Thursday, November 15, 2012

How To Renew An Indian Passport In USA Through Post


NOTE FOR READER:-Please refer the comments to this post as well. Comments provide useful information especially the one from iHelper M.

Renewing Indian passport through mail in USA has become easy and hassle free now a days. All that we require is the existing passport,photos and a set of documents notarized. The time required to get the renewed passport is mentioned in VFS website as minimum 1-3 weeks.Refer below link.

http://www.vfsglobal.com/india/usa/fresh_processing.html 


Please note that the weeks mentioned above are the minimum time and there is no maximum time mentioned. For my friend  it took 5 weeks.Here is the status messages


VFS accepted the application

Application has been forwarded to the Embassy/Consulate General of India

Processed application has been handed over to Courier Company 



1. Original Passport

Please make sure that you remove I94 document from the passport and keep it in a safe place. I94 is not required to be sent along with passport for renewal.

 

2. Complete the online application form here


You need to complete all the fields in the application. Following points need to be taken care while filling the application

• Select the correct Indian Mission. Please refer the section “INDIAN PASSPORT INFORMATION” in below link for consular jurisdictions


For example a person living in Florida should select USA-ATLANTA as the Indian Mission. Similarly a person living in Iowa should select USA-CHICAGO as the Indian Mission

• Select the Service Desired as Re-issue of Passport

• District/Country- If you are born in India, you just need to mention here only the name of the District where you are born.

• Qualification -Fill in your qualification. Examples- B.Tech,B.E,B.Ed,B.Sc . This information is used to determine your emigration status. That is Emigration Check Not Required(ECNR)/Emigration Check Required(ECR)

• Profession- Fill the name of your profession. Examples- IT Professional, Software Engineer, Network Engineer etc. Please note that employee of Govt. Service/Public Sector Unit in India should write GOVT SERVICE/PSU SERVICE

• Visible Mark-You can refer your SSLC Book or CBSE records or school records. The mark should be permanent. For example A black mole on upper left arm, a mole in the left wrist etc. If you don’t have any marks, please mention NIL in the textbox.

• Address to be Printed in the Passport – Here you need to mention your USA address and not the Indian Address and you should have a proof handy for this US address. Please note that this is the address which is going to be printed in your passport and not your Indian address.

• Other Address – Here you need to mention your Indian address.

• Phone No and Mobile No-Mention your USA phone number. Please don’t mention “0” here .Give a number where you are reachable.

• File Number - This can be found in the last page of your existing passport


Once you complete the application, click on Save and Print. You will be asked to verify the details once again. Please go through each and every field and make sure there are no spelling mistakes or wrong information. You will not get a chance to make changes to the form once you save and print the form. After saving and printing, if you find that there is a mistake, your only choice is to open the application form link again and then fill all the information again.

• When you print the form make sure that the barcode on the top appears in the prints out
• It will provide you an appointment date. Ignore this. This is not your appointment date. In our case anyway we are applying through mail. So not need to even bother about this.

• You will have four pages to print and you need to complete the information requested in rest of the fields using pen.

Now we will see the fields in the rest of the application which might cause confusion.

• Specimen Signature - You need to sign with in the box and this is what is going to appear in your passport.

• Payment of fee – Fill the Amount Paid $/E as $81.This includes Application Fee of $78 and VFS Service Fee of $3.Please refer below link for details.


• Mode of Payment – This can be Demand draft / money order/ banker’s check depending on what you have taken. I used Personal Money Order from Bank of America for $81.It will cost you $81+$5 Service Fee. You can go to BOA and ask for Personal Money Order.

• For delivery by mail $/E – You can mention NA(Not Applicable) here

• Local car driving license No – Mention your US drivers license number.

• When did applicant first leave India –In case you don’t have this information handy, refer your existing passport and see if you can see the airport immigration seal for the first time departure from India. The sample application confuses more as it says this is the LAST DATE OF EXIT FROM INDIA and then the next question is when was he/she in India last?

• When was he/she in India last – This should be the last date of exit from India. Again if you don’t have this info, refer the passport and see the Airport Immigration seal.

• How long has applicant continuously resided abroad?- I am not sure about the answer to this question. I have taken the total number of months between my last exit from India and the date of submitting the application.

• Present Emigration Status(ECR or ECNR) – This is based on certain criteria. Most of us who come to US are professional degree holders . So we come under the category ECNR.Refer below link if you are not a professional degree holder.


• Profession and business address – Mention your profession.For example IT Professional/Software Engineer/Scientist etc and then the address of your office. Most probably there will not be enough space to put the complete address. So you have to write it small.

• Did applicant ever posses any other nationality or travel document of any other country? If so please give details – This is a confusing question at least for me. So here is my interpretation. They are asking if you were citizen of any other country or at least were having passport of any other country and not like if you possessed VISA or Work Permit from any other country.

For example, if you have traveled to Europe or UK or Middle East you will have VISA stamped on your passport. We don’t need to mention those as travel documents here

• Name and address of two relatives/friends – This needs not be necessarily your relatives/friends in USA. This can be of your relatives/friends in India. I provided address of my uncles in India.

Let me know if you find any more fields in the form confusing. We can add a description regarding that here so that it is useful for others who wants to renew the passport.

3. Nationality Verification Form with Photograph

Download the Nationality verification form from below link

http://www.vfsglobal.com/india/usa/pdf/Performa-for-Verification_28.05.12.pdf

Attach a recent photo in the space provided. Refer below link for photo specifications

http://www.vfsglobal.com/india/usa/passport_after_10_years_photospec.html

Complete all the fields, if there is any information request that is not relevant to you, please mention NA. Almost all the information requested here can be obtained from your current passport as well as the application form that we just completed apart from item 13 and 15.

For item 13, please mention Not Applicable

In item 15 you need to mention the name and address of the travel agent who provided you the ticket for your last travel from India to USA. For corporate like TCS,Infosys etc there will be a travel agent to which the ticketing is outsourced. You need to provide their address. For others, you need either have it in your memory or refer a copy of the ticket. I had emails from my travel agent and I had the address and name there.

4. Photocopy of first five and last 2 pages of passport

5. Notarized photocopy of proof of valid visa

• Take color photo copy of your valid VISA page in your passport and get it notarized.

• If you are a Bank of America or Chase customer, they should be able to help with notarization free of cost. Otherwise you need to approach a public notary. They normally charge $10 for first document and then a max of $25 even if the documents are more. 

6. Notarized photocopy of proof of residence

 The proof can be your US Driver’s License, US State ID, US Utility bill such as gas, electric or water or Rental Lease agreement or Home Mortgage bill. For applicants above 60 years of age who do not have any such documents, a copy of their State ID may be enclosed.

7. Three photographs as per specification and  with White background


Here there can be confusion. Does this 3 photographs include the one that we pasted in the application?. Yes, it includes the one that we pasted in your application. So apart from the one that you pasted in the application, you need to have two more

Here is the link to specifications for the photo.

http://www.vfsglobal.com/india/usa/passport_after_10_years_photospec.html

I did my photo first at the local Walgreens but that one was blurry because the person who took the photograph was holding the camera in his hand while taking the photo instead of using a tripod.Then I went to Sears. Although sears is really costly, they did a good job. You can have it in Walmart, CVS,Cosco too

8. Application Fee

In our case this is $81 unless you are a frequent traveler and need a Jumbo Booklet. .This can be provided in the form of Demand draft / money order/ banker’s check . I used Personal Money Order from Bank of America for $81.It will cost you $81+$5 Service Fee. You can go to BOA and ask for Personal Money Order.

9. Prepaid self addressed envelope with tracking facility

You can get the prepaid envelop from any service provider USPS,FedEx etc. I preferred USPS. You may either go for USPS Express Mail 12-1/2" x 9-1/2" envelope with a single day guaranteed delivery with tracking-this will cost you 18.95 or USPS Priority Mail 12-1/2" x 9-1/2" with 2-3 days guaranteed delivery with tracking-this will cost you $5.90 .
Now you can mention the from address as the address of the consulate and to address as your address since this is for return mail in which you are going to get the new passport and other documents..Click on the below link and then click the consulate name to get the address
http://www.vfsglobal.com/india/usa/Postal_Application.html 
For example my consulate was Atlanta since I live in Florida

Prefer to fold this envelope by the side only and not at the middle to fit in the envelope in which you will be sending the documents.

