If you are a citizen of India, need a passport and have no time to wait, apply for a passport through the Tatkal Scheme. The Tatkal Scheme helps Indian nationals get a new passport or renew their passport in case of an emergency without having to wait for more than a month to get their passport processed through the usual channels. Every month, Mumbai's passport office receives more than 1,000 applications for the Tatkal passport. If you have ever been in an emergency situation, whether it is the illness of a loved one or sudden event abroad you cannot miss, it is important to know what you need to do to get your passport sooner rather than later.
A Tatkal passport is available for individuals who have a need for an emergency issue or re-issue of an Indian passport. In Washington, D.C., Tatkal passports are only issued on compassionate grounds of a genuine emergency, such as death or serious illness of a blood relative.
You are eligible to apply for Tatkal passport if police verification is unnecessary, you are a government servant with NOC, you have a Verification Certificate or your passport can be issued on basis of post police verification. In addition, you need to fit in any of the categories for the need of an emergency passport. The acceptable categories for Tatkal passport include businessmen traveling abroad to attend a conference or trade fair, family members of a seriously ill relative living abroad, immediate family members of someone working abroad, winners of promotional awards when foreign travel is the price, spouse of official passport holder going abroad, family members attending a wedding of immediate family member, someone getting married abroad, patients requiring medical care abroad, family members of a close relative dying abroad and students in need to take tests, such as SAT, TOEFL and GRE or attending foreign universities.
Compared to the normal passport process in India, the Tatkal passport process is similar. Download the Tatkal passport application from online, complete it, attach six color or black-and-white passport pictures to go with it and provide all regular documents needed for normal passport application. The last step is to get the additional documents together and get the emergency reason for your Tatkal application approved by an officer working at your regional passport office.
Additional Documents Needed
You need to submit a proof of the nature of the emergency, a confirmed plane ticket and copy of the paid Tatkal fee. If you are applying through the Embassy of India in Washington, D.C., you will also need a written request to the Consular Officer that explains the emergency situation for the need of Tatkal passport, two sworn affidavits from recognized Indian nationals from the area you are from and relevant pages from the passports of those two affidavits.
It can take up to 15 days in India, and 1 to 3 working days in the United States to issue a Tatkal passport.
Tatkal passport has an additional fee of $150 on top of the regular passport fee. Applicants eligible for the Tatkal categories of patients requiring medical care abroad, family members of a close relative dying abroad and students in need to take tests such as SAT, TOEFL and GRE or attending foreign universities may have certain fees waived.
Eija Rissanen is a freelance journalist living in Hawaii. She has a journalism and environmental studies degree from Hawaii Pacific University. Her articles have been published in Kalamalama, the student newspaper of Hawaii Pacific University, and some other environmental and travel publications and Web sites in Europe and the United States.