Renew Indian Minor Passport in USA – By Post BLS – Step by Step Process

Renew Indian Minor passport in USA after 5 years with BLS. Steps to fill forms, documents required and processing times. Total 5 photos required for reissue.

UPDATE 9 MAY, 2016:
Indian embassy has outsourced passport services to Cox & Kings starting 9 May 2016. BLS is no longer the provider.

We are in the process of updating this article to reflect the changes introduced by Cox & Kings. It has not been updated yet.

Renewal of Indian Passport in USA for minor (child up-to the age of 14 years) is pretty similar to the one for adults.

Although the process is same, the number of documents required are much more for minor child than an adult. This article aims to help you with step by step process in collecting documents, apply by postal mail and what to expect with respect to timelines.

The child is issued his/her own passport for 5 years and needs to be re-issued before its expiry.

If you are looking to get an adult’s Indian passport renewed in USA, then refer this:
Step by step process for Indian Adult’s Passport renewal.

  1. Planning: 1 month ahead of Passport expiry date
  2. Step by step process to renew Indian Minor Passport in USA – My own experience
    1. Collect Documents required for renewal of Indian passport in USA
    2. Buy Cashier Check Or Money order Or Demand Draft
    3. Buy Postal Envelopes
    4. Fill Up online forms for Indian passport reissue (Links to documents are provided later in article with instructions and samples)
      1. Sample NRI Passport Form
      2. Sample Nationality Verification Form
      3. Sample Affidavit for change in Appearance – Child
      4. Sample Affidavit for Applying minor passport by parents
      5. Sample BLS Order Form
      6. Sample BLS Document Checklist
    5. Notarize documents
    6. Packaging everything together
    7. Mailing and Tracking
  3. FAQ (Frequently asked questions)
    1. Is Cox and Kings renewing the Indian passport or BLS International?
    2. What is the time frame for issuing new passport or completion of this application process?
    3. When is the tracking information started/updated on BLS website?
    4. What should be selected in Point 13 ECR/ECNR if nothing is mentioned in the current passport?
    5. What documentary proof should be attached if you want status as ECNR on new passport?
    6. The money order or cashier check or demand should be in favor of whom?
    7. I did not receive any email from BLS after submitting the passport order form.
    8. Which color pen should be used to fill the forms?
    9. In the National verification form, the date of leaving India is the first time of leaving India or last (or most recent)?
    10. How many photographs are needed in total?
    11. What address to be printed in passport?

Planning for Child Passport Renewal in USA: 1 month ahead of Passport expiry date

It is my advice to apply for renewal 1 month before the final expiry to avoid any issues.
Officially, you can apply 1 year in advance and there is no time limit for the late comers!

You can apply at your leisure once the passport expires. The only thing that would pinch you is extra Sarkari documentation.

1. Documents required to renew Indian Passport in USA for Child

  • Originals
    1. Expiring Passport with all other OLD passports.
    2. 2×2 Inch photographs (White background, off-white is NOT allowed) – Total 5 in number.
      Get new pictures clicked as you need fresh ones clicked within last 30 days.

      You can get new ones from CVS, Walgreens or any other store that you prefer.

      A bit economical option would be ePassportPhoto. At the time of writing this article, they had the option of free delivery with just $1.5 per picture.

      Most people use either CostCo or Sam’s club membership to get the passport photo economically. They charge approximately $4.96 for 2 of them.

      BLS has kindly created a full document giving details of bad and good photographs here.

  • Forms – Will fill later – download links are provided later in article.
    1. Nationality Status forms 3
    2. BLS checklist
    3. NRI passport renewal application form
    4. Affidavit for change in Appearance
    5. Affidavit of applicant parents for passport for Minor Child
  • Photocopy – Black and White
    1. Address proof – Any utility bill (Electricity/gas) or driving license or Rental lease agreement. This can be on any of the parent’s name.
  • Photocopy – Color
    1. CHILD – First 5 pages of passport + last 2 pages.

      First page with Photo, then page numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

      The last two pages are supposed to include the ‘Observation’ page and I found two of them here as well. So, Included these two along with the page containing my address.

      Page number 34, 35, 36 and last page with address.

      This makes the total number of pages to be 10.

    2. CHILD – Current Valid US Visa OR I-797 OR Green card OR Employment Authorization Card or I- 797 approval notice.
    3. Mother – Current Valid US Visa OR I-797 OR Green card OR Employment Authorization Card or I- 797 approval notice.
    4. Mother – Passport first (Photo) page and last page (address page).
    5. Father – Current Valid US Visa OR I-797 OR Green card OR Employment Authorization Card or I- 797 approval notice.
    6. Father – Passport first (Photo) page and last page (address) page.

