

    Like

     
  158. Anil dass

    September 19, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    My address in India has changed and I want to include the new address on my passport. I have have been living in US from last 12 years and as a result don’t have any proof of residence in India for the new address. What document do I need ?
    I really appreciate your help in this regard.

    Thanks
    Anil

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 25, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      Hi Anil,

      You can try providing the new Indian address proofs and requesting for the same in the address to be printed field. Some have got it printed while for some US address was printed.

      Like

       
  159. Rubel Mukherjee

    September 18, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Thanks for this blog. Unable to get BLS through call, so posting question here. Just to double check, do we have to send old passport in original to BLS, I am afraid if that gets lost or misplaced. Please let me know.

    Thanks a lot!!

    Rubel

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 18, 2014 at 10:04 PM

      Hi Rubel,

      You are welcome 🙂
      Yes it has to be submitted to them.

      Like

       
      • sweety (@sweetyspicy88)

        September 25, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        plz do reply me 😦 i have posted many comments before but u have not replied. i have again sent another comment. its awaiting moderation.

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        September 29, 2014 at 6:27 PM

        Hi,

        I had just 1 comment from you which was 2 mins before this one. I have replied to that one.

        Like

         
  160. Arjun Ghosh

    September 18, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Many Thanks Shaunak. The whole Passport renewal process for me over post from Washington D.C was smoothe.
    I tried to get my Indian address printed as on prev. passport, by writing the indian address in the sapce for “address to be printed”, but did not help. They pronted the US address itself.
    But the most amazing part for me was, I went through UPS to send them the post on a Wednesday, and my renewed passport was delivered to me by next week’s Thursday, in mere 8 days.

    Thanks again for making my experience with passport renewal happy.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 18, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      Hi Arjun,

      Glad it helped 🙂 Could you please clarify if it was the same address you had on your previous passport? and also if you had submitted indian address proof?

      Shounak

      Like

       
  161. Josh

    September 15, 2014 at 12:40 AM

    Hi Shaunak

    First of all I want to thank you for such an informative blog. It’s a big relief to be able to verify that what I am doing is right and has worked for someone else. It’s time to renew my wife’s passport. She has not changed her official name after marriage and continues to use her maiden name for all official and immigration purposes.I was just wondering about the field “Address to be printed on the passport” in the Application Form. I can think of 3 different options:
    1. Her parent’s address in India which is the address on her current passport
    2. My parent’s address in India which is the address on my current passport
    3. Our current residential address in US.

    What do folks normally do? We do have a GC.

    Thanks
    Josh

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 18, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      Hi Josh,

      I would go with #1 if it was me, here is my reasoning. In US as it is we have a US govt approved id [ license , state id etc] so it might be a good idea to have a valid Indian address proof which will work in India.

      Like

       
      • Josh

        September 22, 2014 at 1:30 AM

        Hi Shaunak

        I was thinking on the same lines as you. But then I checked the BLS page again and found that they specifically addressed this point in general guidelines sections. It says:

        Re-issued/New passport would bear your current USA address for which satisfactory verifiable documentary proof is submitted by you.

        So I am going with that. Posting here for benefit of others.

        -Josh

        Like

         
  162. Velu

    September 10, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Hi thanks for blog and completely followed by ur apporach and got my new poaasport within 8 days.
    Now i have some clarification in my I94:
    When i entered in US i got I94 till Jan 2015 as my passport will expire in jan 2015 . But i have valid visa till Aug 2916. I got my new passport and i want to extend my i94. If you have knowledge on this, explain the process

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 18, 2014 at 9:57 PM

      Hi Velu,

      As per my knowledge, you will have to step out of the country to get a renewed i94.

      Like

       
  163. shash

    September 10, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Another Quick Question

    When are you eligible to re-new your passport, is it 1 Yr or 6 Months prior to expiration date? Since my passport is expiring in June 2015 and i’m planning to apply in End of sep 2014 for re-newal so will i be eligible for passport re-newal?

    I would appreciate if you can share the link related to this matter.

    Thank so much again

    -Shash

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 18, 2014 at 9:56 PM

      Hi Shash,

      You can renew your passport 1 year prior to the expiration date. Although would suggest to apply 1 month before the expiration as they do not consider the date of expiration while renewing the passport, they will renew with the date as per the receipt of the passport.

      Like

       
  164. shash

    September 10, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Hi Shauna,

    I really appreciate your efforts in posting details. It is beyond words to explain how helpful it is for folks getting their passport renewed.

    Not to bother you, i just had a quick question realted to payment’s. Do we know the formal name “for payable to” when taking the demand draft/ Cashier check, Any idea ?

    if you can share the link for scheduling the walkin appointment in new york consulate, would be great ?

    And if anyone know’s whats the wait time for appointment in new york

    Thanks
    Shash

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 18, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      Thank you Shash, the exact name is mentioned in the post. I don’t know about the walkin appointment. Did you check the BLS site? they should have the link for appointments

      Like

       
  165. Prabhu

    September 10, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Dear Sri Pandit
    I am from India, I a have a problem, mu son is based out from Seattle and he was undergoing training in SF some months back where he got inflicted with Gullien Barre Syndrome so he has to be back in Seattle for a treatment and it took a while for him to get well. His passport and his belonging we in custody of the service apartment in SF which moved them to a warehouse and since my son could not retrieve the luggage they disposed it- there by he lost his passport.

    The Service Apt people gave a letter to this effect, now the point is he in unable to go to SF for getting a new passport so I would like to know if there is anyone or agency that does this kind of work in WA area for a fee so that he will get the documentation done.

    Hope I am going to get a reply as I see your blog and the response of so may people you helped so i hope too for y son.
    Regards
    Prabhu

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 18, 2014 at 10:13 PM

      Hello Uncle,

      First of all , sorry for the late reply didn’t get to check the comments sooner.

      I am not sure I understood the question properly, but I guess since your son lost the passport you want to know if there are people who will get the passport for him from SF Consulate? If that is the question, then your son will be able to send all the documentation to the consulate via mail / courier from Seattle too.

      Feel free to ask me any more question that you may have , I will try to answer as much as possible. If you want, your son can connect with me too.

      Shaunak

      Like

       
  166. h

    September 8, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Hi ,
    I have entered every field in BLS form and when I clicked on save order form it shows a blank page and I am not receiving any email.

    Also I am unable to contact them via phone.Any one has phone number for NY office ?

    Like

     
    • naga

      September 8, 2014 at 8:43 PM

      Hi h,

      Even I entered all the fields and clicked on save. it shows page not found. Did it couple of times…same response…There is a server down it seems.

      Like

       
    • V

      September 8, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      I got through to them on phone – the guy said the site is down and the IT department will fix it in 24 hours.
      The big question now is how long is 24 hours..

      Like

       
    • lateshgowda

      September 9, 2014 at 4:34 AM

      did it work for you … i am facing the same issue save order form takes me to a blank page.

      Like

       
  167. Rakesh

    September 7, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Hi,

    I have to add my spouse name in the passport and as per my Marriage certificate she has got name before marriage (with her last name) and name after marriage (with my last name) . Which one i should be using in the spouse name (i prefer using her name before marriage as her current passport name matches with it ) and certainly i don’t want to update all her documents with my last name. Is there any issues if i use name before marriage as marriage.

    Please advise!!

    Thanks
    Rakish

    Like

     
    • Rakesh

      September 8, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      I have decided to change my wife’s passport and other docs as well with after marriage name in near future. Since I’m the one who is going for passport renewal/re-issue first, name of her on her passport (maiden name) and name on my renewal application spouse name field (which will be per marriage certificate with my surname) won’t match. Is this ok or will it create any issues.

      Thanks
      Rakesh

      Like

       
  168. Kathir

    September 7, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Hello Shaunak – My passport expires in 2 months. Should I apply by mail as per regular process or should I apply by Tatkal? Please let me know.

    Also please let me know that how long it takes to get a new passport.

    Thanks a lot for the very detailed post. No other site/forum has this kind of detail. You are a savior!! Thanks again!

