How to renew Indian Passport in USA after 10 years – step by step guidance for re-issue of passport with Cox and Kings (CKGS) in the jurisdiction of Indian embassy New York, Houston (Texas), Washington DC, Atlanta (Georgia), Chicago (Illinois) and SFO (San Francisco, California) Indian consulate.
It is my advice to apply for renewal 1.5 months before the final expiry to mitigate any contingency and delays.
Officially, you can apply 1 year in advance and there is no time limit for the late comers!
1. Documents required to renew Indian Passport in USA
1.A. ORIGINAL Documents
- Expiring Passport (The most recent one). All other OLD passports, if any, are not required.
- 2×2 Inch photographs (White background, off-white is NOT allowed) – Total 3 in number.
Details of bad and good photographs here.
1.B. FORMS – CKGS online will fill these for you
- Nationality Verification form
- CKGS Document checklist
- NRI passport renewal application form
- CKGS (Cox & Kings) Online Payment Receipt
- Change of Appearance form
- Annexure ‘E’ – Specimen Declaration of the applicant on a plain paper
1.C. PHOTOCOPY – Black and White or color – Your choice
- Are you Married and want to add your Spouse name to new passport?
- Spouse’s Passport’s front (page with picture) and back page (with address) OR Green Card
- Marriage Certificate (Indian or any other).
- No: You are lucky. Move On :).
- First 5 pages of passport + last 2 pages. I included the first 5 numbered pages along with the one having my picture.
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.
- (Optional) – For ECR Stamp – Copy of Highest Educational Qualification Degree.
- USA Address proof
Any one of these Remark Any utility bill (Electricity/ gas/ water/ landline telephone bill) Must NOT be older than 3 months Driver’s License Front and back both are required State ID Front and back both are required Rental Lease agreement (Month to Month is acceptable) Should not have expired at the time of submission. Home Mortgage bill Should be valid at the time of submission.
NOTE: US bank statement is NOT a valid address proof.
- Indian Address Proof – ONLY REQUIRED if you want to ADD or CHANGE Indian Address.
If you want to keep the Indian address (already on current passport) un-changed, you do not need to submit any Indian address proof.
Any one of these Remark Any Indian utility bill (Electricity/ gas/ water/ landline telephone bill) Must NOT be older than 3 months Aadhar Card Indian Drivers license Recent Bank Statement from Indian Government bank.
Front page required.
Should have affixed photograph.
This is how SBI’s passbook with affixed and stamped photograph looks like:
- US Legal Status
Current Valid US Visa (Could be dependent Visa too) OR I-797 OR Green card OR Employment Authorization Card (EAD) or I- 797 approval notice or Valid I-20.
Please note that US Visa – B1/B2 is not considered a valid visa for passport reissue. Also, I94 is not a valid Proof.
2. CKGS Passport Application Forms
Start here. Sample values are provided here for your reference:
CKGS automatically fills up the National Verification for you, while you are going through their online process. You just need to print it.
Once done, move on to next tab.
Here is the sample for your reference:
All the forms except the Indian government’s NRI application form are automatically filled up by CKGS online application. You just need select appropriate options. They will be available for download, print and signing/notarization.
CKGS will ask you to fill up the Government’s form (on government’s website) at step 6 of their process.
3. Postal Envelopes, payment and shipping
We recommend that you choose CKGS’s shipping option (uses UPS or FedEx) to avoid any issues. Both cost the same i.e. $15 each way. So, your total shiping cost would be $30.
You can choose your own shipping but remember that CKGS does not allow USPS as the option.
Once you have selected the option, you can simply visit UPS/FedEx office, pick up the envelope and just send your package.
There is no need to send return envelope, it will be taken care off by CKGS.
Payment is accepted only by online mode. Once you are at step 5, you will be asked to pay.
Please note your application’s web reference here before clicking the ‘Pay Online’ button.
4. Indian Government’s NRI passport Application form
At step 6 in CKGS application, you need to fill Indian passport renewal USA application form. This is a separate form than what you have already filled up on CKGS website. It belongs to Indian embassy and has to be filled up separately.
CKGS creates a unique ID for this application form and provides you a link on Step 6. Click the link to go to Indian government’s website.
If you fill the government’s form before CKGS step 6, then CKGS has a separate process and a tough one, for you. You will find it on their home page. We are assuming you started with CKGS.
