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E-Passport in India: Meaning, Benefits, and Features

Team AckoNov 25, 2022

As per the Ministry of External Affairs, soon, every Indian citizen will be able to get electronically-enabled passports called E-Passports. This digitisation is expected to make travel documentation more secure and hassle-free. Read on to learn the E-Passport's meaning, benefits, and features.

E-Passport in India

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What is an E-Passport?

An E-Passport is a passport with a chip that contains all biometric information of the holder. It allows a digital mode of identifying crucial details, such as the name, date of birth, etc. Consequently, this process strengthens the security and transparency of travel documentation.

E-Passport benefits

Here are the key benefits of an E-Passport in India.

  • Being a biometric identifier, an E-Passport can help with the prevention of fraudulent activities like duplicate passport creation, data piracy, etc.

  • It can save passengers from standing in long queues and waiting for long periods at the check gates.

  • It is impossible to wipe out the data from an E-Passport. 

Features of E-Passport

An E-Passport consists of a total of 41 features that make it a more secure alternative to regular passports. Some of the key features are as follows.

  • E-Passports will be issued by collecting the biometric data of applicants.

  • The data is authenticated by the digital signature of the holder.

  • The chip embedded in the passport will come with 64 kb of storage space.

How to apply for an E-Passport

Here are the steps to follow for an E-Passport application.

Step 1: Visit the Passport Seva portal.

Step 2: Click on “New User Registration” if you aren’t registered yet. If you have already registered, you can use your credentials to log in.

Step 3: Upon getting redirected, you can complete the registration process.

Step 4: Now, choose between “Apply for Fresh Passport” and “Re-issuance of Passport”.

Step 5: Fill in your details, upload your documents and click “Submit”.

Step 6: Make the necessary payment and schedule your appointment at the Passport Seva Kendra.

Step 7: Take a print of the acknowledgement or use the SMS sent to your mobile phone for verification at the Passport Office or Passport Seva Kendra. 

Document requirements for E-Passport in India

You will need the following documents to apply for an E-Passport in India. 

Proof of residential address

Here are the documents you can use as proof of residential address for an E-Passport application.

  • Rent agreement

  • Telephone bill

  • Water bill

  • Aadhaar card

  • Gas connection document

  • Water bill

  • Electricity bill

  • An active bank account’s passbook

  • Copy of the first as well as the last page of the spouse’s passport (the current address of the applicant must match the address of the spouse).

Note: Applicants must be able to provide details of all locations where they have lived in the last year.

Proof of age

These are the documents one can use as proof of age/birth when applying for an E-Passport in India.

  • Birth Certificate issued by a competent authority

  • Aadhaar card

  • PAN card

  • Voter ID

  • Valid Driving Licence

  • Applicant’s life insurance plan

Documents for re-issuance of passport

In case you have a regular passport and want the authorities to re-issue an E-Passport, you will need these documents.

  • Current passport’s first page and last page copy

  • Observation page copy

  • non-ECR or ECR page copy

  • Original passport 

How does microchip-based E-Passport work in India?

An E-Passport works on the basis of the embedded microchip’s ability to electronically store and transfer data. The chip inside the passport can store up to 60-kilobyte of data, which allows the passport to contain all types of information related to the holder. The back of this passport comes with an antenna to transfer the requested data at check gates.

Where can you use an E-Passport?

You can use an E-Passport just like a traditional or standard passport for the purpose of identification while travelling. It can be used during domestic and international travel to avoid long queues and complete security checks faster. You can also utilise an E-Passport as proof of identity while travelling and in other situations.

What’s the difference between an E-Passport and a regular passport?

Unlike a regular passport, the holder’s data remains electronically stored inside a chip embedded in the E-Passport. The back of an E-Passport contains a built-in antenna, which helps to automatically transfer the data upon receiving a signal. Making passports readable through machines allows another layer of protection for the data, consequently reducing the risk of counterfeiting. 

What data is stored on an E-Passport?

An E-Passport stores the biometric data of the passport holder. The key data includes the following.

  • Name of the passport holder

  • Date of birth of the passport holder

  • Other biometric details of the passport holder

  • Demographic details of the passport holder

  • Scan of the passport holder’s iris

  • Fingerprints of the holder’s all ten fingers

  • Digital signature of the passport holder

  • Coloured passport-sized photograph of the holder

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are a few of the commonly asked questions about E-Passport in India.

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Can I submit my E-Passport application online?

You can surely apply for an E-Passport online via the official website of PSK or Passport Seva Kendra. Start by registering at the portal, then choose between the Fresh and Re-Issuance of Passport options to submit your application.

Are E-Passports currently available in India?

E-Passports have been existing since 2021 in India. However, the latest chip-based passports have recently come into the picture. As per the authorities, the E-Passport will be available to Indian citizens by the end of 2022 or at the beginning of 2023. 

Do I have to pay additional charges to get or renew an E-Passport?

No, you can get an E-Passport issued or renewed by paying the normal passport fees. 

How can I replace an old passport with an E-Passport?

If you want to replace your old passport with an E-Passport, you can apply for its re-issuance and submit the original passport to the PSK authorities. Upon successful completion of the process, you will get your E-Passport. 

How long will I have to wait to get my E-Passport?

The delivery of an E-Passport can take about 7 to 21 days, depending on the type of application and the complexity of your case.

Who are the makers of E-Passport technology in India?

The E-Passport technology has been developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur and National Informatic Centre (NIC) in association with the India Security Press and Ministry of External Affairs.

Who is eligible for an E-Passport?

All Indian citizens who are eligible for a regular passport can also choose to apply for an E-Passport.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.

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