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 8, 2014 at 7:05 PM

      Hi Kathir,

      Now days from what I heard, they are processing within a weeks time. Though for me it was more than 1.5 months. If you do not have a travel planned you can always apply in normal mode.

      Shaunak

      Like

       
  169. Matt V

    September 7, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    I submitted my BLS order form today afternoon. It’s 7:40pm and I still haven’t received the email from BLS which is supposed to contain the shipping label and order form. Is it because it is a saturday? What has been people’s experience with how long it takes between submitting the form and receiving the email?

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 8, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      It usually happens in a few mins / hours. Did you check spam?

      Like

       
    • Matt V

      September 8, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      I called them. From what he said, it seems the website is down now – it gives a blank page when you submit the bls order form. He said it should be fixed in 24 hours.
      Also, from what he said I understood that it’s okay to submit the BLS order form multiple times. So I’m going to wait for it to come back up and then submit it again.

      Like

       
    • Jenil Mehta

      September 9, 2014 at 1:00 AM

      looks like some problem with their servers. even I haven’t got any email as yet.

      Like

       
  170. naga

    September 6, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    very valuable information and appreciate your response for each post. I too have one query. I am applying for renewal of my passport. All of my paper work is ready. Today I went to fedex and asked about the shipment label. They said once the shipment label is created, I have to leave the package in fedex office. They will not allow to go and come back for the package.

    I am guessing same response will get from USPS. What exactly we need to ask in USPS/fedex.

    so please advice in proceeding online. If online, what should I give for the ship date for prepaid package from BLS

    Thanks in advance.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 8, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      Hi Naga,

      Thank you 🙂

      I have explained the USPS process in detail in the post, please go through the same. I am not aware of Fedex but my guess is if you tell them how the airway # is required in filling the form they should be co-operative.

      Like

       
      • naga

        September 8, 2014 at 8:42 PM

        Thanks for your reply Shaunak. I went to USPS office and I got the bill no’s.

        Thanks once again for your valuable posts.

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        September 18, 2014 at 10:07 PM

        you are welcome Naga , am glad I was able to help a bit

        Like

         
  171. Archana kuwar

    September 6, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Hi shaunak your blog really helped me today only I got my passport it took it exactly 3 weeks actually complete month application resubmitted as my name were not as per passport but everything went smoothly thanks a lot for your help and step by step details 🙂

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 8, 2014 at 7:08 PM

      Hi Archana,

      Glad to hear that 🙂 Thank you am glad it helped

      Like

       
    • parmod kumar

      January 10, 2015 at 4:51 AM

      Hi Archna,

      Need you help on re-submission process. I get my application back saying “you have to fill form name with split name as per my Deed pool affidavit” they did not mention which form NRI or BLS order form. I am sure i need to fill NRI form again with split name.Also they provide me payment receipt instead of sending Money order back.
      1. Do i need to fill BLS form again with new NRI form.
      2. Please let us know the process of re submission.

      Please help.

      Like

       
  172. Raj

    September 4, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Hello,

    I am F-1 student on OPT who have started working full time with a firm. I have my EAD with me. my Passport expires may 2015 and I plan to visit india in january. I saw in your post as well as in on BLS website, we have to mention the address in US to be printed on Passport. But I am not sure, it would be good idea as I might relocate due to job and again I will have to apply with the same fees for address change and all.

    So few clarifications questions if you could answer:-

    1) If I provide my indian permanent address to BLS application form now, and in other address my US address. Does application goes through? (I know you have mentioned your friends getting through, but what is the success like?)

    2) Also, If i visit India in January 2015 and apply passport there in tatkal and get it before returning here( say 2-3 weeks). It will be having my indian address only. So will it create problems for me here by any chance? I dont think so but, still confirming. I mean this is also the option right? By doing this I dont have to worry changing address each time I relocate within the US?

    PS: My H-1B will be processed in 2015.

    Response is appreciated. Thanks

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 8, 2014 at 7:15 PM

      Hey Raj,

      1) I haven’t heard of anyone who continued their Indian address having a problem. Also some people have reported here they managed to get new Indian address printed too.
      2) Yes getting passport in India is also right.

      Also just wanted to clarify, I think you are assuming you have to update the address in your passport every time you shift? That is not a requirement at all.

      Hope this helps

      Like

       
      • Raj

        September 8, 2014 at 8:30 PM

        Hello ,

        Thank you so much. If updating the address in passport each time we move is not a requirement at all.Then I should be fine. Thanks once again. I will go ahead with US address only as I dont want to resend the stuff again and again if problem comes.

        Thanks for your help. appreciate it.

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        September 18, 2014 at 10:07 PM

        Welcome Raj!

        Like

         
  173. Abhinav

    September 3, 2014 at 3:57 AM

    Below Place of Birth it asks for District/Country, will that be USA or the District and country for place of birth?

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 3, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      Hi Abhinav,

      Not sure which form you are referring to? Please elaborate

      Like

       
  174. Akhil

    September 1, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Hi Shaunak:

    This is really great. I found this extremely useful!. Much appreciate it!

    Say, I have one question. I filled in all the fields on this form – https://passport.gov.in/nri/
    and now, I’ve printed out the form. There are some other fields like ECNR & ECR , date of first leaving the country etc etc – do we have to fill that out by hand after we print out the form?

    So basically, the form is half auto-populated & half hand filled?
    If yes, then did you use black ink?

    Thanks & sorry I know it’s a really dumb question.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 3, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      Hi Akhil,

      Thank you ! Glad it helped.

      No question is a dumb question when we want to save time from govt processes ! 🙂

      Yes it is half filled and we have to enter rest of the info by hand [god knows why!!] and I had filled with blue ink.

      Like

       
      • Akhil

        September 6, 2014 at 12:34 PM

        Yeah, I hear you. Thanks again Shaunak.

        So, I’m assuming you used blue ink to fill out the National verification forms as well?

        Maybe the Indian Govt should pay you money to post these detailed instructions on their website 🙂

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        September 8, 2014 at 7:09 PM

        yup used the same blue pen. I wish they would 😉 I would have been rich and playing golf with Bill gates 🙂

        Like

         
      • Akhil

        September 6, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        Sorry, one more question. In the National verification form, the date of leaving India is the first time of leaving India or last ( or most recent) time of leaving india?

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        September 8, 2014 at 7:11 PM

        Hi Akhil,

        It is the most recent one when you left India

        Like

         
  175. karthik

    August 28, 2014 at 12:33 AM

    Truly appreciate the write up. It really helped me to iron out several questions I had and appreciate the active contributions from everyone else in the comments.

    Like

     
  176. Bhanuprakash

    August 28, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    Hi,
    As a address proof, i just have driving license. I dont have other kinds of utility or mortgage documents. Is this enough for applying because I have heard that they require two kinds of address proof.Please kindly clarify this.

    Thanks

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 3, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      Hi Bhanuprakash,

      You can get an address proof from company stating as per their records you stay in XYZ location which is matching to your driving license.

      Like

       
      • SK

        September 8, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        Hi Shaunak

        So do we require two kinds of address proof? I was planning to send notorized lease agreement copy only (My driving license does not have my current address right now)

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        September 18, 2014 at 10:06 PM

        you can send utility bill copies too

        Like

         
  177. Prasath

    August 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Thanks Shaunak !!! Your instructions were of great help in renewing my passport. I just got my new passport today.

    Thanks again for this excellent post !!!

    Like

     
  178. Akaps

    August 22, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    Hi,

    I am going in-person to NY office for passport renewal. My H1B extension is in pending process, I am aware that I have to provide a notarized no status affidavit with photocopy of the valid passport and the green card of two witnesses duly notarized + 7 Copies of Nationality Verification Form are required and each copy must have an original photograph affixed on it.

    My Question is do I have to notorize my valid passport copy also? Do I have to notorize all 36 pages of passport copy? Please let me know.

    Thank you,
    Aarti

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      September 3, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      Hi Aarti,

      Yes notarizing the required pages of the existing passport is required as mentioned by them in the checklist.