The above documents are mandatory. Based on your specific case, you might require to provide additional documents. For example, if you are recently married and want to include your Spouse's name in the new passport, you need to provide notarized photocopy of your marriage certificate along with above documents.

Once you have all the required documents,take a print out of the checklist available at below link and mark whichever is applicable to you and then place it in the same order as mentioned in the checklist along with the marked checklist
http://www.vfsglobal.com/india/usa/pdf/checklist_31oct2012.pdf 

Once you place all the documents including your passport as well as the prepaid self addressed envelope in the envelope in which you will be sending the documents to consulate., you can head to the post office for sending it to the consulate. Again address for sending the documents can be obtained from above link.

You can track the package at below link by keying the tracking code at upper right corner of the receipt in the search box

https://www.usps.com/ 


How to track your application


Once the application is received by VFS, they will send you an email with Application Reference Number at the email address that you have mentioned in your application. The email normally comes from the address DoNotReply@vfsglobal.com.

Once you have the Application Reference Number, you can track the status at the below link

https://www.vfsglobalonline.com/IHC-USA-TRACKER/




If you have any correction or suggestion about the above article, please let me know. Again the intention of this article is to help all those who are looking for information on how to renew an Indian passport  through mail while in USA.

272 comments:

1 – 200 of 272   Newer›   Newest»
Logan J. Skew said...

Great blog, thanks for sharing it with us

Travel Documents for US

Manjunath ulthi said...

Very nice post sudeep..This really helped me and clarified lot of my questions..... Excellent job and thanks for your time in putting these together

manjunath

Prasanth said...

Excellent post. Clarified my questions. Thanks for a nice blog..

iHelper M said...

Thank you for the post.

I got my password renewed in just 1 week from VFS Sanfrancisco office. I sent my docs by mail.

There are some other helpful tips for the post viewer:

1. Complete all the forms with proper details and pay good attention while filling them.

2. If you have Bank Of America Salary account, you can get your photocopies attested for free of cost. (You need to carry all the original docs and their photocopies which you want to be attested; I got my Indian marriage certificate photocopy also attested as I wanted to add my wife name in passport)

3. To be on a safer side, fill 'change of appearance' form and get it attested by a notary (Bank of America in my case)

4. You will need 3 photos, one which you paste on application form, 2nd you will paste on nationality form and 3rd which you staple at the last page of application form. You will need one more photo to paste on 'change of appearance ' form, if you are filling it (so total 4 photos for such cases).

5. Once you are done filling and attesting all the docs, you can head to any USPS post office (search USPS office locator and select 'post office only' to get a USPS office near your location). You can choose other communication mode - FedEx or UPS- but I did mine through USPS so I am covering my experience with them which was good.

6. At the post office, stand in queue and at your turn ask the USPS representative that you want to make a money order of $81 (you either need to have cash or debit card, credit card are NOT accepted for payment)
7. The total charge of this transaction would be $82.15 ($81 money order+$1.15 USPS charge).
Enter the name and address of VFS global and purpose of memo and your details on the money order.
8. You will get money order instantly, once you get it, ask the USPS representative for two USPS express envelops of the size mentioned in this post (you can select other less expensive envelops e.g. priority). The express envelops will cost you $18.95*2= $37.9 (you can pay this amount by credit card).

9. The USPS representative will ask you to fill the address in both envelops and come to him once done.

10. Fill the address as suggested in this post.

11. Go back to the USPS representative and hand over both envelops after putting all the docs and money order, your passport in one which has 'to address' of VFS global office.
(My USPS representative was helpful, she checked addresses on both envelops and put the one envelop which had my address in ‘To address’ in the other one and asked me to verify the docs.)

12. Once you have put all the docs, passport, money order and the envelop in the other envelop, verify all of them.
13. The USPS representative will seal envelop and will ask you to note the tracking numbers for both envelops. (I unchecked the ‘signature required upon receiving’ option)
14. You are done.
Note: To be on a safer side, i took colour print of my passports first, last and visa before sending my passport for renewal.
Disclaimer: The above mentioned info is for helping people . Users of this info should use this info at their discretion and their own risk.

Sudeep said...

Thanks for all your comments. I have updated the post asking the reader to read the comments as well especially the one from iHelper M.Thanks

Job Hunter '10 said...

Great Blog, thank you!

I am a professional degree holder, but got my passport before graduation and therefore have a ECR stamp.

Is there anything additional i need to do while applying for renewal to ensure that i don't get ECR again?

Sandeep said...

Can someone please help me what i should fill for "Travel Agent" Information as i booked the ticket myself when coming over to US through Emirates website ?

IamCommonMan said...

@Sandeep, as per instructions, if you have booked ticket on your own, you can provide the travel agent at NIL.
Refer to the sample National verification form for details @ http://www.vfsglobal.com/india/usa/passport_after_10_years_applicationform.html

Hope this helps.

Nups said...

Thanks for the post.. very helpful information!

pc said...

Awesome information, was really helpful.

NW Guy said...

1.FedEx does not do return self addressed envelop. You will have to go USPS only.

2. Q11 on National verification form I choose last time when I left India

3. Q12 on National verification form I choose last time I arrived in US till the time of applying for application.

Thanks Sudeep and iHelper.

And Yes I agree with all of you that is heck of a lot confusion to get this renewal form filled lol !

thomas said...

thank u for the post , excellent job.

Rohini said...

I have a quick question - UPS also offers notary services; would this suffice for getting the notarized copies?

SP said...

As of May 7th VFS Global is no longer a Passport Service Provider. Indian Government has hired a new service provider now, who is completely unresponsive. What a mess..

Mathew John said...

VFS received my passport application and forwarded to Atlanta consulate on APRIL 10th, no new yet. My ticket to India is on may 25th. Can some one help me please







Sudeep said...

Yes. That's enough Rohini

Sudeep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sudeep said...

Mathew,You can request the status by sending an email to consulate. They respond within hours.

SS said...

I am facing issues with the new service provider.I have a question for Sudeep.Did VFS have an option to send prepaid postal envelope, because BLS does not seem to mention that anywhere.SP, were u able to send ur application.Yes, I agree they are not at all responsive.

Chaitanya Sameer said...

Thank you for the post! I have been calling bls to find out about the return courier fees but the phone is continuously engaged since yesterday. There is no response to my email either.

Does anyone know what should be done to request return service of passport from bls - prepaid envelope or money order?

ArunS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SQLSharma vaibhav said...

just got BLS on phone- you can send a prepaid envelope for return,no need for diff money order,hope it helps.

Chaitanya Sameer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chaitanya Sameer said...

Great.. Thank you Vaibhav! That helps!
Another question - My wife is in India right now. Will the photo copy of her passport that is notarized in India acceptable here for my passport renewal?

Sriveena Syam said...

I sent both mine and my sons passport for renewal with a 2 week difference .My renewed came back in 10 days.My sons was forwarded to bls.So far no updates of any kind.It has been 2 weeks.Tried calling Nobody picks the call at the toll free no given.The website does not even recognize the vfs tracking no.Dunno what to do.

kt said...

Great post and comments.

Does anyone know for BLS applications what name does the money order/banker's check need to be addressed to? The notes in 2 different sections on website have 2 different names "BLS International US" in Postal application section of the website and "BLS Services (USA) Inc." in the FAQs.

Thanks
kt

Shuchi said...

Thanks so much Sudeep for posting such helpful information. And to all the other contributors who left their comments. For those of you who are trying to get in touch with BLS to no avail this past few days, here are my two cents. Try to create a cover letter stating all the documents that you have enclosed with your passport. There is some major contradiction in the info available on the BLS website and even in the checklist. So having a cover letter will guide the ones who will receive your passport application in the end. Good luck!

