Move triggered by people taking appointments & not showing up

Passport to punctuality: Pay fee to apply online

Move triggered by people taking appointments & not showing up

 

You can no longer apply for passport online and not keep your appointment at the passport office. Why? Because now you have to pay upfront.
In order to stop the large number of cases wherein applicants don’t show up at the offices after taking an appointment online, the government has now made it mandatory to pay the fees when seeking appointment online.
Officials say the move will help in optimum utilisation of infrastructure at passport offices as well as in early approval of passports for genuine applicants. Also, the new system will provide applicants with the earliest possible date and time, rather than the existing method which allows the applicant to choose.
According to officials at the ministry of external affairs, the change in the process was made after careful observation and analysis over the past year. The ministry found that a huge number of online applicants would fail to turn up at the passport centre on the appointed date and time. This not only negated the efforts taken by the government in recent times to speed up the process but also caused a lot of inconvenience to the genuine applicants due to non-availability of appointment slots.
“With this, only genuine applicants will book an appointment and number of no shows will reduce,” says a note from the ministry.
Officials said that the payment can be made online by credit or debit card or through an SBI branch. Also, the applicant can use the challan option in which s/he can deposit the money with an SBI branch after generating the challan online. The payment made in this manner will get reflected in the system of the regional passport office after at least two working days. The applicant will be notified by e-mail about the actualisation of the challan.
The new system has been implemented in some cities and will be adopted in Mumbai soon, officials said.