      Like

       
  179. Seema

    August 21, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Hi Shaunak, Thank you for great resource site and clarifications.. Great help.

    I have one Q’s- As of 8/21/2014 still BLS the same agency and procedure , for the re-new of 10 old passport? i came to know,very recently agency has changed in last 2 weeks, because of many lost passport / complaints, Is that true?
    On the Indian Consulate http://www.cgisf.org/page/display/189/231 i checked it is still the same BLS url. I am unable to contact SF # 1-8454-999-0726 or Chicago # is given in threads.

    Appreciate the reply. Thank you.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 21, 2014 at 11:09 PM

      Hi Seema,

      Thank you !

      It is still BLS this news was out in May.

      Like

       
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 21, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      BLS & Indian consulate also have email address you can send them a mail.

      If they do not reply back within 1 weeks time, feel free to connect with the RTI officer in Indian consulate to get a responsible persons number. [I had done that]

      Like

       
    • prashesha

      August 28, 2014 at 6:55 AM

      Shaunak, thank you so much for your blog it is invaluable. God bless you. I was wondering if anyone can provide a contact # of BLS, which they respond to? Thanks

      Like

       
      • Shaunak Pandit

        September 3, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        Hi Prashesha,

        Thank you 🙂 Did you try the one I had given out yesterday. Also the way I had found out was by calling the RTI contact person mentioned on their website and then via him got contact number of someone working there who he said would answer my questions.

        Like

         
  180. Navdeep

    August 21, 2014 at 1:12 AM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Thanks for such detailed information. I was going through BLS website (http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/apply_postal.php#tabs-quote-Step2) and it is mentioned that applicant must first visit Indian consulate of Chicago to seek approval from the concerned authorities before submitting the application at the Indian Passport Application Center-Chicago.
    Did you also visit Indian Consulate or you directly mailed the documents to BLS using postal service?
    Waiting for your reply.

    Thanks,
    Navdeep

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 21, 2014 at 11:07 PM

      Hi Navdeep,

      Not sure why they have mentioned that it is not required. We just need an approval from consulate only if we are filing for urgent passport [the one which is given on the same day on medical – life and death grounds]

      Like

       
  181. Prakash D.

    August 20, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    Shaunak,

    Great Blog…all relevant topics! Informative!

    My Q regarding reissue of Indian Passport in US – I am on H1 Visa and want to have my new Indian Address on my passport. Will they accept e-bills (taken from Electricity Service Provider’s website) as address proof? I don’t have original electricity bills.
    Please advise. Thanks.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 21, 2014 at 11:06 PM

      Hi Prakash,

      Thank you , glad it is helping 🙂

      I think they should since

      1) Now days everybody pays ebills.
      2) You are in US so getting access to actual bill would be difficult for you.

      Also, you could use other forms govt proofs

      Like

       
  182. Tejal

    August 18, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Hello Everyone,
    I got my passport renewed from New York.

    Total time – 18 days from the time application submitted to BLS New york.

    I submitted my application in person to BLS center. All the documents were arranged as per mentioned on the website and had all the required documents with me. (TIP – if u have all the required documents and arranged in the correct order, you are through with the process very soon).
    NY office had stopped delivering passports in person and hence had to pay for UPS extra at the time of submission. Once your application is submitted, you get an email update about it and after that at each step BLS sends you emails – passport sent to the embassy, passport received from Embassy & passport sent via UPS with the tracking number.

    Please be sure you have all the documents as per your case. If in doubt, call up the BLS help desk, if you call them sharp at their opening time, you will be lucky to get hold of them over the phone with less wait time.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 21, 2014 at 11:04 PM

      Thanks for the update Tejal

      Like

       
    • Gaurav

      August 25, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      Hi Tejal: Last week I submitted my application for passport renewal (after 10 years) to the Indian Consulate in Atlanta. I got an email today saying “Your application has been submitted at the Consulate General of India. We will notify you as soon as we receive the processed passport back from the Consulate General of India.”.

      Is this step common for everybody for renewals? Did you receive a similar message or is this something that’s unique to my application and reflects that my approval may take longer?

      If anybody else has info on this, kindly comment or reply.

      Thanks,
      Gaurav

      Like

       
      • Shaunak Pandit

        September 3, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        Hi Gaurav,

        BLS is just an administering agency, passports have to be renewed by Consulate only. This is normal/

        Like

         
  183. Tharanian

    August 17, 2014 at 1:47 AM

    hi, thanks so much for this blog. It was really helpful. I have one question. I am applying for change of maiden name to married name for my wife. In that case, what name should i give in the nationality verification form – is it just my maiden name or the new name for which i am applying?

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 21, 2014 at 11:04 PM

      Hi Tharanian,

      I am sorry but am confused, if you are changing your wife’s maiden name why would you change your maiden name in your form?

      also I have no idea on it, hopefully someone else here can reply to your question

      Like

       
  184. indian071982

    August 13, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    My passport was renewed but only for 1 year. I received a letter from the Consulate – Houston that my clearance is pending with the office that had previously issued my passport. I am not sure what I should do now. Any suggestions ?

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 13, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      Hold on and pray 🙂

      jokes apart – It is part of their internal process to verify details and they might be waiting on clearance from passport department on some discrepancy in your data and old passport or even some clerical issues on their end.
      Hopefully you should hear soon from them.

      Like

       
  185. kumar

    August 13, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Hi,
    In this site http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/reissue10.php#time
    It says the utility bill includes only gas, electric or water or Rental Lease agreement or Home Mortgage bill but here it is mentioned that it can include mobile bill or internet bill which one is true? Please let me know!

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 13, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      Hi Kumar,

      I had provided electric bill and if you are renting out or own your own place usually you should have access to all of the above to submit the one mentioned on BLS site so it shouldn’t matter?

      Like

       
  186. Harikrishnan

    August 13, 2014 at 6:58 AM

    Thank you for your detailed blog. It really helped my in preparing this.
    2 Questions:

    1.I am recently married, but i don’t want to add my spouse’s name in my new passport. Please let me know should i still go ahead and submit photocopy of wife’s passport and get a notarized marrriage certificate ? (Reason i am asking is i have mentioned Married in filling up BLS form)
    2. Is Change in appearance form mandatory ? i am applying under SFO region .

    Kindly clarify.

    Thank you
    Hari

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 13, 2014 at 6:37 PM

      Hi Hari,

      #2 Not mandatory at all unless there is drastic change in appearance, my original passport was done in college and a lot had changed in me [especially hair 🙂 ] and I was already short on time hence didn’t want to risk getting delays.

      #1 Sorry no clue on that

      Thanks

      Like

       
      • Harikrishnan

        August 14, 2014 at 4:57 AM

        Thanks a lot Shaunak .

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        August 21, 2014 at 11:02 PM

        Welcome sir

        Like

         
  187. Sameer

    August 13, 2014 at 4:56 AM

    Add me to the list of people that utilized this blog post applying for another passport. I just sent out my application today.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 13, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      🙂 Glad it helped

      Like

       
    • Sameer

      September 3, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      So, I received my new passport yesterday. A couple thoughts:
      1. The whole airway bill confusion—I simply went to USPS.com and printed two priority mail labels. One from me to BLS and the other from BLS to me. The latter I enclosed in the former (along with all the other documents) and sent it out. The “airway” numbers they are requesting as simply the tracking numbers for whatever you are using for shipping. In my case, it was USPS. Note that the return envelope can be a smaller once since they just ship your new and old passport in them. That way, it’ll fit easily inside the outbound one.
      2. This blog was tremendously helpful. Good karma is coming Shaunak’s way. On the flip side, it’s a pity that the instructions on BLS’ site are as dismal as they are. Something that should be pretty straightforward has been unnecessarily complicated. What is pleasantly surprising is the speed with which they turn around these passports.

