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9 reasons why a passport is denied

As you take baby steps & walk closer to your study abroad dream…here are 9 minor passport hurdles that we want for you to cross without taking a fall.

Ashwin Sriram

An Indian passport is denied when the applicant is unable to prove his/her citizenship. So the most important documents you need to submit are the ones that prove your national identity.

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Getting your passport is an important first step to moving out of the country. The process of applying for a passport has become a lot easier today. But it’s still important that you do your homework well before applying for a passport. 

A lot of students end up using the services of an agent to apply for a passport; but you really don’t have to go through such channels and hassles to get one. You can avoid all that and save some money by using our guidance services to apply for a passport.

On some instances, an applicant is denied a passport. It can be quite annoying to discover that the trouble you had taken to apply only resulted in a negative response. But knowing before-hand the common reasons why passports are denied can help you avoid making mistakes during the application process.  

Below you’ll find the list of reasons why a passport is denied.

Missing Documents

Make a checklist of the documents required for submission along with your passport application. Run through the checklist and ensure that you have all the documents in order before submitting them. The most common reason for a passport being denied is the failure to submit the necessary documents.

An Indian passport is denied when the applicant is unable to prove his/her citizenship. So the most important documents you need to submit are the ones that prove your national identity. All documents like your driver’s license, birth certificate, voter’s ID card, pan card and other similar documents should be submitted along with the appropriate fees; otherwise your passport application will be rejected.

Clean Copies

You have to submit photocopies of some of your documents as part of the passport application process. Make sure they are legible, clear and look as close to the original as possible. You don’t want the documents looking too dark, smudged in ink, contorted or distorted. The popular adage, ‘the devil is in the details’ is very applicable here. Don’t be lazy and overlook these minor details. Present your documents well, and you should have no problems getting a passport.

Signature Issues

When applying for a passport, ensure your signatures match across all the documents and forms you have to submit. If your signature is not consistent across the various forms and documents, your application could be rejected.

Application Fees

This may sound like an obvious reason not worth mentioning, but it’s often the obvious ones that we overlook when we are in a hurry to put-together our application form. So make sure you pay the right stipulated application fee when applying for a passport. Failure to do so will result in the rejection of the application.

‘Enemy of the State’ 

Just like the literal meaning of the movie title above, the state can refuse to issue a passport if for any reason it suspects you may engage in behavior that is detrimental to the country. Of course we know you are not planning on hijacking a flight on your way abroad, but it’s important to list this as one of the reasons why a passport is denied. Omitting this reason would make the list incomplete. 

It’s also possible that a misunderstanding or misprint of your name could very easily result in you being mistaken for some most-wanted criminal — as peculiar and unlikely as it sounds, it has happened in the past in other countries. So be clear with your documents to avoid any confusion. Don’t give them any reason to think you pose a threat to the country.

Criminal History

In the rare event that your name is under investigation, your passport is likely to be denied. The state could also deny you a passport if it treats you as a controversial figure. If for any reason the state believes that you have the power to tarnish or diminish the image of the Indian government abroad, you can be denied a passport.

Also, if you have in the past served time in a prison for any crime, the state has the right to review your application closely and deny it on the grounds of threat.  

Overdue Payments

If you have any outstanding loans, debts or tax payments that are due by a certain date, then your passport application could be rejected. To avoid any such issues, make sure that all your tax filings (if applicable) are correct and current before applying. Similarly, check with your bank on your loans or debts (if applicable) and repay any outstanding payment. Being debt-free would ensure you don’t face any issues during your passport application process.

Police Checks

Among the many complications that could occur, your current residential address may conflict with the permanent address you listed in your application. This could happen if you’ve been moving between two different regions during the time of the application. If you are living elsewhere, like in a distant town, but have applied citing a different locality address then you may face complications related to the police address-verification process. So you could be denied a passport on the grounds that your address could not be verified by the police. To avoid this, ensure your current residential address is the same as the one you’ve listed in your passport application, or if that is not possible for some reason, then clarify with the local police to get your residential address cleared. 

Expert View

Shakuntala Rane, a passport officer based in Pune, recently said in an interview with the Times of India, that one of the common reasons for the delay, and sometimes subsequent refusal in issuing a passport is due to the applicant’s failure to mention his/her temporary address in the application form.

If you are residing away from your hometown (or permanent residence) due to any reason and for any period of time, you should mention the details in your application. A failure to mention the address results in undue delays, complications and sometimes rejection.

Follow our guidelines to avoid having to reapply for a passport. Our advisors will be happy to guide you with your passport application. If you have any more tips to add to our list of reasons here, please feel free to comment below. We’d love to hear from you.

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