GuptaSapna said...

1. do we get a new passport number in case of lost passport
2. BLS sfo no one responds to the calls can any one send me an alt number for bls - sfo branch
3. i havent rceived any confirmation that my application was accepted
USPS trackign system says it was delivered on May 9th but there is no response since then

Any help is appreciated.
Thanks!

Vamsee said...

Hi friends,
1. Can any one tell me the photo specifications.They have contadicting sizes (3.5 cm X 3.5 cm in check list Vs 2 inch X 2 inch in website).
2. Also, is the money order only way of paying with postal applications
3. Are there any other documents that should be sent with postal forms (their postal submission site says other form with declaration.

Please clarify.

Thanks

Naveed said...

Thank you so much for putting all the information in on place, this is really informative and life saver.Really appreciate everybody's effort.

Naveed said...

Thank you so much Sudeep for putting all the information in one place,this is really very helpful and life saver.And thanks to others too who added additional information.Excellent job!

Jim said...

@GuptaSapna i had similar issue i don't know when they will send me the application reference number,
any luck about your application tracking?

GuptaSapna said...

i have an appointment with the sfo center on nay 29th i will go and check the status of my application :(

Ilango said...

Hi Sudeep
I have a question about the Nationality Verification Form. You say" In item 15 you need to mention the name and address of the travel agent who provided you the ticket for your last travel from India to USA. "

So, I had travelled to India last in November 2012. I had purchased my ticket directly from the United Airlines website.
Do you think I should enclose copies of the emails/tickets?

Thanks for all the help.

SSC said...

This post has been very helpful. However, I have a question. I am also changing my maiden surname to my husbands surname. I wanted to know if I should put my husbands surname and check the box and enter my maiden full name?

Sudeep said...

Dear Ilango, Please refer the comments from Iamcommonman on March 25

Priyanka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Priyanka said...

Thanks for the time and effort you put into this post. Really appreciate it. I have a question though, I don't think the vfs.org site exists anymore. Is there any other official site you could please direct us to?
Thank You.

RT said...

Great blog with a lot of helpful tips. I wanted to contribute to how you can track your postal application. Here is how you can track your postal application:

1. Go to http://www.blsindia-usa.com/
2. Select Postal Application Tracking under the menu
3. Enter the tracking number you used to mail your package
4. Obtain your application number from the results
5. Use this application number and your personal details to track your application using "Application Tracking" option under the menu at http://www.blsindia-usa.com/

Ganesh Periasamy said...

Hi Guptasadna & Jim,

I sent my application for renewal of passort to NY blsindia on May10 thru post. I see the status in bls-india as "Application recieved by bls Newyork on May 15". I havent received the application reference id in my mail yet,

Did you get any luck in tracking your application ?

I am worried... What are all the other options available to track the application ? Can we go directly to track the application? if yes where should i go, bls-india newyork or Indian embassy NY.

Pls help.

Ganesh

Ganesh Periasamy said...

Sudeep,
I followed steps listed by RT to track postal applicatoin, but on step 4,
I just see the message 'Applicatoin recieved successfully' but no other details like application reference number.

Any idea ?

Morice said...

Very Nice post..

The BLS site mentions one of requirements as below

3 copies of printed and filled Nationality Verification Form/ Personal Particulars form & 3 photographs for personal particular form

Do we need to take 3 copies of nationality verification form with photo on each? So in total would need (3 photos on application + 3 photos for nationality verfication + 1 photo for change of appearance) - 7 photos?

Please help.

Unknown said...

HI sudeep and everyone on this blog,

This is my bibile and most of the information provided here is very useful.

I have quesiton regarding ECR and ECNR. in my current passport, ECNR has been striked out so I am assuming I should check ECR.

if ECNR then what document as a proof I need to submit.

for verification form, for Q11 do I need to put the date when I visited india for the last time?

and for Q12 what period I need to put? My first entry to US or last entry to US?

Ilango said...

Hi Sudeep
I looked at Iamcommonman's comments and tried to follow the link he talks about. Unfortunately the vfs-global website is no longer active.
I am not sure what he means by NIL.
I guess I will go with what I understand from your instructions. I have my e-tickets. I hope that helps

sindhu said...

Hi,
I sent docs for Name Splitting via mail to BLS USA san Francisco. I have not received any email confirmation on receiving the documents. Also what is tracking number? Where can I find it?

Munch on said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cyborg said...

Hi Sudeep.. Thanks for this wonder blog. Appreciate your help to the Indian community.

Hi Ganesh.. any update on your case? I too get the same message that application was received but no reference number.. Not sure how RT got it to work.

Hope all turns out well.. I sent my PP for renewal on 20th and it says that BLS received it on 21st of June.

Thank You

sindhu said...

Hi Sudeep,
Thanks for this useful post. When I applied, your post was of great help.

I just received my new Passport from BLS USA San Francisco. I had applied for Name Splitting. I had FNU in my Visa. BLS is not responsive to emails or phone calls. Initially I was worried but they sent my new Passport in 3 weeks.

Here's what I did,
- I filled in online application, collected and filled in all required forms, got few documents notarised and mailed them with $91.20 Cashier's Cheque and a return USPS envelope on May 31st.

- Keep checking, http://passport.blsindia-usa.com/postaltracking.php . Here enter your airway bill number. Mine, on June 5th it reflected as 'received' with a tracking number or application reference number(application reference number is different from your online application number)

-Once you have tracking number or application reference number, keep checking http://passport.blsindia-usa.com/trackapp.php. Fill in the required fields. Then you can see your application details with application status. Mine, initially application staus was 'Processing at Consulate'. Then on June 21st it was 'Dispatched Via Courier'. On June 25th I received my new passport.

Priyanka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Munch on said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Munch on said...

This was a bible which I referred to for every minute detail! I got my passport renewed and here is the contact number for BLS that you can call 2012052097. I think its the call center and executives are very friendly.This number was given to me by Chicago office, my jurisdiction was Houston and no one responded to my calls.

phani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rohit Juturu said...

Hi,

I have applied for passport renewal in Newyork consulate. Passport got renewed but the new passport has US address instead of India address. I tried reaching the consulate, but no response from their end. Can any one let me know how to get the address changed to Indian address?

cyborg said...

Hi Sudeep -

Thanks again for this post.. I successfully got my Passport Renewed from Houston Consulate through BLS.

Sent Post on June 20th, Delivered by June 21st. And Thanks to Sindhu for mentioning how to track the status.

I received email from BLS for my reference number on Jun 26th. Once I got the reference number I was able to track the status and tracking said Application Date to be June 26th instead of June 21st on which date they actually received the mail.. which I think is normal. So they actually started to work on my case after 5 days of receiving the mail.

Finally, two or three days back when I was tracking the status of the application..I saw the status changed to Ready for Dispatch and then finally Dispatched via Courier.

Once it said "Dispatched via Courier".. I started to track the mail through the tracking number which I had. I received the mail today.

Mail sent: 20th June.
Mail received with new PP: 11th July

Hi Rohit, we will get Local US address on Passport if we renew it from USA.. I don't think it is an issue and it cannot be changed to India address I believe while we are in USA.

Thanks to all.

Manish Singh said...

Hi,

I still have to clear below three points so please reply if anyone has recently applied for Re-issue of passport after 10 years in Chicago or other state through BLS:

1. On online form, "Address to be printed" should be US Address OR India permanent Address.

2. BLS is charging total $91.20 for this service. Are they accepting only Bank cheques/ money order OR in person they are accepting payment through Debit/Credit cards also.

3. This fee $91.20 includes fee for passport delivery or have to pay separately for that. If yes then how much amount and what is the payment mode.


Thanks,
M. Singh

sarojini said...

Just wanted to check the photo requirements: 1 goes on the main application. Then I make three copies of the filled out nationality verification form and affix a photo to each -- so 3 photos here. And then I attach 3 additional photos. So I need 7 photos total. Is that right?