      Like

       
      • Shaunak Pandit

        September 4, 2014 at 12:52 AM

        Thanks Sameer for the appreciation am glad could be of some help. and thanks for the karma blessings 😉 I need it surely :))

        Like

         
      • Nishith Negandhi

        September 4, 2014 at 4:02 AM

        HI Sameer,
        I too tried to print a return shipping label from BLS to me, but it was asking for the shipping date, which you cannot know in advance. So, the question here is, is it good to create a return shipping label with a random shipping date of lets say 3 weeks later ? What is the consequence if the return shipping is shipped on a different date than that mentioned in the shipping label ?

        PS: What I did was, I printed shipping label at USPS.com from me to BLS. For the return shipping: 1) I went to the post-office and picked up one priority envelope 2) Asked the USPS personal for priority mail postage stamp ($5.25) with the tracker 3) Pasted the postage stamp on the envelope and also mentioned the from and to address 4) Inserted this priority envelope inside my main envelope.

        Also to mentioned, I got my passport back in less than two weeks. I had posted my passport to BLS on 8/19 and I got my renewed passport back on 9/2 (9 working days). Curious to know, had anyone got their passport back earlier than I have ? 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Like

         
  188. Gaurav

    August 12, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Shaunak thanks a bunch for this exceptionally useful post and thanks to all the people who have put informative responses. This is super helpful.

    My original/old 10 year passport was issued in 1994 in India. This passport had a different format and doesn’t have the File Number field anywhere in the back or the front. Anyhow later in 2004 after it’s expiry a new one was re-issued at New York and in that passport (which is my current passport) I don’t have the File Number either. In this passport the file number field was left blank (I never noticed it till today). I’m wondering if anybody had the same experience and how did they handle it. I mean what should I put in file number field in the ‘Online NRI Application Form’?

    I know that one of the commenters @Haritha asked about this on May 15th, but didn’t see anyone posting a reply to her question. If any body has experienced the same kindly share how did you go about it.

    Thanks all in advance.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 13, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      Thank you Gaurav. Check other comments I remember someone else had also was in similar situation. Sorry I have no clue on it. But my guess is if you don’t have one there is hardly anything you can do about it but submit as it is.
      Try checking with BLS [you should get through after multiple attempts] and in case you get to know what needs to be done, do reply here so that it might help others.

      Like

       
      • Gaurav

        August 13, 2014 at 9:08 PM

        Hi Shaunak I called BLS regarding the missing File No. on my passport and was told that I can put “NOTAVAILABLE” if the File No. field is empty on my current passport. The rep on the phone didn’t sound too convincing though. I’ll have call up again to confirm.

        I have a question regarding the email and it’s attachments received after submitting the BLS form. The first attachment is the BLS form and it needs to be printed and put in the envelope along with the other documents. So far so good. However the second attachment is a label addressed to BLS with my application/tracker number printed on it. Do I have to paste this on the main envelope (the one I’ll mail out to BLS) in addition to a standard from/to address label used typically on Priority Mail envelopes?

        TIA.

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        August 21, 2014 at 11:02 PM

        Yes Gaurav, That label is used to scan in your parcel as part of acknowledgement update in the system

        Like

         
  189. Bunny

    August 12, 2014 at 3:38 AM

    Firstly Your blog helped me big time in completing application form. I did a small mistake in completing application form and now it is not allowing me to edit details. Instead of mentioning my educational degree I mentioned by Job Designation. I tried to reach Indian Emassy but no luck till now. Could you please assist me by sharing your thoughts in correcting information.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 13, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      Hi Bunny,

      Thank you! Am glad it helped. Did you already ship it out? If not as far as I remember we can fill in another application.[I might be mixing up another form since its been quite some months back when I did the same]

      If you have already sent the application, I believe only way is for you to connect with them. Escalate case at helpdesk and the main bLS office guys will call you.

      Thanks

      Like

       
  190. Madhumitha Venkataraman

    August 11, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    Hello Shaunak,

    I’m in the process of renewing my passport which is when I noticed a difference in the last name/surname of my Mother in my passport and my mother’s passport. Now, I would like to change it to be same as what it is in her passport, but I don’t have any proof for that as my Birth certificate has just her first name in it. Does that cause any issue in my passport renewal process? I highly appreciate your suggestion on this.

    Thanks & regards,
    Madhu

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 21, 2014 at 11:13 PM

      Hi Madhu,

      You could tell them it was a misprint and submit the birth certificate.

      Am sorry have no clue on this, try dropping them an email.

      Like

       
  191. vyoma

    August 6, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    can anyone help me with airway number with fedex.
    I am confuse so step by step if you can guide me..
    thanks

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 6, 2014 at 8:43 PM

      Vyoma,

      I have explained the USPS process but have no idea on the fedex one.

      Shounak

      Like

       
    • Jose Cyriac

      August 6, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      Hi Vyoma, FedEx Airway # is same as the tracking number. You have to create a FedEx account, create a shipment, and then create a return shipment for the same, you will get the tracking numbers for both packages, then print out both shipping labels, attach the return label to the cover with your address and other one for the cover with BLS address. and FedEx will charge your credit card only when both packages are actually shipped

      Like

       
      • karnisai

        August 19, 2014 at 9:00 PM

        Hi Jose
        I have applied for re-issue of passport, BLS sent it back saying I need to apply for duplicate in lieu damaged passport. My passport is expiring Sep 7 2014 and booked ticket to india for Oct 11 2014. I need to apply for passport.

        I saw your suggestions on damaged passport. I have a query before I send my application again:

        – It is regarding the additional affidavit which is to be notarized. That affidavit mention about signatures from 2 witnesses. My question is whether those witnesses must be indian with green card or anyone can be my witness?

        I thank you Jose for help in this regards

        Like

         
  192. Ankur

    August 6, 2014 at 3:31 AM

    Hi Shaunak.. Thanks for wonderful blog. It helps lot during to understand passport renew process and documentation. I had one below question:

    My original US entry visa L1 was expired. But now I had approved H1 US visa, which is not stamped on my passport, but I had I-797 approval copy of my approved H1 visa. so, in that case per below point, Do I need to provide only notarize color photocopy of my USA H1 visa I-797 approval notice. or I need to to provide (notarized no status affidavit with photocopy of the valid passport and the green card of two witnesses duly notarized + 7 Copies of Nationality Verification Form (Given in Point 2 above) are required and each copy must have an original photograph affixed on it)?

    Notarized Color photocopy of current valid US visa on passport or Green card or Employment Authorization Card or I- 797 approval notice documents. Student visa Status holders must enclose I-20 Document as well. If your visa has expired and/or or you have the receipt notice for extension of your visa then: NYC, SFO & HOU Jurisdiction Applicants – must provide a notarized no status affidavit with photocopy of the valid passport and the green card of two witnesses duly notarized + 7 Copies of Nationality Verification Form (Given in Point 2 above) are required and each copy must have an original photograph affixed on it. WAS/ATL/HOU/CHI Jurisdiction Applicants – must visit the consulate in person for an interview before applying at the passport application center-

    Like

     
    • Jose Cyriac

      August 22, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      Hi karnisai, i got signatures from two of my colleagues in my company and BLS accepted it (for Damaged passport renewal affidavit). They are not green card holders.

      Like

       
      • sweety (@sweetyspicy88)

        September 25, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        hello jose cyriac. are you sure they were not green card holders?? and that they have indian passport with US visa? can one witness be my husband?

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        September 29, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        I think they need witness outside of family.

        Like

         
      • Jose Cyriac

        September 29, 2014 at 8:07 PM

        @Sweety, They are my friends and they have an Indian passport with a valid US visa, they are not Green Card holders.

        Like

         
  193. Kannan

    August 6, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    Hi Shaunak

    First off, thanks so much for putting this blog and help others add their experience. It helped me immensely. I applied for passport renewal for my daughter (who is minor) and here are my experience that might help others. Please note that some of my experiences below (2,6 and 7 especially) applicable to everybody in general.

    1) In the NRI application form, the answer for following questions should match your kid passport. Make sure you put your names exactly as it appears in your child passport.
    >>>>>>>>>>4. (i) Name of Father
    >>>>>>>>>> (ii) Name of Mother

    2) In the NRI application form, one needs to have two Friends/Relatives and their US address for the following question.
    >>>>>>>>19. Name and address of two relatives/friends>>>>>>

    3) In the NRI application form, Sr. No 28 must be notarized. This is mentioned in checklist but it is little buried and not so clear.

