Effective May 2016, Indian embassy and consulates have outsourced passport application services to Cox & Kings Global services (CKGS). BLS International’s contract with Indian government expired in April 2016 and will no longer accept applications for passport renewal. (In case, you have already applied with them, they will return the passport and ask you to apply with CKGS). Read on this post if you want to renew Indian passport in USA with Cox & Kings global services.
- Get four recent color passport size 2 inches by 2 inches (2”x 2”) photo on glossy photo paper, showing full frontal view of the applicants face against a white background (face should cover 70-80% of the photo). The photo requirements are quite strict and try and adhere to them. Find out a local photo studio who has expertise in Visa photographs. You can see sample photographs here.
- Notarized Photocopy of a US residence proof (Driver’s License, State ID, Utility bill such as gas, electric or water or Rental Lease agreement or Home Mortgage bill. Other bills or documents will NOT be accepted as proof.
- Photocopy of passport‘s first five and last two pages. Need NOT be notarized.
- Notarized COLOR photocopy of US legal status (Visa, Greencard, EAD, I-797 or I-20).
- Recent original Indian passport (of course 🙂 ).
- Go to CKGS website directly: https://passport.in.ckgs.us/get-started. DO NOT go directly to Government of India website.
- Enter your details by choosing the passport service, residence state and type of application. At the end of this step, you will be shown the complete document checklist, passport fees (including CKGS handling charges), processing times and a temporary reference number. Save this reference number.
- Next fill out the supplementary forms and letters as per your service and type of application. The forms are auto-filled where-ever possible and you should fill out the pending blanks. For eg, if you want an Indian address on your passport, you will be required to fill Nationality verification form here. Review, print and sign these forms wherever necessary. Remember that all the signatures on application forms have to be notarized too.
- Choose the submission mode – Shipping or Walk-in. If you are going to ship them, I would recommend using CKGS’s Fedex Standard overnight service instead of creating your own shipping label. It costs $30 for shipping both ways.
- Pay your fees online using Credit/Debit card. This fees includes passport renewal charges, CKGS handling and shipping costs.
- Now, fill out Government’s online passport form here: http://passport.gov.in/nri/Online.do. Fill out the form details which are quite self explanatory. Use this sample application form from CKGS which is extremely helpful.
- Use capital letters only to fill this passport form. Ensure that applicant’s name, father’s name and signature given on the form match with that on the current passport.
- You will get a NEW WEB REFERENCE NUMBER from Government online NRI passport application form which is later required on CKGS website. Save this new web reference number too.
- Print the application form (or reprint by visiting here).
- Now, go back to CKGS website and fill in the government passport application reference number. Visit this page: https://passport.in.ckgs.us/already-filled-NIC-form or go to their home page and choose “Already filled in the Government Online NRI Passport Form”.
- Once you complete the online process, you will now have to submit your physical application via shipping or walk-in option as selected by you to the CKGS Indian Passport Application Center as per the Jurisdiction of your application.
- After form submission/shipment, use this tracking URL to track the status using the Web reference number (obtained in step 2 above) and current Indian passport number.
Few useful tips:
- CKGS will start processing your application only when they receive your physical application package.
- In step 4, while choosing the submission mode as shipping, you might face issues while verifying your address. They use Fedex API for verifying the addresses. You can confirm you address here.
- You should get all your signatures notarized in the supporting forms too. It is not very clear from the documentation on CKGS website.
- Print the document checklist after ticking the boxes and enclose it with the other documents in your package.
- I would recommend using CKGS’s Fedex Standard shipment label instead of creating your own. The shipping and tracking process is quite smooth that way even though you end up paying $30 extra.
- CKGS offer upto four free text alerts for your application form. This is quite useful.
- Read through their passport renewal guide here for a complete description of each step.