4.A. Digital Picture upload – Optional
You will need a DIGITAL picture to upload on Indian government website. The picture uploading is optional at this time. It does NOT give you an option to upload it later if you have moved past the upload photo step.
4.B. Made a Mistake in Online Passport Application Form?
DO NOT try to fill out another “Online Passport Application Form” if you make a mistake since both CKGS and Online Passport Application Web Reference numbers are linked together. Instead, start all over again and follow the process (CKGS >>>Online Passport Application>>>CKGS) if you have not yet paid the fees.
If you have already paid the fees and made a serious mistake while filling out the Online Passport Application (which cannot be edited) then the only option is to cancel your application and ask for a refund and RESTART the entire process.
4.C. NRI application form Links
Government form online link – New Form – Direct link for your reference. We recommend you use the one provided in Step 6 of CKGS application.
Government form online link – Edit your form – Use it, if you are re-visiting to complete partially filled form. You need your Temporary Application Id here (This is different than CKGS’s own application web reference ID).
Print your application form, if you have ‘saved and exit’ the application. – Government site’s Web file number required. This is shown to you on LAST page when you are done filling the form. This is different than ‘Temporary application ID’ and ‘CKGS web application reference’ ID.
4.D. Sample NRI online passport form
Use a BLUE or BLACK ink pen ONLY.
Please note that this form contains about 29 fields/points and points 7 to 29 need to be filled manually with hand.
Fill whatever questions/fields are available to fill online on the form and then take a print.
Once you take a print, you will get 3 pages in total. Some of the fields (normally 1-6 on page 1) would be already filled and rest would be blank.
5.A. Self Attest
Only you should sign yourself on the photocopy.
- Your passport copy of First Five and Last two pages.
- Copy of Visa or Green Card or I797 approval notice.
- Address proof (USA).
- Address proof (India).
- Copy of Marriage Certificate (ONLY If you are married).
- Spouse Passport copy (ONLY If you are married).
Notary would ask you to show originals and will sign and stamp on the photocopy.
He may also ask you to sign the photocopy before he does.
- Change of Appearance Form.
Your town’s library or your Bank (most famous is Bank of America) and your own office (Almost all have notaries on their payroll) are the FREE options that I know and have utilized.
The paid ones (like USPS and others) should cost you around $5+ per page.
6. Packaging everything together
- Arrange the documents in the order as mentioned in CKGS document checklist. The checklist should be on top.
- Now, use a small letter style envelope to keep the passport. This is just to have an extra layer of protection. You can skip the envelope if you want.
- Original Passport (Remember – it has to be the most recent one that is about to expire or the most recent if it has already expired).
- Use paper clip or paper pins to tie all the above documents together. Do NOT use stapler.
7. Mailing and Tracking
Mail the documents to address specified by CKGS by dropping to UPS or Fedex office. You can pick up FREE envelope at their office. Its included in the fees your paid to CKGS.
CKGS allows you to track your passport application here.
Indian passport renewal in USA processing time?
It takes about 3-4 weeks on average if the last passport was issued in India.
If you last passport was issued by Indian Embassy outside India, the new passport comes within 10 days.
Point 13 ECR/ECNR if nothing is mentioned in the current passport?
The ECR/ECNR status is available on page 2 of passport. If it is not there or nothing is mentioned in your passport, you can select ECNR on point 13.
Documentary proof for ECNR status on new passport?
Photocopy of your highest educational qualification degree like MCA (Masters in Computer Applications) is sufficient. If you do not attach any proof and your old passport did not have this ECR stamp, you will automatically be considered eligible for ECNR.
No notarization needed here.
It is advisable to Self-attest it with your signature and to clearly mark the photocopy with the purpose as “For ECNR – Documentary proof”.
How to log back into CKGS website with Web reference number?
CKGS website might confuse you on this point, if you have already started the passport application and saved it. The only way to go back and see your saved documents is to use their web reference number on the box provided at the BOTTOM of the their website.
Here is the sample screen shot:
Which color pen should be used to fill the forms?
You can use BLUE or BLACK. I used BLUE. No other color option is available.
In the National verification form, the date of leaving India is the first time of leaving India or last ( or most recent)?
You can either use the first one or the most recent one, if you have traveled multiple times between first and most recent. It does not matter.
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.