How to Renew an Expired Indian Passport within the USA

How to Renew an Expired Indian Passport within the USA

As of November 2020, the government of the Republic of India has awarded the contract for passport services (including passport renewal) to VFS Global instead of CKGS. Fortunately, most of the Indian passport renewal process remains the same. This article outlines the procedure Indian citizens must follow in order to successfully renew an expired passport while in the United States.

Where to start?

There are two major official forms that must be carefully completed

  • the official NRI government passport application form, 
  • and the VFS Global order form. 

Both of these forms are filled out online. It is strongly recommended that you use a laptop or desktop computer for this process, as the forms are not mobile-friendly. You will need to create an account with VFS Global.

The two forms may be filled out in either order.

If you start with the government application form first, you will get the Application Reference Number (ARN) which you are going to need in order to complete the VFS Global order form.

But if you start with the VFS form first, their online widget will auto-populate much of your information into the government form for you automatically, which is nice.

In other words, you may need to go back and forth between forms several times. Brace yourself for a certain amount of frustration.

In addition to submitting the forms online, both forms must also be printed out and signed and shipped off to VFS along with the rest of your paperwork. Which, by the way, is a lot of documents.

Renew an expired Indian passport – required documents

Helpfully, the third required document is a checklist of everything you need for your application. This checklist must be printed out, checked off, filled in, and signed. All of the documents in your application should be stacked in the order of the checklist. Here is the list:

  • The completed VFS Order Form
  • The checklist
  • Printed & signed copy of the Online Application Form
  • Three (3) copies of your completed Nationality Verification Form.
  • Three (3) recent color photographs. These need to be 51mm x 51mm.
  • A notarized color photocopy of your US visa, work permit or Green Card.
  • Your original passport which you are renewing. It will be returned together with your new passport.
  • Color photocopies of the first five (5) pages and the last two (2) pages of your passport.
  • A money order in the correct amount to cover the fees.
  • Shipping labels for delivery of your new passport, which you will download from VFS.

Additional documents – optional

  • Highest Qualification Degree: new Indian passports have a default setting of ECNR (Emigration Check Not Required), but if your old passport has “ECR” selected (Emigration Check Required), then you will need to submit your education details, usually a copy of your highest qualification degree such as an MBA or a PhD. This copy only needs to be self-certified (i.e. signed) and not notarized. You can still submit this even if you are ECNR.
  • Proof of US address: you can opt to get your US address printed on your passport, in which case you need to include a copy of your lease or mortgage, recent utility bills in your name, or your US state-issued ID or driving license.
  • Proof of India address: if you need to update your address in India, include a copy of your Indian driving license, Aadhar card, or recent utility bills in your name for the address.
  • Marriage certificate: only if you want to add your spouse’s name to your passport.

Depending on the complexity of your situation, additional documents may be required.

For example, if you have children needing to renew their passports you will have to provide color copies of their birth certificates.

If you have changed your name, there’s another form for that.

If your appearance has changed drastically since your last passport, you may be required to submit a notarized affidavit for a change of appearance.

If your passport has expired for more than three years, you will need to include eight (8) passport pictures instead of three.

Looking for more tips about passports? Look no further:

Passport Photo Online

Save yourself some time and money by taking your passport photos yourself. Use an online photo booth like Passport Photo Online to get perfect pictures, fast. If your family includes young children needing passports of their own, it is much easier to take the pictures in the privacy of your own home at your convenience, than it is to take everyone to the post office or a drug store.

The online passport app guides you through the process. It’s fun and easy to use all you need is your smartphone and a white wall. The results are guaranteed to be acceptable to the Republic of India’s passport agency.

An expired Indian passport – final thoughts

Everyone says that the VFS website is “clunky,” and that the government site is not much better. It is certainly one of the more complex passport renewal schemes I have encountered in my research.

Please allow yourself plenty of time to complete the application process. Don’t be surprised if it takes longer than you think. Keep some of your favorite headache relief medication close at hand.