    4) I pasted one photo on the NRI application form where space provided, one photo in “Change Of Appearance” form for my daughter and two photos for Nationality Verification form (I am in SFO). I had extra four photos but BLS said they don’t need any photos. They did not ask for any extra photos (not attached to any form) and I am not sure why.

    5) In the checklist under “In case applying for Children up to 18 Years of Age”, the third item is “Notarized Change in Appearance Affidavit” but URL is pointing to below

    http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/forms/AFFIDAVIT_CHANGE_SIGNATURE.pdf

    I was not sure which one they need because there is one more form for just “change in appearance” (http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/forms/ChangeInAppearanceAffidavit.pdf).

    I had prepared both of them just in case (notarized too) but they returned the one with “change signature”. It could be because my daughter is just 5 years old (under six year old for signature category). Just a FYI to folks.

    6) I took US passport photos in Costco. I know this was discussed that US passport photos are fine but just wanted to highlight.

    7) Notary was the time consuming process. I did that in my bank (free) but you cannot just walk-in for that. You need to take prior appointment. Please do not take an appointment before the docs are ready. Believe me, there are lots of paperwork so plan ahead for doc work and then take an appointment accordingly. Also get the doc work done before the appointment day if you are going in-person.

    8) We went in-person for submission and I took my wife also. For minors, they need both parents for applying.

    9) I opted for passport collection in-person and they said I can come alone to pick up the passport. They said I need to have the authority Letter for passport collection. I am assuming they meant the below form and that I need to have my daughter sign it.
    http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/forms/BLSAuthorizationLetter.pdf

    10) I did reschedule the BLS appointment two times using the below URL.
    http://passport.blsindia-usa.com/appointmentreshedule.php

    Hope this helps our folks.

    Thanks again.
    Kannan

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 6, 2014 at 3:24 AM

      Thank you Kannan am glad it helped.

      Also thank you for the updates, it surely will be helpful to others in similar situation

      Like

       
    • Nethra

      August 19, 2015 at 9:41 PM

      Hello Mr Kannan,

      I am also trying to apply for a passport renewal for my daughter. I wanted to know if the both the pages in the Affidavit for Minor Child (one being an Affidavit and the other a Declaration form) had to be notarized, or just the first page (which has the instruction that it has to be notarized) alone.

      Thanks in advance.

      Like

       
  194. vyoma

    August 5, 2014 at 5:29 AM

    Hi,

    Can anyone explain me the whole procedure to be followed in fedex for airway bill number…its little confusing..

    Like

     
  195. deepthy

    August 4, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    thank you for the brief description. a couple of doubts:

    1) i brought a postal money order of 91.20$.. i also received a customer’s receipt along with it. what should i write on both the customer’s receipt and postal money order( ie. in pay to*****, address***********, from*****, address ******, memo****, year,month,day*******, post office***, amount********, clerk******?)

    2)i got a priority mail flat rate mailing envelope before following your blog and on this envelope it was sticked the usps tracking number, from and to label, several no of stamps, and also gave me two tracking numbers extra .one tracking number is same as the one sticked onto the envelope and other is different. what is the use of other tracking number? how should i ask for the airway bill number? what is the extra charge for airway bill number?

    3) my next doubt is since the tracking number and stamps are sticked onto the the priority mail flat rate mailing envelope what can be the next solution of choosing another envelope? it cant be the same size of priority mail flat rate mailing envelope for the return of my passport right?

    4)should i keep original passports along with the other documents while posting?

    5) what is the method of asking airway bill number?.

    6) my passport is about to expire by february 2015. i am sending the documents and other stuff this month (august 2014). is it neccesary to give an explanation to why i put a delay in renewing? if yes? whats the format for the letter?

    Like

     
    • deepthy

      August 6, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      soe one reply..help me!

      Like

       
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 21, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      Hi Deepthy,

      1) No idea , that is specific to money orders. But I guess the info provided in the blog could be used to fill the same?
      2) Airway bill number is same as the tracking number. Would the other tracking number be for the return package? Did you get the return package receipt too?
      3) Not sure I understood the question, but if you meant how to put 1 envelope in another please check the post – have given detailed explanation of how to
      4) Of course 🙂 They will send it back due to incomplete documentation.
      5) Read #2
      6) Did you mean it has expired in Feb 2014? If so yes you will have to submit a reason document for it. If it is expiring in Feb 2015 you are not late and no reasons are required.

      Like

       
  196. archana

    August 1, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    hi Shaunak its really helpful i am going to start this process today as my passport is getting expired in september 2014 its too much confusing about documents need ur help is it ok if i take print out of nationality verification form and then fill up manually or is it compulsory to fill it as i am facing some problems with alignment in docs and total how many photos we required for whole process

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 3, 2014 at 10:02 PM

      Hi Archana,

      I had typed to save time as I didn’t want to write 3 times the same info. There were tricks shared earlier to align it check them out. also it is a word doc so you should be able to manually change alignment.

      Regarding Photo – please check the section on photos or comments it is explained in detail

      Like

       
  197. Sachin Gupta

    July 31, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    Thanks Shaunak for this helpful blog…I just received my renewed passport from Chicago Consulate. It just took a week for BLS and Indian Consulate to process everything. Bls received my application on July 22 , 2014 and they dispatched the passport back on July 29th 2014. Great Job.

    Like

     
  198. Guru

    July 31, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    Shanuak – I have applied application for passport renewal along with original passport to NewYork BLS office on Jul 11 2014. USPS status says it is delivered successfully on Jul14. But i still see the status in BLS systems is “No record found”. When i checked BLS office, nobody responding correctly. I even raised ticket for this issue, i dont see any update. Please help me how to proceed. Thanks in advance.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 3, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      Hey Guru,

      Sorry I saw your comment today, Hope you received some update from them if not then please escalate that is the only way.

      Like

       
  199. Nishith Negandhi

    July 31, 2014 at 5:20 AM

    hi Shakun,
    I have to renew the passport of my minor child. Going through the “Documents Required” section, I came across this..
    “”A Notarized Affidavit (Page 1 & 2) from Parents applying for a minor child is required and Pg. 4 of the Application form must also be notarized. (The APPLICANT must sign in both boxes for Sr. No.29).””
    Not sure what does (Page 1 and 2) mentioned in the first line mean ? Is it the passport page ?
    Also, if I need to get my documents notarized by a bank, how is this done ? Do they notarize each copy or only a covering letter which mentions the documents to be notarized ? If the second is true, can you please help me with a sample covering letter ?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 3, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      Hi Nishith

      I am not sure about the same please get clarification from BLS on this. My guess is, it should be your passport.

      Thanks

      Shounak

      Like

       
    • Kavitha

      August 7, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      Page 1 & 2 refers to the ‘Affidavit of Applicant Parents for Passport for Minor Child’ form.

      Like

       
      • Nethra

        August 19, 2015 at 9:36 PM

        Hi Kavitha,
        Would you happen to know if we need to get both the pages notarized? As one is a declaration form, I was not sure if we needed to get that notarized as well.

        Like

         
  200. Tejal

    July 31, 2014 at 4:59 AM

    Hi Shaunak,
    Thanks for your response.

    The approximate address is 2983 John F kennedy blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07306. This is a store for phone cards and is right next to Jersey Farm Liqours and Apna Bazar. Unfortunately there is no url I can provide and neither do I have the phone number. I may need another set of photos, so I will be visiting this place soon and will post more details (if any) then. For all those living in Jersey city area in NJ, this is the best bet.

    Like

     
  201. Rochelle

    July 30, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering problems with your site. It looks like some of the text on your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This could be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Cheers

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 31, 2014 at 12:07 AM

      I had recently changed the theme but not sure if that is causing problems for others? I am able to see the site correctly. Can others please confirm?