Priyanka said...

That is right Sarojini. Just what I did too.

sarojini said...

Thanks Priyanka! How long did yours take to process? Did you do it under the VFS regime or the new BLS regime? :)

Manish Singh said...

Hi,

Can anyone please help me with my queries. (Posted 16 July).


Thanks,
Manish

Takrima Sadikot said...

Hi I am applying for reissue of passport and i have everything ready to go, but i have a problem that my VISA expired in 2010, but i have a valid I-20.

Can i still go ahead with postal application or do i need to get an appointment for an interview.

phani said...

Hi Takrima,

same situation. I am applying with i-20 notary copy.

Syed Murtuza Abbas said...

Hey Sudeep,
Thanks for the excellent post. It's really helpful.

I have a couple of questions:
1. I filled in my current US mobile no. for both 'Phone no.' under 'address to be printed' and 'Mobile no.' under 'other address'. Do you think if it's ok?
2. In the part of the online form that we need to fill by hand after printing, you wrote 'For delivery by mail $/E – You can mention NA(Not Applicable) here', I am not sure if this is the case for me or not. I mean what does this field really mean and who does it apply to?

Thanks

Priyanka said...

1. It is absolutely fine to put the same number under both the sections. Because if you don't,. it will appear as 0.
A telephone number appears better than just a 0.
2. Not sure who it applies to. But I believe it should be safe to write NA. Call them and ask to be extra sure if you want. But do not overthink this
form too much. I know they have made it complicated unnecessarily.

Priyanka


Vijayakumar Potlapadi said...

Hello Friends,

I just sent the postal to BLS-ATL on July 29. I sent 1 application form with photo, 1 national verification form with photo and 3 additional photos. Also, supporting doc as per the checklist. Now, looking at @Priyanka and@Sarojini comments, it seems 3 national verification forms, which I missed to read out in the guidelines (but not mentioned in checklist). Does anyone has this situation recently, worried will the processing put on hold or application returned. Someone please clarify.

Thanks
Vijay-

Priyanka said...

aargh..they might return it Vijay..or hopefully, they will contact you and ask you for the remaining docs. Hope for the best , prepare for the worst..Goodluck

Vijayakumar Potlapadi said...

Thanks for the reply Priyanka. Had a close peek at BLS website. In 'Requirement' section they mentioned as '3 NV form'. But in the FAQ and Checklist they have mentioned as 'A copy of NV form...'. I just followed as per checklist. Not sure, how they respond. still have not got any acknowledge. Will keep posted on the reply.

Vijay-

Syed Murtuza Abbas said...

@Priyanka: Hey thanks for answering my question. I have a few more doubts. I appreciate if anyone could answer.
1. In the permanent address field in the application form, for the address 'to be printed on passport', do we need to put in our US address or India address. I know someone above mentioned US address, but I'd thought I'd ask what others have done. It makes more sense to me to put in my Indian permanent address, rather than my US address which is not permanent.
2. In the application form, what should I check for the present emigration status? ECR or ECNR? It says '(With documentary evidence)'.
What documentary evidence do we need to attach?
3. For 'Did applicant ever possess any other nationality or travel document of any other country?' I know someone said NA for this field above. Just wanted to make sure what others are doing since I have US visa stamped on my passport.
4. Do we need to fill in the 'Postal application form' too? Nobody has mentioned that here, but it's available here http://passport.blsindia-usa.com/howtoapplypostal.php
5. In the change of appearance affidavit what address do we need to put in, india or US? Do we need to check the options that apply to us in the affidavit? Or cut out the ones that do not apply?
I'd appreciate if someone could answer some or all of the questions. Thanks.


Sudeep said...

Dear Syed, for point 1 -Adress to be printed in the passport,you should fill your US address .Please refer the blog for details.
For point 2- Are you a professional degree holder?.If yes then definitely ECNR
For point 3- NA should be fine unless you posses passport of another country.



Sudeep said...

Dear Sindhu, Thanks for the update. So there is not much change in process eventhough the vendor changed from VFS to BLS. Thanks

Sudeep said...

Dear Rohit, When you renew passport in USA. Only US address will be printed in psssport.

Manoj Naik said...

Hi Sudeep,

Great blog.. Thanks for sharing.
But I am just a little curious because I am unable to find a few questions mentioned here. I do not find any questions regarding ECNR or the "Have you held citizenship of any other country" questions. Are these questions part of the regular passport re issue form?

Manoj Naik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hello All,

Thanks for everyone contribution. Today I have submitted passport (reissue) application to BLS office at Houston. I went in person to submit the application.

Though I have booked appointment on Aug 9, I went earlier today(Aug 02) because I need to renew ASAP. I have complete the formalities in 20 min. I have went all documents and everything perfect.

BLS personal was very cooperative and helpful. Process is very smooth and fine.

Few quick points (only main points) follow the procedure as per BLS web site.

a) Photo - I have taken in CVS 2x2 inch. First copy is 12$ and every additional copy 29 cents. I have taken 10 photos on safe side.

i) 1 photo -in Online application form

ii) 1Photo in Nationality verification form

iii) 3 Photos for submission.

So total 5 photos required. I have submitted appearance change document so I pasted one more there.

Only one copy of Nationality verification form is enough.

b) Coming to Affidavit - I have taken in our Office where one of employee is Notary public. In BLS office itself there is an notary public she charges 6$ per signature.

c) I have purchased USPS flat rate Express priority mail envelope is 19.95$. They will give an envelope, mailing sheet and stamp worth 19.95$. NLS personal able to fill all details (I have filled TO address) and pasted stamp.

d) For travel agent question - I have written my company name.

e) BLS person asked me to write a letter for signature change. My signature has changed in last 10 years. In white paper, I have written a simple plain letter to consulate general and provides specimen signature.

f) In case of applying for tatkal - please go with proper proof for tatkal. Either letter from office stating for quick renewal or reissue or in case of personal issue like marriage take a invitation card or booked tickets. Otherwise normal mode only.

g) You can pay in CASH. Take a exact change.

h) BLS personal give reciepet and explain how to track the application

I) For normal mode - she said 7 to 10 working days.

k)Please take glue, stapler etc.

l) For ECNR - they will take from current passport. I have provided photo copy for degree certificate she said that is not required.

l) BLS personal enter all information in system and asked us verify. Please review carefully she did spelling mistake for me, I have asked her correct the same.

Any other questions please let me know.

Regards
Lakshmanan

Vinayak Singh said...

Thanks for the awesome blog Sudeep. I will share my experience too.

My wife, my son and mine passport were expiring in next 2-11 months so I started the process and went through a lot of forums. The process that I followed was pretty same with a little differences here or there.

Our Visa(H1 and H4) expired in November 2012 and we are here on the extended stay which means that we have I797 approved but No Visa Status. That means 7 PP forms and some more documentation.

Documents that I sent:

1. 10 PP forms with my photo glued.
2. 3 Bank drafts for PP renewal.
3. 3 postage paid return envelopes. I bought UPS envelopes and I sent my documents too with UPS so that I can track.
4. I took color printouts of everything and got it attested from my company Notary. Every company has a Notary as far as I know.
5. As we are out of status with expired visa, we submitted Affidavit for No status. BLS website says that the affidavit is to be signed by 2 Green Card Holders who have Indian Passport. A photocopy of their GC and Passport has to be submitted. Unfortunately, I do not know any GC holder with Indian passport. I just got it notorized and sent it.

6. Postal application form.

There were like tons of documents we sent. The total cost of sending the documents and prepaid envelopes was $70.

We got our renewed passports back in about 3 weeks.

Harish said...

Vinayak,

Thank you for the post. I am in a similar situation, out of H1/H4 status. With the extended status, do you now have to leave the US to get a visa stamp in your passport?

Ashish said...

Hi, I would like to apply for My Son's passport renewal. L2 Visa on the Passport is already expired in March 2013 but he has valid I-94 till December 2013. In this case which document I need to sent as valid Visa Status? Please help!

