When you are lucky enough to be born in a country with birthright citizenship while your parents are of a different nationality than the country they reside in, i.e in the USA or Canada you might claim dual citizenship (so-called “Jus Soli”). This kind of citizenship is a policy whereby a child is granted citizenship by the country they are born in. In the UK, where I stayed for 1.5 years, the birthright law does not apply, so when you don’t have British citizenship and when you decide to have a baby delivered in the UK, she/he will need to get registered in your home country high commission. So – to give a more precise example – in the case where both parents have Indian citizenship and they are staying in the UK, they would need to apply for an Indian passport for a minor. How the process of getting an Indian passport for a minor abroad looks like – 3 simple steps with an example of the UK application process below.
Two most common ways of acquiring citizenship
Citizenship from birth,
which is typically either acquired through place-of-birth (“Jus Soli”) or though lineage (“Jus Sanguinis”).
|Citizenship through naturalization,|
which is typically acquired later in life (i.e. not from birth)
Steps to get Indian passport for a minor abroad
Step 1: Get UK birth certificate from the local council
After baby birth, either in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you have 42 days to register birth – if not, you’ll be fined. The process is quite smooth and it takes seconds to book an appointment online for the nearest register office (based on the postcode, we did it in Birmingham register office).
Documents to bring with you for birth registration
- The hospital discharge papers or the baby’s red book
- Your Indian passport and residence permit (BRP)
- Your marriage certificate
- An official document with your name and current UK address, such as a driving license or utility bill (note to that: we provided BRP and apart from that we weren’t asked for anything else)
- If you don’t speak not understand English – take along with you someone who does.
There’s no charge for registering a birth, but there is a cost of £11 (2019) for any certificate that you wish to have issued (cost per unit). You can buy full certificates, showing the parents details, and you’ll receive it the same-day appointment is fixed and attended. Payment can be made by card or cash. So – in our example, we want not only register baby’s birth but get the birth certificate itself as well – we want to apply for an Indian passport for the baby – payment applied here.
Details you should know when registering the birth
- place and date of your baby birth
- name, surname and sex of the baby
- parents’ names, surnames and the UK address
- places and dates of parents’ birth
- date of parents’ marriage
- parents’ occupation
- mother’s maiden surname
Step 2: register birth in Consulate or High Commission of India
The Birth of the child is required to be registered with the Consulate or HCI as a prelude to applying for an Indian Passport, for details and the application process visit the link. An application for a passport can be submitted after obtaining the Birth Registration certificate from HCI London (for the UK example) or its respective consulates as per the jurisdiction.
Visit Passport Seva at Indian Embassies and Consulates website and follow the process – keep in mind those regulations change quite often so check for updates frequently. The process presented below is applicable in 2019. Check the Passport information tab before moving forward.
- Register by clicking on “Register” Link
- Log in with the registered login ID and Password on “User Login” link
- In the Applicant Home Page, click on “Apply for Ordinary Passport/Emergency Certificate/Police Clearance Certificate/Surrender of Indian Passport/Diplomatic Passport/Official Passport/Identity Certificate” link to file a new application
- After successful submission, take a printout of the online submitted form and make an appointment
- Visit the respective Application Processing Centre/Embassy/Consulate along with required supporting documents
It will take around 10-14 days’ time to get it registered.
Example of automatic e-mail triggered to your registered e-mail after successful registration to Passport Seva at Indian Embassies and Consulates website
Congratulations! You have been registered successfully on Passport Seva System.!!
Only Indians living abroad are eligible to apply for Passport Services using Passport Seva System under the jurisdiction of the respective Indian Missions (Embassy/High Commission) or Posts (Consulate Generals) abroad.
Please go through the below mentioned points before proceeding with your account activation:
1. The password of the registered User ID expires after every 90 days. Please make a note of your Date of Birth and Hint Question/Answer entered at the time of registration. You can reset your account password by clicking the ‘Forgot Password?’ link available at the Passport Seva for Indian Embassies User Login screen.
2. Please ensure that the details entered in the Online Application Form (especially passport printable details shown as passport preview before online submission of application) are correct. You will not be able to make any changes in your application post submitting the same online.
3. Take a printout of the online submitted form (Use print application after selecting the Application Reference Number (ARN) on applicant home page) for submission at Mission/Post along with supporting documents as mentioned on the Mission (and Outsourced service provider (if any)) website.
4. Please refer to the Mission/Post website section on the Passport services for latest information on various topics such as application submission process, fee structure, documents to be submitted etc. For any clarification, you can refer to the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and Contact Us section on the Mission/Post website.
Passport Seva Communications Team
Note: This is a system generated e-mail, please do not reply to it.
Documents to be attached with the application by the applicant
- A copy of the birth certificate of the child.
- A copy of the certificate of Indian citizenship if acquired by registration/naturalization.
- A copy of the passport of both the parents
- A copy of the marriage certificate.
Step 3: Apply for Indian passport in VFS UK
After confirmation that your childbirth is registered in the High Commission of India, you need to make an appointment in the VFS center and attend it in person along with a minor (her/his fingerprint will be taken instead of signature). No applications are accepted without Prior Appointment (link for the UK VFS appointment scheduling service). All applicants must ensure they print both the online application form and appointment confirmation letter and bring both when attending their appointment.
Documents to bring to India Visa & Consular Application Centre
As you may notice, arriving on time for your appointment is required – that guarantees you can actually attend the appointment. Keep in mind you still need to deliver a couple of documents, mostly copy with the original document to confirm if everything matches. List of what was required from us, below:
- printout of passport issuing online application
- printout of appointment letter
- parents passport copies (+originals to show)
- marriage certificate copy (+original to show)
- UK address proof (i.e rental/lease agreement)
- visa copy (if applying abroad – your/+your husband residence permit copy, in UK it’s Biometric Residence Permit)
- 2 photos 51x51mm (on the website it’s written 4 but they took 2 in VFS)
- payment (debit card/cash payment in UK ie)
- NOTE: For couples where one parent is Indian and other has different nationality, you might be asked for additional documents from respective Embassy/Consulate confirmation (of a parent that is not of Indian nationality) that minor does not have any other citizenship – in our case we received from embassy information that such document is not provided. All in all, VFS representatives did not ask for any extra documents and we processed the application as if both parents were Indians.
Cost of new issuance of Indian passport for minor
Total cost in September 2019 for new passport issuance for minor, including courier fee, SMS fee, service fee was: £67
Collection Procedure for new passport
Passports are delivered by courier once ready. After payment, you will be provided with one Special Delivery envelope and you need to self – address it. One envelope per application is required.
I would love to hear your comments on this! Have you ever gone through new passport issuance for a minor abroad? Do you have a similar experience? Or would you like to add something I missed? Thank you very much for reading this article. I am curious if you have/had any experience of yours? Any comments? – please share your experience. And if you liked the article – share it, click “Like it” and subscribe to my newsletter.
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