      Like

       
      • Santanu

        July 31, 2014 at 8:29 PM

        I am old school. Liked the old look more.

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        August 3, 2014 at 10:00 PM

        Yeah, I keep changing themes in between to get a fresh look to it. Haven’t got time to evaluate properly to stick to one

        Like

         
  202. Viji Praveen

    July 30, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    Thanks Shaunak for your detailed blog post. It was very informative and helpful in applying for my passport renewal.

    I applied for renewal in Atlanta BLS center.
    Thought of sharing my experience.
    I applied in person at Atlanta.
    And here are some info to others.Hope it will be helpful.

    Nationality verification form is needed only when your passport is expired. I had 6 months of time remaining in my current passport. So the officer returned 3 copies of my nationality verification forms back.(They dont have this information clearly on their website. wasted 3 photos.Glad i dint pay too much money for photos. I used the online website mentioned in this blog and got a soft copy of 4*6 format which had 4 passport photos. then got it printed at costco for 13 cents.).

    About number of photos. Pasted one in application form. Then he asked for 2 more photos and pasted one in change of appearance affidavit. So total 4 photos.

    About notary. I got it from my State farm agent for free.

    I was asking about collecting passport in person but the officer said they are not currently allowing to collect in person and it can only be mailed. weird. So i had to pay for return courier (he said UPS)which is $15.

    He gave a tracking number along with receipt and these are the updates i got so far.

    Current Aplication Status : Processing at Consulate General
    Application accepted by BLS: 28-07-2014 , 10:01
    Appliication Processed on Date :28-07-2014
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 30-07-2014
    Passport received at BLS Center : –
    Passport handed over to Applicant :-
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant : –

    Like

     
  203. Viji Praveen

    July 30, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    Thanks Shaunak for your detailed blog post. It was very informative and helpful in applying for my passport renewal.
    I applied for renewal in Atlanta BLS center.
    Thought of sharing my experience.
    I applied in person at Atlanta.
    And here are some info to others.Hope it will be helpful.
    Nationality verification form is needed only when your passport is expired. I had 6 months of time remaining in my current passport. So the officer returned 3 copies of my nationality verification forms back.(They dont have this information clearly on their website. wasted 3 photos.Glad i dint pay too much money for photos. I used the online website mentioned in this blog and got a soft copy of 4*6 format which had 4 passport photos. then got it printed at costco for 13 cents.).
    About number of photos. Pasted one in application form. Then he asked for 2 more photos and pasted one in change of appearance affidavit. So total 4 photos.
    About notary. I got it from my State farm agent for free.
    I was asking about collecting passport in person but the officer said they are not currently allowing to collect in person and it can only be mailed. weird. So i had to pay for return courier (he said UPS)which is $15. He gave a tracking number along with receipt and these are the updates i got so far.
    Current Aplication Status : Processing at Consulate General
    Application accepted by BLS: 28-07-2014 , 10:01
    Appliication Processed on Date :28-07-2014
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 30-07-2014
    Passport received at BLS Center : –
    Passport handed over to Applicant :-
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant : –

    Like

     
  204. Tejal

    July 29, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    Hi Rohit & Shaunak,
    Shaunak – 1st and foremost, thanks a ton for writing this blog.. Clarified my doubts as to how many photos are needed. I had the same question as Rohit about Indian address, the only change in my current address is the flat number, rest all is the same as the current (old) passport.
    Can I write the new address on the application form and if so, what documents will be needed as address proof ? I have my Indian drivers license with new address with me, should I also submit a notarized copy of it ??

    P.S – Regarding passport size photo, in Jersey City, one can get passport size photos clicked and you get 8 copies for 30 USD (cheap and reliable). U can also upload a photo on their system and get the photos done. I have not seen anything cheaper than this.

    Thanks in advance guys…

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 31, 2014 at 12:04 AM

      Hi Tejal,

      Thank you 🙂 Am glad it helped.

      For the address you can surely try with notarized copy of the driving license. I have heard some people have got new Indian address printed based on the address proof submitted by them and if it wasnt accepted they printed the US address. So I guess you are good with it.

      Also, thank you for updating us all on the NJ photo option, if you could mention the place or url it might be helpful to others.

      Thanks

      Like

       
  205. Rohit

    July 29, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    First of all, awesome job in writing this post. You are a SAVIOR. I am in the process of applying for my passport renewal. Just a small question, my Indian Address, can it be anything or it has to be the one said on my current passport. Asking this because, my current Indian address is different from my passport address

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 29, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      Thank you Rohit 🙂

      Yes preferably , but people have got Indian address changed by providing address proof though say only the address printed on previous passport would be printed.

      Like

       
  206. Siddhi

    July 28, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    Hi shaunak,

    Thanks info was really helpful:)

    I have a one big suggestion, that should be in the list you have mentioned what goes in package , you might want to add the Money order / cashier’s cheque or demand draft of the services one is looking for!!!

    Thanks ,
    Siddhi

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 29, 2014 at 10:59 PM

      Thank you Siddhi.

      Whoops a big blunder 🙂 Will add it

      Like

       
  207. LV

    July 26, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    Hi! I don’t completely understand the following on the nationality verification form —

    14. NAME & ADDRESS OF TWO
    RELATIVES / FRIENDS (AT THE
    PLACE OF PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN
    INDIA, Given In Sr.8 Above, Not of the same family)

    Can I list my two parents here?? this is the only address in India

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 29, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      Hi LV,

      I had put in neighbor and a friend. I think they need someone other than immediate family , though that is not clear.

      Like

       
  208. Divyendu

    July 25, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    First of all I would like to thank Shaunak for this detailed blog. Also, the way he is answering queries/comments on this blog is simply awesome. This blog was really helpful.

    I got my passport renewed with Atlanta Center and here are my timelines –

    BLS Receipt Number => USAAXXXXXXXX
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier
    Application accepted by BLS: 01-07-2014 , 12:20
    Appliication Processed on Date :08-07-2014
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 09-07-2014
    Passport received at BLS Center : 23-07-2014 , 10:27
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :23-07-2014 , 17:46

    I got my Indian address printed which is different from Indian address on my old passport. I submitted notarized copies of my wife’s passport as address proof.

    Here are couple of lessons learnt –

    1. I submitted notarized copies of my wife’s passport as address proof and for endorsing her name as Spouse Name on my passport. But initially I submitted only one notarized copy of her passport thinking one copy would suffice for both the purposes but my application was put on hold and I was asked to submit one more copy. So if anyone is planning to do similar thing make sure you submit two copies.

    2. I had enclosed hand-written (Handwritten Airbill) FedEx return envelope but handwritten return airbill is not accepted. So when I sent documents for point 1, I sent printed UPS return shipping label pasted on UPS envelope. Anyone can get FedEx printed return label but for that one should have account on FedEx website. UPS do not have any such requirement to get printed return label so I used UPS.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 29, 2014 at 10:55 PM

      Hi Divyendu,

      Thank you 🙂 am glad it helped and thanks for the updates

      Like

       
  209. Bobby

    July 25, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Shaunak,

    I don’t know how to thank you bro, u made the whole process look so easy.
    Thanks for your effort and patience in doing this and thanks for you replies you are giving to the commentators.

    About the notary : BOFA said they couldn’t do it so i went to library and did it, they did it for no charge, but all libraries have notaries.

    Here’s the thing i dropped the application in chicago, and at the time they said they can courier my passport once its ready instead of me picking up in the afternoon, i paid for courier even though i live 40 miles from BLS miles to avoid evening traffic.
    i have received an update from BLS that my passport has been dispatched via courier on 23th, but the tracking number they have given says just label has been generated and tracking tracks once shipment is in sorting facility. i contacted UPS they said drop boxes are emptied daily and asked me to contact sender for updates.

    what should i do now, i got standard reply from BLS for my email
    Kindly note that we have already dispatched your Passport on July, 23 and on the UPS company site status will be updated soon.
    should i panick and go to chicago office or wait.
    Ihave seen a NY guy didnt get any update in UPS site even after a week.

    Like

     
    • Bobby

      July 25, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      but NOT* all libraries have notaries.