Vinayak Singh said...

Yes Harish. We need to leave the U.S. to get H1B stamped. Options available for us to go to Canada, Mexico or back to India for stamping.

Sudeep said...

Dear Ashish,This is what bls website says. " 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."

Sudeep said...

Dear Vinayak, Thankyou for the updates.

Sudeep said...

Dear Ashish, Please also refer item 5 in documents list provided by Vinayak in his comments.

Sudeep said...

Thanks for the update Lakshmanan.

Ashish said...

Thanks Sudeep, I understand what is on the BLS Website but none of them applied for me. I have not applied for my visa extension as I have valid I-94 till Dec 2013. Also I am not in "NO STATUS". In this case, Is I-94 notarized copy is sufficient to prove the Visa validity along with Visa Copy?

Vinayak Singh said...

No problem Sudeep. You have done a great work and you are helping a lot of people.

Ashish, in your case, you have a valid I-94 so I believe that should be sufficient. Send a color photocopy of your I-94 duly Notorized and 10 copies of PP form.

I will still recommend to talk to your company attorney who handles Visas. People on the forums can speak out of their experiences but in reality we are no professionals. :)

dp347347 said...

Hi, great blog by the way. I'm just wondering how long it takes for them to send your passport back. I sent it on July 22 and I checked the status and it says dispatched via courier. The thing is I sent a return UPS envelope and I checked the tracking number for it and the package isn't in the UPS system yet. In other words, it hasn't been scanned. So I'm at loss. It would be great if anyone could me figure out what's up

Payal Shah said...

I want to change my maiden name to married name. Once I send all the required docs to BLS International, how long does it take for the passport to come back? I have heard many issues with BLS International delays. I then need to fill DS-160 for Visa Stamping. Also can I fill the DS-160 in my maiden name and then apply for passport name change?

Harish said...

Vinayak,

Thank you for the response. Did the USCIS specify which consulate you had to go to? My H1B approval says Chennai consulate. No I-94 attached.

Is there a way to speak to you directly about your experience?

Vinayak Singh said...

Harish, for me USCIS did not specify any consulate. I am assuming that it will be Chennai as my previous H1B was stamped from Chennai. My employer has offices in Bangalore and Chennai. But the attorney can request a change in the Visa Interview location. Your I-94 thing is interesting. I have I-94 attached at the bottom of the approval notice. Check your documents again, I-94 must be there. If there is no I-94 then you might have bigger problems. Send me a mail on vinayak.singh@gmail.com

Sudeep said...

Hi , For me it took more than a month.Sumitted the application through mail on 11/13/2012 and received the new passport on 12/29/2012. After the status changed to dispatched via courier , it took 4 days to receive the package and I remember that it took some time for tracking info to appear on usps site.

Sudeep said...

Dear Payal , I think the time depends on whether your info is readily available in their database or not but expect a minimum of 4-6 weeks as a general rule.

Sunny Shah said...

Its been 4 weeks since my application started (according to the tracking on BLS website). The status has been showing "Processing at Consulate General" for three weeks now. I was wondering if anyone tried to physically visit the Indian Consulate in Chicago to inquire about the status since BLS people just reply back and tell you to have patience. Any luck with detailed updates/status by actually showing up to the consulate? Thanks in advance for your help.

Sudeep said...

Dear Sunny, like I mentioned before, if your details are not readily available your application might take time. I believe Bls will not have the status once the application is forwarded to the consulate for processing. In case you need the passport urgently or you want to know the status urgently,I would recommend dropping an email to consulate. They are very responsible and quick in responding.Atleast thats my experience. But if there is no urgency, I would say you may wait for one more wee

Sunny Shah said...

Thanks Sundeep.
Just to update everyone here.
Since the processing time for passport was 4 weeks and I hadnt received it (Status online showing "Processing at Consulate"), I showed up to the consulate (not BLS) today and told them that. They were nice about it and told me to come back in the evening to pick up my passport. Hurray !!!

amol pawar said...

Thanks for the post.

My passport will expire in next 6 months. Does the passport number change on renewal?

Sudeep said...

Yes passport number change.

INdian101 said...

I have a valid H4 visa (797A), but my US visa on passport is expired. Does that mean i need to complete "Notarized Affidavit of no status with Notarized photocopy of the valid Indian Passport and the valid green card of 2 witness?"

shivu_kp said...

Hi Sudeep & Vinayak Singh, my case is also same as case Vinayak Singh case, L1 expired and I’m on i94 extn, could you please let me know what PP form is? Is it “Performa for Verification of Nationality status” form? Also, could you please advise me on 3 bank drafts for PP renewal?

Ellilou Ilano said...

If you need to fill out any PDF form online visit this website http://goo.gl/G4GusU

Skydiver said...

Thank you Sudeep for an awesome post.

1. To whom should the money order be addressed to: Consultate or BLS International? What is the exact address to make a money order?

2. How to notarize all the documents?

3. I am a student. Do I need to send a copy of I-20 or the original I-20?

Thanks in advanced from SkyDiver.

electro.stress said...

Hi Sudeep,

I had a question regarding colour photocopy of valid visa. I have tried several printing places but nobody seems to take colour photocopies of passport or visas. Apparently its a law against it in america. What should I do then? Can a black n white copy be enough?

Syed Murtuza Abbas said...

Mailed my passport application to BLS New York on 3rd August. Received back the new passport on 26th August. I put in my permanent India address as the one to be printed by them on the new passport, which they did. This blog was a great help. Thanks to all the contributors.

Vijayakumar Potlapadi said...

Hello all
Just want to update that I received my passport.

I sent the postal application on 5-aug, and I got the received status on 7-aug.
On 8-aug, it turned out as 'processing at consulate general'
On 20-aug, it said 'received passport'
On 21-aug, it said 'ready for dispatch'
On 22-aug, it said 'dispatched through courier'
Received the passport on 23-aug

And surprisingly I see my India address in the passport :-).
For me the process went smooth with bls-atlanta

electro.stress said...

Vijayakumar, did you mail a colour photocopy of your valid visa/I-797,Green card or so? I mail a notarized black n white copy of my visa cause I couldn't get a color printout anywhere. Is that going to be an issue?

Hema said...

Great blog,my passport is expiring on next month and i am collecting all the documents required(this blog is helping me a lot). As it is mentioned that i can get attestation of document at bank of america instead a public notary.I have no branch of this bank in alabama state,can i get attestation of doc by BBVA compass bank?
I have a valid DS2019, but passport and visa expiring on next month, do i need additional documents for this status....plz help. Need urgent help....

Sudeep said...

Dear Syed, Thanks for the update. So looks like they are printing Indian address now. That's good.

Skydiver said...
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Skydiver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vijayakumar Potlapadi said...

@electro.stress
I took black & white copy of visa

Vijay

Sudeep said...

Dear Syed, Thanks for the update. So looks like they are printing Indian address now. That's good.

Skydiver said...
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Skydiver said...
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My car said...

My passport is going to be expire on July 2014, can apply for renewal now

Ramesh VK said...

Yes .Your passport can be renewed up to twelve months prior to its expiry date.

Skydiver said...

@Mycar: You can apply for renewal upto 1 year earlier than the date of expiration. Yes you can apply for renewal now.

Skydiver said...

Do we need to notarize copies of passport, filled online application and national verification form too?

Rama Sirigade said...

Hi Sudeep,

Do you know the format for the following:

Self-Written Affidavit for change in signature.

BLS returned my passport application requesting the above affidavit. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks in Advance
Ram

Abhishek said...

Hi,

I submitted my application via post to Chicago on 07/31. On 08/02, I received an email stating that my application has been accepted and on the next day the status was updated to 'Processing at Consulate General'. There has been no update since. I tried reaching BLS Chicago via email and phone but there has been no reply.

Has anyone faced similar delay's pertaining to applications submitted in Chicago?

Sudeep said...

