One of our readers, Benny, share his passport renewal experience in America. Thanks to Benny for taking time to share his experience with our readers. You can share your experience here
Indian Passport Renewal Experience in USA
I am writing my experience to help those who want to renew their passport in Houston Consulate. I know before you found this experience of mine, you have already read many of the horrible stories/experiences/reviews. I was myself very apprehensive of the passport renewal process especially at the Houston Consulate.
I found someone on one of the forums who helped me with his prior experience and I finally decided to go ahead to renew my passport at the Houston Consulate by mail (I am from Georgia).
I sent my application by Fedex ground shipping with signature receipt on April 5, 2012 and to my surprise received the renewed passport (along with the old one) on April 21, 2012. Please note that my application was not Tatkal but normal and even in normal I got my passport in less than 3 weeks.
I prepared a covering letter and followed the format available at www.path2usa.com/indian-passport-renewal-cover-letter
Indian Passport Renewal in America – Documents Checklist
Following were the documents I sent –
1. Original current passport (number ZXXXXXX)
2. Completed application Form with 3 photographs.
3. Money Order of 60$ (inclusive $20 for return mail service)
4. Copy of the first 5 pages and last 2 pages of the passport
5. Notarized copy of US Driving License and GNG Bill.
6. Notarized copy of work authorization H1B form I-797 approval.
7. Notarized copy of the visa stamp on the passport
8. Notarized copy of I-94 document.
9. Notarized copy of Degree Certificate ( for ECNR)
10. Notarized copy of Marriage certificate (for spouse name inclusion)
Please note that I had sent the notarized copy of everything except the passport pages. I believe that is very important.
Indian Passport Renewal in USA – Photos :
Also, there was a confusion regarding the passport photos. The consulate website says 3.5cmx3.5cm but in the application form it says 2x2in. I was very confused about it and finally could search few people who gave 2x2in. Here in US the passport picture is 2×2 in and its tough to get 3.5cmx3.5cm. I went to many places but could not get 3.5×3.5 hence I took the risk and sent 2x2in pictures taken at Costco and it worked for me.
Conclusion – Advice
I hope this experience will help you in some way. My suggestion to you is not to wait for the last moment. If you are within one year of passport expiry, please go ahead with application and send notarized copies. I will not be able to judge for you whether to do Tatkal or not. If you are willing to wait for 3 to 4 weeks then you can do normal. If you want earlier than that maybe you can go for tatkal. Again it is my suggestion, the final decision is yours.
You can also check out Official Houston India Consulate Passport Renewal webpage