      Like

       
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 25, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      Hi Bobby,

      Am glad I could help in some way 🙂

      Regarding your passport don’t worry this happens because of the approach they use to dispatch passports [Read the very end of my post for more details]

      All you got to do now is just enjoy the weekend 🙂 you should have the passport soon. I have gone through the exact scenario 🙂

      It usually take 2-3 business days for a proper update to come through.

      Thanks
      Shounak

      Like

       
  210. Funky_bug

    July 24, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Here is the latest update for those who would like to know how much time does it takes

    BLS Receipt Number => USACXXXXXXXX
    Current Aplication Status : Processing at Consulate General

    Application accepted by BLS: 23-07-2014 , 11:43
    Appliication Processed on Date :23-07-2014
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 24-07-2014 , 11:01
    Passport received at BLS Center : –
    Passport handed over to Applicant :-
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant : –

    Like

     
  211. Funky_bug

    July 23, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    Hello All , First I would like to Thank Shaunak Pandit for his work on this forum. Gr8 work man and keep going .

    I have sent my passport to BLS using fedex . Here are the details

    BLS Receipt Number => USACXXXXXXXX
    Current Aplication Status : underprocess

    Application accepted by BLS: 23-07-2014 , 11:43
    Appliication Processed on Date :23-07-2014
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : –
    Passport received at BLS Center : –
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :-

    Like

     
  212. Parthiv Bhagat

    July 22, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    in the online NRI Passport application form they ask us for name. As i am recently married and want to have my new name on passport. DO i need to specify it here or just include my old name

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 23, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      Hi Parthiv,

      Sorry have no clue about that, someone had mentioned they got the name change done , please check comments to see if you find some reference there.

      Like

       
    • Raj M

      July 23, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Parthiv,

      Yes you can have your new name on your passport provided you have the supporting documents. BUT before doing that, just wanted to check with you – I am not sure what kind of legal status you have here in the US. If you have some sort of visa or GC or if you are a citizen, does the visa or GC show your new name? Did you get your name change done on SS#, Driver’s Lic. etc?

      The reason I am asking is because it’s a big hassel when your passport has your married name and your GC or visa still has your old maiden name. It will be a problem when you will be travelling.

      If your GC or visa shows the new married name, then YES go ahead and write your new married name on the application form and provide supporting docs like Notarized Marriage Certificate and Notarized ID proof like Driver’s Lic. or Utility bill, all showing the new married name.

      Also if you GC or visa’s do not have the new married name, you can atleast have your spouse’s name added on the last page of the passport where they write your parents name and address. You just need to provide a Notarized copy of your Marriage Certificate.

      Like

       
      • Parthiv Bhagat

        July 23, 2014 at 7:30 PM

        No i don’t have my new name on visa. I am on H4 visa in USA. ALso i heard when we are travelling we can just take original marriage certificate and affidavit to prove that visa on old passport with maiden name belongs to you with new passport and new name. Wouldn’t that work?

        Like

         
      • Raj M

        July 25, 2014 at 8:53 PM

        Yes, your new passport will have your husband’s name (provided you fill it out in the application form and give notarized marriage certificate).

        I do not see a reason, as to not get your new married last name printed in the passport (you are legally entitle to do so and are providing proof).

        As for the difference in last names in your visa and new passport, you are correct – you can carry original marriage certificate & the affidavit you mentioned. And anyways you will be carrying your old/cancelled passport because the visas will be in it.

        Make sure when you get your passports back, in the old/cancelled passport they mention “Passport cancelled, BUT visas in passport not cancelled”.

        Like

         
      • Parthiv Bhagat

        July 23, 2014 at 7:32 PM

        Also on the new passport they would have my husband’s name on last page . Right? wouldn’t that help too?

        Like

         
      • Raj M

        July 23, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        Parthiv,

        Please ignore the “citizen” part in the 1st para in my above comment. I mean, you would not need a Indian Passport if you were a US citizen 🙂

        Like

         
  213. Vish

    July 22, 2014 at 2:41 AM

    Hi Shaunak, first of all, I really appreciate for your contribution and your valuable help.

    Here is my situation. I applied for my son’s passport renewal with BLS with NY office and below is the timeline:

    I sent a pre-paid UPS envelope for returning my son’s passport.

    BLS Receipt Number => USANxxxxxxxxxx
    Current Aplication Status : Dispatched via Courier
    Application accepted by BLS:08-07-2014 , 15:49
    Appliication Processed on Date : 08-07-2014
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 09-07-2014 , 16:20
    Passport received at BLS Center : 15-07-2014 , 12:24
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :15-07-2014 , 12:24

    On 15July, I got an automated email as follows (looks like this is automatically generated….or not sure how):

    Dear xxxxx,
    We have dispatched your passport through courier.Use your way bill number 1ZXxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to further track your passport on the courier company website.

    It has been almost a week and there is no tracking on the UPS website. Not sure how long it is taking to actually receive the passports in hand.

    Vish

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 22, 2014 at 5:48 PM

      Hi Vish,

      I think 1 week is a long time for you not to get the passport back, I had received my passport from Chicago to Columbus in 3 days. Did you try the escalating with UPS if the system tracker is not showing anything correctly?
      Also, try checking with UPS if they used your airway bill # to send it back, in my friends case they had sent through other courier while he was trying to track using the one he had sent.

      Hope this helps

      Shaunak

      Like

       
  214. Neel

    July 21, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    Great effort compiling this info. Surely made my life a lot easier. I have a couple of issues I wonder if anyone faced:

    1. I am not able to get a color copy of my visa notarized. The notary said it is illegal to notarize a color copy of passport/visa in the state of Illinois. Is this true? He is willing to notarize a black and white copy.
    2. My marriage certificate is in Hindi. I got a notarized English translation in India but it does not have the photos as you would expect. The notary here is not able to notarize the hindi document becaue he doesnt understand it. So will a photocopy of the certificate along with a notarized copy of the translation work?

    Probably unique issues but let me know if you can suggest anything. Not able to get hold of anyone in BLS or Chicago consulate at all despite trying for 5 days.

    Thanks,
    Neel

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      August 21, 2014 at 11:21 PM

      Hi Neel,

      Thank you am glad it helped.

      1) I don’t recall if colored is only required sorry but had got this done in Oct ’13 so , if not then why not go ahead with black and white?
      2) I guess it should as it doesn’t seem like you have any other option left.

      Sorry couldn;t be of much help.

      also BLS & Indian consulate has email addresses, trying sending them a mail with these questions.

      Like

       
      • Shaunak Pandit

        August 21, 2014 at 11:23 PM

        I just checked my passport application, I had submitted a black and white too.

        Like

         
      • neel

        September 29, 2014 at 6:04 AM

        Thanks Shaunak. I went ahead with black and white copy and also the photocopy of my hindi marriage certificate with a notarized copy of translation. It worked. Thanks for all your help.

        -Neel

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        September 29, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        Glad to be of help 🙂 Thanks

        Like

         
  215. Raj M

    July 20, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    EDITED / CORRECTED POST.

    There is a lot of confusion regarding how many passport photos needs to be sent…4, 6, 7, 9etc. This is just for simple passport renewal without any change of appereance, signature etc or damaged/lost/expired passport options. Also I fall under Washington DC jurisdiction. I also asked question reg. ECNR/ECR. I did not have any ECNR or ECR stamp in my passport (renewed in NY in 2012 for 2 years due to some visa issues only got 2 years from June 2012 – June 2014, hence need to renew again in July 2014).

    Here were my questions to BLS in my email on July 16, 2014:
    1. On the “Application Form for Indian Passport” Point# 13 – Present Emigration Status ECR or ECNR. What do I select if I do not have any ECNR/ECR stamp in my expired passport regarding this?

    2. How many photos do I need to send in total? 4 or 7
    —- 1(Pasted on Application form) + 3 (Pasted on the 3 Nationality Verification form) = Total 4
    > OR
    —- 4 (1 on Application form and 3 additional loose as per BLS website) + 3 (Nationality Verification form) = Total 7

    Here is the reply I got from BLS Washington DC Center on July 19, 2014:
    Dear XYZ,

    Greetings from BLS International Services US, my name is Rinki and I will be glad to assist you with your query as specified in your email.