Dear Ram,

This is the closest I could find regarding self-written affidavit for change in signature
http://www.affidavitform.in/2010/04/format-of-affidavitdeclaration-for.html
Since you are in USA, you may not execute this in stamp paper.Instead, you may execute it in plain paper and get it Notarized by a public notary in USA.

Also I would suggest to email the format to BLS and confirm before proceeding.

rahul singh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rahul singh said...

My passport is expiring in feb 2014 but I need to apply for my H1 visa extension now. Can I apply for passport renewal now or passport renewal can be applied only before 1 year of expiry date.

rahul singh said...

My passport is expiring in jan 2015
.

Sonesh Malik said...

my indian passport going to expire in june 2014 and im travelling to india in oct 2013 and planning to come back with in six monts by march end or april 1st week of 2014. somebody told me that I can not travel if my passport expiry date has less than 90 days on it. I m green card holder, can u provide some information on that.

k3g263 said...

Hi Sudeep

I am trying to renew my passport and I guess now every applicant is required to send a BLS Order form. In the form it asks for airway bill number and I don't what that is asking for? I figured it would be like the tracking number I get when posting the application and thought I might print out the form and then fill it in. But it won't let me print the form. Any idea on what I should do? Any help regarding this question is greatly appreciated!

jappreet singh said...

Hi Sudeep,

Thank you for setting up such an informative blog.

I have 2 questions,

1.I submitted my online application on the BLS website and now when I try to go back to reprint the filled application form and fill in the web file number and date of birth, it says please enter correct file number and date of birth. I am putting in the number generated after submitting the form and my date of birth. Is this an isolated issue or someone else has run into this issue as well?
2.I also wanted some information on "a self-explanation letter as to why the passport was not renewed?" since my passport had expired 2 years ago. I am a green card holder and did not have the need to go India. Is there a set pro forma to write that letter.

Any information will be much appreciated.

Abhishek said...

After some follow up, I finally received my Passport from Chicago after a total of 5 and half weeks. The passport has my US address in it. Glad its done though :)!!

Thanks Sudeep for a very helpful blog!!



p singh said...

Hi Sudeep,
My problem is that we are out of status and need two greencard holder witnesses .unfortunately we don't know of two ppl with greencard here.
I read Vinayak's post with the same issue. He just notarized the affidavit and sent it. He got his pp's renewed.
Could you verify or advice me if I should also just send the affidavit notarized. Will that satisfy the bls requirement?
Thanks,
P singh

Kiran said...

For change of appearance form, what address do we have to keep in? Is it the US current address or Indian permanent address? I would appreciate if someone responds to this.

Anees Fatima Shaik said...

Hi All
No doubt its a detailed and helpful blog. I have something to add to it.. I was going through Consulate General of India website and I found "Address to be printed on passport" question and I found it is suppose to be your indian address incase of renewal. Please refer website
http://www.cgisf.org/contents/view/78#35
and Question No 37

Im also providing details here:

Q 36: I was submitting application form for renewal of passport. What are the addresses to be filled in the fields “Address to be printed on passport;” and, “Address in country of domicile.”
A: In the field “Address to be printed on passport” enter your address in INDIA. Your country of domicile is the USA. Hence, in the field “Address in country of domicile,” enter your address in the USA.

Suman Kumar Reddy Thodeti said...

Hi,

Thank you for such a detailed blog..I am planning to apply for Renewal of my Passport.. I have below questions:

I have filled the Online registration form @ https://passport.gov.in/nri/OnlineRegistration.jsp?pocode= . When I submitted this form, it is asking me to take an appointment. But I am planning to Apply through Postal Service(Mail) and not in Person. If I do not take the appointment, I dont see an option to Print the Filled-in Online Registration form. I have the temporary application number saved with me. But I cannot retrieve my application using that 12 digit code, which starts with USAXXXXXXXXX. How can I Print the Online Application form without taking appointment?

Also, now we have a new BLS ORder form to be filled and submitted. It does not let us take a print out of the form, unless we provide the Airway Bill Number. But we will not have that until we post(Mail) the application. Please let me know if I am missing something here

Aadee said...

Hi there, thanks a lot for the detailed blog. i just have one question regarding expired passport. Does anyone have a sample for self explanation letter for passport expired less than 6 months ago?
T

All things under the sun said...

Suman- Just continue with accepting any date that the website suggests you. But pls note that date is not a valid appointment. It is probably a technical glitch that passport.gov website and BLS have not yet reconciled. the real appointment is taken from following location
http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/bookappointment.php

In my case just walked in early morning and was fortunate to have accpeted for submission of application. But taking an appointment is advisable. I submitted mine today and will keep you all posted on what happens with my renewal.

Pls also note that in my case my visa was expired but had a valid I-94. I ensured that i had a notarized copy of my I-94 and my I-797 just in case. Ensure that you provide two different addresses for references ( one could be US too).

All things under the sun said...

Suman- Just continue with accepting any date that the website suggests you. But pls note that date is not a valid appointment. It is probably a technical glitch that passport.gov website and BLS have not yet reconciled. the real appointment is taken from following location
http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/bookappointment.php

In my case just walked in early morning and was fortunate to have accpeted for submission of application. But taking an appointment is advisable. I submitted mine today and will keep you all posted on what happens with my renewal.

Pls also note that in my case my visa was expired but had a valid I-94. I ensured that i had a notarized copy of my I-94 and my I-797 just in case. Ensure that you provide two different addresses for references ( one could be US too).

rajeshps1234 said...

@Suman

If you have the reference number saved, you can click on the link
'Online Passport Registration at Indian Missions/Posts for NRIs' under Forms section or alternately click on https://passport.gov.in/nri/Online.do

Click on 'Reprint' Already registered form. It will ask you for the Web file no/Reference number and your date of birth. This web file no is the same as the application number you have with now now. Put in the details and submit. You should be able to see the 4 page application. That will have the date of the appointment as well. Just ignore it if you are sending it by mail.

rajeshps1234 said...

@ Suman

Regarding your query on the second part.

Airway Bill number is same as Tracking number which BLS uses to track your application/return passport delivery by mail. So if you look at online BLS form, there are two places to fill the Airway Bill number if you opt for mail delivery. One for sending the application and the other for receiving the passport. And yes, what you said is correct. You need to have two tracking numbers while filling the form.
For this you need to keep a return postal envelope along with your application if you are expecting return delivery of passport by mail.

I can tell you about the USPS format because that's what I used for sending mine.

I used USPS Express Mail Guaranteed service for both. There are two Envelope formats under Express mail. One that costs $14.95(This looks more like a paper envelope but pretty strong) and the other costs $19.95(standard Document envelope). Both works the same. The difference lies in the size/shape/$ value of the envelope. I used the big envelope($14.95) while sending the docs to BLS and kept the other($19.95) inside for return delivery.

Now the Airway Bill Number:
If you go to USPS, you will be able to see the Airway Bill/Voucher which Sudeep has published in this blog. It has identical 3-4 pages of which one copy is kept by Post office, one is the customer copy and the rest they paste on the envelope. It has a from and to address which you need to fill. Now if you look at the top left corner of this voucher you could see a number starting with 'EI' and ending with 'US' with numbers in between. That entire character/number combination is your Airway Bill Number/Tracking Number. USPS will give the voucher/envelopes to you without any fee. Ask for two envelopes and two vouchers and you are ready to go. Fill in From-'Your Address' and To-'BLS address' on the first voucher. On the second voucher, just the reverse. You will be using the same tracking number while filling the online BLS form. SO make sure you have the correct From/To address while filling the vouchers. While filling the online form, use the first one for sending and the second for receiving.

When you are ready with all the docs/online order form, go to USPS office and paste the first voucher on the envelope you are sending docs to BLS and the second voucher on the return envelope. However for return Envelope, USPS will also paste a stamp on the envelope worth the price of the envelope used. In my case I used $14.95 for sending and $19.95 for return. So they pasted a stamp of $19.95 on the return envelope and pasted the return voucher on the return envelope which I kept inside along with all other docs. It cost me $37 total including the return stamp.