    Please note that US Visa – B1/B2 is not considered a valid visa for passport reissue.

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3. Buy Cashier Check Or Money order Or Demand Draft

How to pay?

Payment is accepted by Money order, Cashier Check or Demand Draft.
Cashier checks are different than the standard checks that you normally use to pay your rent etc.

Most economical would be Money order ($3 or more is the fees) followed by Cashier checks ($3 or more).
Bank of America has mentioned that they would charge $10 for cashier check and $5 for money order unless you have an up-graded checking account which renders them free for you.

Local banks or credit unions have a better rate here starting from $3. If you want to save a trip to Bank, you can buy the money order from post office (like USPS) as well while buying postal envelopes.

I used Bank of America’s Money Order with $5 fees.

BLS fees check for Minor passport

Sample BLS fees check for Minor passport

How much to pay?

The BLS International lists the fees according to your service selection. They have also mentioned the fees here for various passport related services. Both are same. It is up-to you what method you choose.

In this case (Passport renewal for minor less than 14 years of age after 5 years), it was a total of $66.20.

BLS minor passport re-issue fee

BLS minor passport re-issue fee

You would not be able to completely fill the form (BLS Order Form – If you went there to check your fees) at this time, as you have to fill up the payment instrument (cashier check or money order etc.) number as well. So, just go to the above link and find out the total fees applicable for your case.

Get the payment instrument and then we will fill this form later.

Not sure how much is the fees for return shipping as it never showed up on screen while I was filling the form.

Nevertheless, I opted for sending the return shipping envelope (with paid postage) – the best option to save money is to spend yourself!

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3. Buy Postal Envelopes

I chose USPS and their standard delivery with tracking.Many people choose UPS or Fedex and select their express deliveries (over-night or next day) which is pretty expensive and starts from $20 per envelope.

I used 2 flat rate envelope from USPS ($6.45 per envelope inclusive of tracking, postage and envelope at the time of writing this article). It may have increased now.

  1. Main envelope – Flat rate Large size envelope from USPS with tracking.
  2. Return envelope – Flat rate normal size envelope from USPS with tracking.

Go to USPS office and get the two envelopes. Remember:

  • You HAVE to ask and pay for stamps and tracking at this time itself. The teller might ask you to go home and buy stamps with tracking later, when you really post it.

    No, Don’t listen to the teller. He does not know how Indian processes work!You should get it now as you need the TRACKING codes for BOTH envelopes, to be filled on BLS Order form (Online).

  • The main envelope that you buy (the bigger one like mine) MAY NOT be a FLAT rate envelope. Hence, the teller might ask you to tell the weight for buying stamps.
    In my case, the total weight (after packaging) was 7.5 Ounce. So, you can easily convey the weight on a safer note as may be 8 Ounce.
  • The other envelope (return envelope), if you choose a FLAT RATE one like mine, should not be an issue as it would only contain the old and new passport (less than 5 Ounces).
  • They charged me $6.45 each for 2 envelopes ($12.9 total) including stamps, envelope and tracking.

    Don’t worry, I had done the hard work of collecting all documents and then got the main envelope weighed and then bought the stamps! So, you can rely on this information.

Paste one set of stamps and tracking code slip on the Return Envelope and other on the main envelope.

Renew passport in USA - send envelope USPS

Renew passport in USA – send envelope USPS – Click image to see larger view

Renew passport in USA - Return envelope USPS

Renew passport in USA – Return envelope USPS – Click image to see larger view

First and foremost, express deliveries are expensive. I only use them when I have to send the package within a day to a location which crosses multiple state borders.

For example, if you are sending a document from East coast to west coast or from south to east or south to north, the standard delivery option might take 2-3 days to deliver.

On top of that, all domestic (within USA) deliveries are delivered in 1-3 days time span counting the day you drop them at mail office (morning).

In my case, I dropped the packet on Saturday after-noon (11.30 AM) at USPS office and it was delivered to BLS office in New York on Monday. So, you can say that I got the benefit or 1 day delivery even when I opted for standard (and cheaper) option.

This, I think is valid for UPS and Fedex as well.

Secondly, the BLS office that you would send your documents to would be a regional office based on your home location. This BLS address is certainly not more than a day’s time away for standard delivery.

So, if you rely on my words, use the standard option with tracking and save some bucks unless, you have an extremely urgent requirement of delivering docs by next day 10 AM or so.

But, in that case as well, I am 99.9% sure that BLS would not be able to match your speed though!

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4. Fill Up online forms for Indian passport renewal

You can use these Indian passport renewal USA application form samples