If you’re in the UK, but hold an Indian passport, you may need to sort out a passport renewal while in Britain. This might be because your passport has expired, been lost, or if you’ve simply run out of blank pages. If some of your personal details have changed - for example if you get married - you may also find you need to get a new Indian passport.
Renewal of Indian passports from the UK is possible, but you’ll need to do some research to make sure you have all the documents required. There are also fees to pay for the service. If you’re an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), and need to send money to India - or if you’re looking for ways to cut your costs while living abroad, you may also benefit from sending money with TransferWise. More on that in a moment.
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Now, back to what you came here to read.
The Indian government works with a company called VFS Global to offer visa and consular services to OCIs and anyone else who needs to apply for a visa or passport from overseas. You’ll need to complete an online application which is provided by the Indian government, before attending an appointment at a VFS centre. Here are the steps you need to take:
- Complete the online application form at www.passportindia.gov.in¹, and print it out
- Collect the documents, photos and other evidence you need, ready to submit your application. The documents needed vary according to your personal situation, and whether or not you still have a valid visa - more on that later
- Make an appointment online at your closest VFS application centre, and go along to present your application and supporting documents
- You’ll be able to track your application online, before receiving your new passport²
It’s worth knowing that emergency travel documents might be handled differently. If you have an urgent issue - a family bereavement or medical problems for example, or your passport is lost or stolen while in the UK and you need to leave again soon, you should speak to the embassy for advice.² In this case, your application may be dealt with under the Tatkal Service for an additional fee which you pay to VFS. Tatkal literally means* ‘then and there’,* meaning these applications might be passed directly to the High Commission of India, or one of the Consulate General offices, to speed them along.³
That said, there have been issues with fraudsters who have also been purporting to be able to facilitate consular applications for a fee. The High Commission have warned against any such services, and instruct people to follow the rules set out on their website for applications via VFS, even if someone claims to have personal connections inside the embassy which they can use to get favourable treatment for your application. Speak to embassy staff directly if you have an urgent problem, do not pay a fee to any organisation other than VFS.⁴
The full listings of documents required is available online on the VFS website. Some documents are mandatory for all passport applications, but there are also some pieces of evidence which may be required based on your personal situation and the specific type of application you’re making. Check the full details before you attend your meeting.
All applicants usually need the following documents:
- A printed and signed copy of the application form which has been lodged online
- Recent passport photos
- Printed and signed declaration form
- Annexure F from, printed and completed
- PPF for police verification in India
You’ll then need additional paperwork based on your situation For example, if you have an Indian passport which has only recently expired, but have a valid visa covering your stay in the UK, you’ll need to take your passport, with a residence card, and details of your spouse if relevant. You’ll also need to provide a letter explaining why you allowed your passport to expire and did not renew it earlier. If you’re changing the name on your passport you’ll be asked to provide evidence of the reason for the change - for example a marriage certificate, or evidence of divorce if you’re reverting back to your maiden name.
If your passport was lost of stolen in the UK, you’ll need to gather as much evidence as possible about the passport itself - including a copy of the document if you have one. You might also be asked for further evidence that you’re an Indian citizen and have not taken on British citizenship.⁵
The requirements for paperwork are fairly strict, so it is important to review them before you head to your VFS meeting.
When you renew your Indian passport in the UK there will be a fee to pay. Here’s a run down of some of the most common services and the fees involved⁵:
|Re-issue a passport which has recently expired, due to a name change, or because there are no more blank pages||36 page passport - £57 and 60 page passport - £76. For an urgent service, known as the Tatkal Service, you can pay £110 in addition to these fees|
|Re-issue passports which have been expired for over 1 year||36 page passport - £7960 page passport - £98|
|Lost or stolen passports||36 page passport - £11260 page passport - £131Emergency certificate - £13Affidavit - £22|
The time it’ll take to get your passport depends on the circumstances. Reissuing a recently expired document will take from about 10 working days - but can take as long as 6 weeks if details need to be verified. If your passport has been expired for longer than a year, it can take up to 7 weeks to get a new one.
There’s an estimate of the time taken by different passport application type, online. Once you have lodged your application you’ll also be able to track it using the tools on the VFS website.⁵
If you need to renew your Indian passport from the UK, you’ll need to read and follow the steps set out online on the Indian High Commission website, and the VFS Global resources. Once you have gathered the right documents and paid your fee, the application process shouldn’t be too tricky - but do leave plenty of time as it could take up to 6 or 7 weeks to get your new Indian passport.
If you’re managing your money across different currencies, don’t forget you can also cut your costs by sending money with TransferWise, for currency exchange using the google exchange rate, with low, transparent fees.
Sources checked: 24-May 2019.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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