I come under Chicago BLS, so send my docs to Chicago office which is like 160 miles from here. I send the docs on Sep 18th and BLS received it the next day. I could see the tracking info on USPS website using the Airway Bill Number/Tracking no on the day itself.

The same was updated on BLS website once they received it. Now mine is showing Processing at Consulate status. Hope this helps.

rajeshps1234 said...
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rajeshps1234 said...

@Kiran

For change of appearance I kept my USA current address.

rajeshps1234 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rajeshps1234 said...

@skydiver

A) The Moneryorder should be addressed to 'BLS INTERNATIONAL USA'.

B) You should notarize the following main documents.
1) Proof of VISA.
a) if you have valid VISA, notarize a photocopy of the same. Also attach a notarized copy of the I-94 to be on the safer side.

b) if your VISA has expired(which was my case), notarize a color photocopy(that's what it says in BLS site) of I-797A Approval notice(which has valid I-94 at the bottom)

2) Proof of residence:
Notarized copy of Rental Lease Agreement, Utility Bills, State-ID/Driver Licence.

I had my Lease Agreement Notarized. It has 6 pages. I notarized the first and the last pages and stapled other pages together.

To get these documents notarized, either you can approach your bank, they would do it for free. Else you have to look for Notary public in your area. But they may charge a fee for notarizing each doc. Just do a google search for notary public in your area.

Again if you are sending any additional documents, get it notarized too. Like in may case, my appearance has changed, so had to send a notarized Change of Appearance affidavit too.


C)I think you should be sending a notarized copy of I-20. BLS has clearly mentioned under 'Note for Postal applications' that only notarized copies are accepted.

Check this link:
Look under Note for Postal Applications

http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/apply_postal.php#tabs-quote-Step2

rajeshps1234 said...

@ SKydiver

You don't need to notarize

-> Online Application form
-> Nationality verification form
-> Passport Copy(first 5 and last 2 pages)


You should Notarize:

-> Proof of VISA/I-797A with I-94
-> Proof of Residence
-> Any additional docs(Change of Appearance, Change of Signature etc)

Indian said...

Someone please let me know what needs to be filled for Q.11 and Q.12 on the Nationality Verification Form.
I am a green card holder and have been traveling to India every 2 years for a duration of 4 weeks.
Should I fill the date of leaving India during my recent India trip or should I fill the date of leaving India during my very first trip to USA? Please help.

Suman Kumar Reddy Thodeti said...

Thank you all for answering my questions. I was able to print the Online Application form by choosing some random appointment date.

I got the Prepaid Airway Bill Numbers (Onward and Return) after I opened an account with Fedex.

I sent all the documents last week and waiting for update on the same.

Thank you Again !!

abht3384 said...

Hello

I submitted by Postal Passport Reissue application yesterday. Fedex says that its been delivered.

There are two options for Tracking
1. Postal Application for tracking
2. Tracking for BLS order form

Neither of the two show any update.
Any idea how long it takes to show up?

Thanks,
A

Ila Hegde said...

We sent our passport for renewal with a cashier's check in favour of "BLS International USA".We have received a mail saying that the documents have been sent back because the check has to be in favour of "BLS International".The order form had mentioned "BLS International USA".

Arvind said...

@ Ila Hegde
Could you please share more details? I am planning to prepare money order in favour of “BLS International USA" as per the order form. Should it be prepared in favour of “BLS International".
Thanks!!

Natraj Kaushik said...

Applied for passport renewal at BLS-Atlanta.

16 Sep 2013 - Submitted application by person.

17 Sep 2013 - Tracking Status changed to "Processing at Consulate General"

1 Oct 2013 - Tracking Status changed to "Ready for Collection"

3 Oct 2013 - Collected passport in person.

The process went pretty smooth. The address that was printed on the back was my local US address. Total time - 18 days.

Ila Hegde said...

@Aravind- We got an email form SFO BLS that we need to write it in favour of "BLS International". The SFO office do not process Jumbo booklets and we had put in the amount of 116.20.Now we sent them a cashier's cheque for 91.20 in favour of " BLS International" for a regular booklet on Friday October 11th.

Richa said...

I sent an email to Bls Help desk about the name on the money order. This is what they said,

"Dear Applicant,

Greetings from BLS international Services

This has reference to your below mail

Please follow the link and get all the details:
http://passport.blsindia-usa.com/reissue10.php

Preferable method of payment is Money Order or Cashier's Check (Payable to “BLS International USA” )

Please send the documents as per the checklist:
http://passport.blsindia-usa.com/pptchecklist/BLSUSPassportChecklist.pdf

For more information on passport services, please visit to our website:-

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

Thanking you for writing to us."

Vinoth Manickam said...

Hello sudeep,
Whom should sign in the AFFIDAVIT FOR CHANGE IN APPEARANCE form ?

Its confusing the sentence "(This Affidavit may be signed and attested in presence of a Magistrate/Notary/Consular Officer" in change apperance for minor. Please advise me the signature from applicant or notary person ?

radhe cooking recipes said...

hi ,

I applied for passport renewal at houston , and my for change in signature.

My signature didnt change from old passport to the new application form.
Can i send a affidavit stating that my signature is not been changed.

radhe cooking recipes said...

Hi ,

I sent my passport application for renwal at houston.The documents returned back askign to provide
self written affidavit for change of signature.

But i ddnt change my signature i have smae signature as in my old passport and application form.
So can i send a affividit stating that my signature has not been changed.

Please advice.

Thanks!

vanya said...

Appreciate in advance for your help.

1. I am going to renew my passport from chicago

2.I need to change my indian address in passport too.

Please advice do I need to send any address proof like ration card from India too. Do I have to pay additional fee except (91.20$ for renewal of passport)for address too ?

biken said...

I sent my wife's passport application for name change, they sent me an email that they are missing change of signature letter and spouse legal status notarized copy.

Both the documents are sent along with the application but still they say it is missing. I sent to Houston BLS.

The email states they are sending the application back but online status shows that they need the missing documents until then my application will be held.

Narayan said...

The cheapest passport photo service I found was Costco ($12.50 for 10 copies)..the rest (Walgreens, CVS, and Precision photos) were just too expensive for 10 photos - more than $35. I am sure Sam's might be just as reasonable as Costco.

biken said...

No need to spend around $10 for taking a passport photo from CVS, COSTCO or any other place...Just have someone take your picture using a digital camera with a white background and use this website http://online-passport-photo.com/ to make a 2x2 pic and get it created as a 4x6. You get 6 copies....download the image and send it to officedepot, cvs, walmart or any place to get it printed on a photo paper....which costs $0.59.
I have used this successfully for my wifes passport renewal

Narayan said...

Submitted my renewal application at the Houston BLS center and here is some additional advice: I had to prepare and sign an affidavit stating that my signature had changed slightly over the years. This was addressed to the Indian Consulate. The BLS staff told me the Consulate is very picky about a perfectly matched signature and the affidavit will help avoid any delays in my application.

Shiva Prasad Kodityala said...

what do they mean by registering order form? I got the tracking number from bls. How do I get print of order form? When I click on reprint and give the details, the form is not being shown up. where as i click on 'complete partially filled form', I can see the contents. what should i do?

Narayan said...

Try doing the reprint of the order form from another machine. If the order form has been filled out completely then it should show up on the reprint. It sounds like an issue with your browser.

RUBI ROY said...

In checklist what I have to write in the space "SUBMISSION OFFICER" if I apply passport re-issue by post.

thanks

RUBI ROY said...

In checklist what I have to write in the space "SUBMISSION OFFICER" if I apply passport re-issue by post.

thanks

RUBI ROY said...

In checklist what I have to write in the space "SUBMISSION OFFICER" if I apply passport re-issue by post.

thanks

Narayan said...

For the SUBMISSION OFFICER question, just leave it blank since you would not know which officer would be processing your application. I had left it blank and had no issues.