FAQ

Can I renew in person at the embassy or consulate nearest me?

No, not anymore. Walk-ins are not permitted, and new appointments are no longer being made. All US renewals for Indian passports must be handled by VFS Global.

How long does it take to get my new passport?

Depending on where you live in the US, you could get your passport in as little as 30 days, which is fast. Washington, D.C., and New York City have the fastest processing times. Everywhere else is going to take six to 12 weeks, door-to-door.

Do I need to keep my old passport?

YES! Your old passport will still have your valid US visa in it. You will need this visa in order to return to the US, so be sure to take both passports with you when traveling.

My Indian passport expired in the U.S. – what do I do?

You will have to renew your Indian passport via VFS Global if it has expired during your stay in the U.S.

What are the steps of Indian passport renewal in the U.S. after expiry?

In order to complete your Indian passport renewal in the U.S., you will have to decide which VFS Global consular jurisdiction you want to apply in, submit an online application with VFS Global, fill out and sign your checklist, select the passport service you’re interested in, fill out the VFS Global form, attach any supporting documents you may require, and pay the passport application fee.

Keep in mind that if your Indian passport expired more than 3 (three) years ago, you will have to undergo a police verification.

Can I stay in the U.S. with an expired Indian passport?

Yes, you can stay in the U.S. if your Indian passport is expired as long as your U.S. visa status is valid. An expired passport doesn’t mean that your visa is also expired.

Can I renew my expired Indian passport in the U.S.?

Yes, you can renew your expired Indian passport in the U.S. via VFS Global. If your passport has been expired for more than 3 (three) years, a fresh police verification will have to take place.

Is an Indian passport extension possible in the U.S.?

Yes, you can apply for an Indian passport extension in the U.S. via VFS Global if your passport is soon to expire or if all the pages of your passport are filled.

What if my Indian passport expires while abroad?

If your Indian passport expires during your stay in another country, visit the nearest Indian consulate or the Indian embassy as soon as you realize that your travel document has expired. Some countries’ procedures for Indian passport renewal will differ from others.

What are the Indian passport renewal fees in the U.S.?

To renew your Indian passport in the U.S., you will have to pay 3 (three) separate fees: an application fee of either $75 for a regular passport book (36 pages) or a fee of $100 for a jumbo passport book (60 pages), the Indian Community Welfare Fund fee of $2, followed by a service fee of $15.90.

Your Indian passport renewal in the U.S. will thus cost you either $92.90 (regular passport book) or $117.90 (jumbo passport book).

What happens if my Indian passport expires in the U.S.?

If your Indian passport expires in the U.S., you have to immediately apply for a passport renewal with VFS Global. However, you shouldn’t panic, as you can still remain in the U.S. if your visa status is valid.

Can I renew my Indian passport in New Jersey?

The VFS Global location which holds consular jurisdiction over the state of New Jersey is located in New York at 145 W 45th Street, on the 3rd floor. Make sure to contact the VFS Global New York office to find out if they accept passport applications via post, online, or both.

How to extend an Indian passport in the U.S.?

To extend your Indian passport in the U.S., you must contact the VFS Global location which has jurisdiction of your place of stay/residence.

You will have to submit an online application with VFS Global along with your filled out and signed checklist, choose your desired passport service, fill out the VFS Global form, attach any necessary supporting documents, and pay the adequate passport service fees.

If your passport has been expired for more than three years, you will have to go through a police verification.

Can I renew my Indian passport in Atlanta?

Yes, there is a VFS Global office in Atlanta located at Suite 175, 1200 Altmore Avenue, Sandy Springs. Make sure to contact the office first to find out whether they accept mail-in applications or online applications only.

Can an Indian passport be renewed in the U.S.?

Yes, your Indian passport can be renewed in the U.S. via VFS Global, either online or via mail, depending on the particular VFS Global location’s conditions.

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