    We would like to inform you that you have to mention your Present Emigration Status as ECNR .

    Please note that you have to provide 4 photographs in total.1(Pasted on Application form) + 3 (Pasted on the 3 Nationality Verification form) .

    For more information on passport service, please visit our website:http://passport.blsindia-usa.com/

    Thank you for writing to us.
    Regards,
    Rinki
    BLS helpdesk

    Like

     
  216. Pranit

    July 19, 2014 at 5:09 AM

    Hi Shaunak,

    I have a query regarding the renewal passport sending via post.

    I have took two priority mail envelops from the USPS. The one for sending the application and another one is for receiving it back.

    1. Can we fold the envelop (in which we will receive the new passport) and send it to BLS? because envelop is to big and it is made up of cardboard.
    2. How the payment of receiving envelop works? do we have to pay for the receiving envelop at the time of sending?

    Thanks,
    Pranit

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 20, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      Hi Pranit,

      Please refer to the section on the airway bill number, I have explained that in detail with an image too.

      Like

       
    • Raj M

      July 20, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      Go to he post office and get 2 Priority Flat Rate envelops (what you already got). At the same time, ask for 2 stamp of $5.60 each and 2 tracking labels. When you are ready:

      — Envelope #1 to SEND to BLS with all documents and with folded Envelop# 2 inside (see below point). Stick one stamp & one tracking label. Enter the tracking number on the BLS website (In the “Application Type box – Postal” & Airway Bill #) and THIS tracking # will be printed on the BLS Order form.

      — Envelope # 2 is the Prepaid Delivery Envelop, which will be RETURNED to you. Stick the other stamp and tracking label (this tracking # also you enter on the BLS website where it says Prepaid Delivery & Airway Bill #). THIS tracking number does not get printed on the BLS Order form or anywhere else. THIS envelope needs to be folded in half and put in Envelope# 1. It will be returned to you with your new and old passport/s.

      Like

       
    • een771

      July 21, 2014 at 11:33 PM

      Hi. That is exactly what I have done with priority mails – folded one of them and put that it another. But remember to put a stamp for $5.60 on the return envelop and ask the usps personnel in the post office to paste a tracking number on it and scan it. Use that USPS tracking number as airway bill for return tracking. Did the same process for sending my address to NY consulate.

      Like

       
  217. Pranit

    July 18, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Hi Shaunak,

    I have one query regarding the airway bill number

    I have bought two A4 size priority mail envelops and with them USPS has provided two sheets where I can write From and To address. When I inquired about the airway bill number USPS person told me that the number below the bar code is the airway bill number. can you please confirm the same.

    Also can you please let me know if I can fold that cardboard type envelop into another in which I will receive my new passport?
    How the payment of the return envelop works? Do I have to pay while sending the document for the return package?

    Thanks,
    Pranit

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 23, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      Hi Pranit,

      The USPS person should be doing all that, all you would need to do is put in your addresses correctly. Please check the post for details on how I had sent the envelopes it might give your answers and also some more guidance on this. I don’t recall the position of the airway bill number as I had done it in Spet’13 please go through the post I have mentioned in detail where to find the info.

      Like

       
  218. Prabhu Devanathan

    July 16, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    Hi ,

    A very useful blog

    I have sent my wifes passport for renewal and it could see that her passport has been despatched within a week , not sure if they have sent back for any additional document . Just want to know if they have a different status for returned / rejected application or do they post the same status for all applications.

    Application accepted by BLS: 11-07-2014 , 12:33
    Appliication Processed on Date :11-07-2014
    Application Processed and submitted to Consulate : 14-07-2014 , 09:56
    Passport received at BLS Center : 16-07-2014 , 12:22
    Passport handed over to Applicant : –
    Passport Dispatched to Applicant :16-07-2014 , 12:23

    Thanks,
    Prabhu.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 20, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      Hi Prabhu,

      Latest what I have heard is passports are being processed with super fast speed , others have commented here they got the passport in hand within a week.

      Like

       
    • Vish

      July 22, 2014 at 2:36 AM

      Hi Prabhu,

      When did you receive your wife’s passport?

      Vish

      Like

       
  219. Vinoth

    July 16, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    Hi,

    i’m trying to login to the https://passport.gov.in/nri/Online.do site for filling the online form but the site is not responding at all. Any inputs will be highly appreciated.

    Like

     
    • Vinoth

      July 16, 2014 at 11:52 PM

      Also wanted to add that all the links are working except the online Registration Form.

      Like

       
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 20, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      Hi Vinoth,

      Are you in India? The site you are using is for passport renewals in India not in US

      Like

       
  220. Altaf

    July 16, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    Hi Shaunak, I am confused over how many National verification forms with photo need to be submitted and how may loose photos need to be submitted. Please can you clarify. I am going in for a name split (Reissue of passport category). I am seeing the checklist asking for 3 National verification forms but other websites mentioning just one. Urgent help please.

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 20, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      Hi altaf,

      Not sure what you mean by the name split?

      3 NV forms if your passport hasn’t expired yet, incase it has I guess they have more that needs to be submitted.

      regarding photos, please check the section / comment where I have explained in detail on the photo and how I had sent it.

      Like

       
      • Altaf

        July 20, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        Hi Shaunak.
        My passport did not have a last name and my entire name was filled in the given name field. I am now applying for the name split.My passport has not expired. Now back to my question. Other than the 3 photos on the NVF and 1 photo on the application form. How many loose photos am I suppose to send? This is not mentioned clearly on the BLS website. I hope my question is clear this time. Appreciate your response.

        Regards
        Altaf

        Like

         
      • Shaunak Pandit

        July 22, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        Hi Altaf,

        Please check the section/ comment about # of photos required for the answer.

        Like

         
  221. karthik devaraja

    July 15, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    HI Shaunak,

    I am stuck in mailing my document.

    As atlanta BLS requires 4-8 weeks for processing. I am not able to get a prepaid shipping label for return service.

    Fedex shipping label maximum validity is 1 month.

    How did you get the tracking number both for shipping to BLS and also return from BLS.

    Do USPS has Prepaid shipping label forever service.Please do explain

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 22, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      Hi Karthik,

      I had used USPS,

      2 points to note

      1) You can buy shipping from BLS, so they will send from courier [I do not recommend this due to the issues I faced]
      2) Now days people are getting passports back with a week [my guess is they have restarted printing passports in the US missions/consulates]

      Like

       
  222. Ram

    July 15, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    Air Way Bill Question – Can I go to USPS.com and generate the prepaid postage for the priority mail and use the label or I have to go to the post office to get it?

    Like

     
    • Shaunak Pandit

      July 22, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      No idea, I had done it in Post office as its right next to where I work 🙂

      Like

       
    • Raj M

      July 22, 2014 at 7:23 PM

      Ram,

      I am not sure if you have figured this out or no. But to answer your question – Its a little tricky with USPS online printing.

      If you print the lables online it will cost you $5.16 vs $5.60 at the post office.

      When you print the label online, it will ask you for a mailing date/s.The mailing dates gets printed on the labels vs you getting a stamp and a tracking label (without any dates from the post office).

      You will need 2 labels if you are doing your own prepaid delivery envelope & label. So for the envelope you will be sending – Once you have the passport paperwork ready and know tentatively when you will be mailing the envelope, you can select a future date (says a week from the time you print it). This label tracking number will be printed on the BLS order form. You need to mail the envelop on or before the date printed on the label.

      As for the return label, this is where it gets tricky. Since you do not know how much time it will take for BLS to mail your new/old passports, you will not know what mailing date to select for the pre-paid label. If BLS does not mail your packet on or before the date printed on the return evnvelope, USPS may not accept your envelope.

      It’s best to get 2 stamps ($5.60 each) and 2 tracking labels and accordingly paste them on your envelopes.

      Like

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