RUBI ROY said...

thanks@ Narayan

chanchal malik said...

Hi,
I am going renew my passport by adding my wife's name. Now my question is that do I have to add my wife's maiden name or after marriage name.
If any one has any suggestion please let me know.

thanks

Narayan said...

@chanchal malik - does your wife's passport or driving license mention her maiden name or her new name after marriage? If it mentions the maiden name, I would suggest getting that corrected on her passport and apply for your renewal with her new name. If your wife's documents mention her new name, there is no question - your application will have to mention the new name.

chanchal malik said...

Thanks @Narayan. But her maiden name is in every document Driving License, SSN, EAD. I am thinking, If I change her name in passport that means I need to change her name in every document. Other wise it will make things more complex. What is your suggestion please let me know. May be I am thinking wrong.

thanks

Narayan said...

@chanchal malik - I would suggest you call the BLS and ask them directly. You can also call the Consular General of India in Houston. I found the staff of both departments to be very supportive on a number of occasions. If I were to guess, you should be writing your wife's maiden name.

Amruta Gupte-Ghodke said...

Hi,
I am sending my passport for renewal at the SFO location.

Could you please let me know what is to be written in the address and other address section ?( My expired passport has Indian address printed )

Many ppl are saying that we need to write our current US "address" in address section and Indian address as "Other address".
Thanks !

Narayan said...

@Amruta Gupte-Ghodke - That is correct, you need to write your current US address in the address section (even if it is your temporary addr) and your Indian address in the other address section. The application asks that that US address matches your driving license/utility bills/other addr proof, so it certainly is that way. If you still have questions, you can contact the BLS/CGI helpline.

Jack Daniel said...

My wife has her passport and US visa per her maiden name. She does not have a surname in her passport (xxx), and the visa is as (FNU xxx).
Due to her surname not present, we face issues in immigration/flight boarding.
I plan to get the issue rectified once I go to India on vacation this week, and get a new passport in her married name (I have Marriage certificate, which states her name as XXX YYY.. also, her EAD and US Driving License are as XXX YYY).

I had a question, that the visa will still be in her previous passport, on her maiden name - will this be a problem

Narayan said...

@Jack Daniel - I do not see an issue - it sounds like a "normal" scenario for cases where the surname is absent or maiden surname is used in the passport with a visa stamped and the applicant has been re-issued a new passport with the new surname endorsed. Ofcourse, I am not providing legal advice here and it is best to avoid surprises at the POE so please check with an US immigration attorney before you fly off.

Hrishi said...

@Biken: The comment about the online photos was super helpful and creative for me, who did not think about it. ;) Thank you for sharing.

And thanks to Sudeep and iHelper M for excellent compilation!

Abhishek Gawasane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abhishek Gawasane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ajay said...

Hi Guys,

This post and the comment forum is really informative.

I have a quick question

when it says online application form duly filled and signed by the applicant, does it mean this form

https://passport.gov.in/nri/Online.do

or this one
https://passport.gov.in/nri/external1.pdf

or both?

Please help.

Narayan said...

@ajay - it would be the first link ONLY. Fill it out, submit it and you will get an application ID and a PDF version of the form with the information you filled. Print it out and fill the rest of the information with a pen. Affix your photo. For a sample see this link: http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/forms/sampleFormUS.pdf

ajay said...

Thanks Narayan

Sumit Gupta said...

I have a question about "Address to be Printed in the Passport " in the Online order form. I want to print India address on my passport. So can I use that in this section and on the other section "Other Address" can I provide my US address ?

ajay said...

I Have couple of clarifications/questions.

1. Copy of the filled BLS order form contains only certain info and doesn't say anything about the chashier cheque info,parents details, address etc. I just want to make sure it is normal and I didn't over look anything.

2. Do you need to have the chashier cheque/money order ready when filling out the BLS order form?

Narayan said...

@ajay
1. that's correct, order form does not contain any of that information so that's normal.
2. you need to the money order/cashier's check ready before you fill in the order form - because the order form does ask for those details.

Narayan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jagrut said...

BLS sent my passport on 19 nov. USPS tracking does not show any information till today. Any one gone through this kind of situation before? Any help would be appreciated.

sameer said...

Thank you for the excellent info on passport renewals, some of the vfs links have expired and so can you please update those ?

ajay said...

I had gone to BLS, New York today to submit my passport documents in person for renewal. Here are some of the things to keep in mind.

1. Person at the counter told me that US Address will be printed on the passport.

2. On the last page of Form NO-1, you need to sign in both of the boxes.

3. You will need only 4 photos. 3 to be printed on 3 copies of Nationality verification form and one for Form NO-1.

People working at BLS looked extremely organized contrary to what I heard about them in online forums.

Let me know if anyone has questions. Once I receive my passport, I will post step by step instructions for passport renewal with BLS.

ajay said...

Jagrut,

Did you receive your passport? Call BLS at 201-205-2096 or try to go in person if possible.

ajay said...

@sameer

http://blsindianvisa.com/orderform/passport.php

https://passport.gov.in/nri/Online.do

Rest of the forms and instructions are in the link below

http://www.passport.blsindia-usa.com/reissue10.php

Jagrut said...

Haven't got my passport yet. Looks like USPS lost it. planning to go in person for tatkal service. please provide information related to Tatkal service for lost passport. specially when do I get my passport (same day?) for Tatkal service. I am scheduled to fly India on dec 24. Any help would be great

Anganakurussi Sudheesh said...

This blog is very helpful. I sent all documents to Houston BLS on 30th Nov 2013 by post. On 9th Dec 2013, BLS sent a mail saying that the new passport is ready and they dispatched to the courier. I am waiting for the courier. Will post step by step instructions once I receive the passport. Thanks Sudeep for the blog.

Vikram said...

Mr. Sudheesh, Did you submit the Affidavit for no status and the 4 Point Affidavit forms as well?

Anganakurussi Sudheesh said...

@Vikram, I did not submit any Affidavit forms. Can you please exaplain in detail?

joji's blog said...

I was planning to go for the passport application at BLS-Atlanta, i wanted to know if the Indian address i need to specify is the one in the passport? the current indian address is no longer valid as i used to stay on rent there. so can i specify my fathers home address?

Anganakurussi Sudheesh said...

@Joji
As long as you do not have a permanent address in India, your fathers home address is your Indian address. That is what I am thinking.

ajay said...

Hi Joji,

I had been to the BLS office in NY last Monday to submit all the forms for renewal. Lady at the counter mentioned to me that US Address will be printed on your passport and not your Indian Address.

ajay said...

@ Vikram..Affidavit for no status is required only if you don't have a Valid I-797/I-94 or H1B on your passport.

I submitted both I-94 and I-797 copy. Once they saw the I-94 copy, they didn't even bother about I-797

joji's blog said...

@Sudeesh and @ajay thankyou for your reply! will post how it went with me at the passport office!

Anganakurussi Sudheesh said...

I got my passport. Everything went smooth except I had to send spouse legal status which was not mentioned in the checklist. Total expense came around $190 but still cant believe that it got renewed in 10 days!

Vikram said...

Thanks Ajay!
After submitting the BLS Order form, I got a mail with just a return shipping label.
Where do I print the BLS Order form?

ajay said...

@ Vikram

You should have received an email with the subject : Order form Passport - XXXXXXXXXXXX ( 12 digit number)

Anganakurussi Sudheesh said...

@Vikram, The mail I got from BLS had 2 attachments. One is order form and the other is shipping label. What is the subject of the mail you got? Mine was 'Order Form Passport 123456789'.

Anganakurussi Sudheesh said...

Photo information:

3 photos for nationality verification forms.

1 photo in main application form.

4 additional photos as per the checklist.

So total 8 photos.

They sent back 1 photo with new passport.

Anganakurussi Sudheesh said...

Notary information:

Bank of America, Chase bank, USPS - all said they can not notarize passport/visa related documents.

Then did in UPS - They charged $6 per document.

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