When it comes to emergencies, you absolutely want to know what to do, especially if the emergency involves travelling with short notice. The Indian government has created a tatkal scheme to accommodate Indian nationals who might need a passport issued or reissued faster than going through the regular process of getting a passport. More than 1,000 tatkal passport are issued every month in Mumbai alone showing that sometimes waiting for at least a month is too long when it comes to getting a passport.
You can apply for a tatkal passport if you a need an emergency issue or reissue of Indian passport. If you live in the United States, tatkal passports are also issued through the Embassy of India but they are only issued on compassionate grounds of a genuine emergency such as death or serious illness of a blood relative.
Who Can Apply
Tatkal scheme can be used only if you do not need a police verification or you can use post police verification when you apply for your passport. In any other cases you need to apply for official passport. To qualify for tatkal passport you also need to belong to any of the following categories showing that you have a genuine urgency to get your passport: businessman travelling abroad to attend a trade conference or fair, immediate family member of someone living abroad who is critically ill, immediate family member of someone working abroad, winner of promotional award when the travel is the prize, spouse of official passport holders, immediate family member attending a wedding of a relative, someone getting married abroad, patient requiring medical treatment abroad, immediate family member of someone who died abroad, or student taking an SAT, TOEFL or GRE or starting studies in a university abroad.
In India the processing time can be up to 15 days but it is only one to three working days in the United States.
How to Apply
Tatkal passport process is similar to the regular Indian passport process. The only difference is that you need to submit additional documents to support the emergency purpose of the application. Tatkal passport application can be downloaded from online. After you complete the application, you have to verify you application by getting it signed by one of the applicable officers at your regional passport office. Bring all the needed documents with you so that the signing officer can issue your passport.
Additional Documents Needed
In addition to the regular documents needed for the passport application, 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 also need a written request addressed to the consular officer to explain the emergency situation requiring you to apply for tatkal passport, two sworn affidavits from recognised Indian nationals from the area you are from and relevant pages from the passports of those two affidavits.
Tatkal passport costs £97 on top of the regular passport fee. If you are applying for tatkal passport on the grounds of being a patient requiring medical treatment abroad; immediate family member of someone who died abroad; or student taking an SAT, TOEFL or GRE or starting studies in a university abroad, the additional tatkal fee is waived.