Experience: Passport Renewal at SFO Consulate

Processing Type: Normal
Change in Address: No - same as old passport
Change in Appearance: Yes - Renewing after 10 Years

I have tried to capture my experience in detail, so it might be a long read for a few of you.

Click on each of the section below to see the details.

Timeline:

------------------------------------------- FedEx -------------------------------------------

22-Feb-2021 (Day 1 - 12:20 PM) - Application/package dropped off at FedEx

23-Feb-2021 (Day 2 - 08.42 AM) - FedEx delivered package at VFS Center in San Francisco

-------------------------------------------- VFS --------------------------------------------

24-Feb-2021 (Day 3 - 01:12 AM) - Received Email & Text Msg: Dear Customer, your package has been received at the VFS application Centre. Our current processing times are longer than usual. Your application will be reviewed with 48-72 business hours. You are requested to track the status of your application after 2-3 business days. Thank you

05-Mar-2021 (Day 12 - 10:01 AM) - Received Email: Dear Applicant, We have ‘Received’ your Application and your application is now ‘Under Process’ at San Francisco.

05-Mar-2021 (Day 12 - 04:38 PM) - Received Email & Text Msg: Dear Applicant, Your Application has been ‘Processed’ at the VFS India Consular application Centre and currently is ‘In-Transit‘ to the Embassy of India/Consulate General of India for decision making.

08-Mar-2021 (Day 15 - 09:10 AM) - Checked on Website: Your application has reached at the Embassy/Consulate and is currently under process

---------------------------------------- Govt. Portal ---------------------------------------

08-Mar-2021 (Day 15 - 09:10 AM) - Checked on Website: Passport application along with fee details have been received. The same is under processing at the Embassy/Consulate.

12-Mar-2021 (Day 19 - 03:10 PM) - Checked on Website: Passport application is under review at Indian Embassy/Consulate. (File number also got generated)

23-Mar-2021 (Day 30 - 09:42 PM) - Email received: Initiation of Police Verification Request(s) for your Passport Application File (No. USXXXXXXXXXXXXX)

28-Mar-2021 (Day 35 - 02:30 AM) - Indian Contact received Phone call from Police Station to come over to station with documents

31-Mar-2021 (Day 38 - 07:30 AM) - Checked on Website: Print has been initiated for passport.

06-Apr-2021 (Day 44 - 12:30 PM) - Checked on Website: Passport has been printed

07-Apr-2021 (Day 45 - 10:10 AM) - Checked on Website: Passport application is under review at Indian Embassy/Consulate.

11-Apr-2021 (Day 49 - 12:30 PM) - Checked on Website: Passport has been printed

12-Apr-2021 (Day 50 - 07:30 AM) - Checked on Website: Passport is printed and will be delivered shortly.

13-Apr-2021 (Day 51 - 05:00 AM) - Your passport has been printed and being forwarded to Embassy/Consulate. The Embassy/Consulate will contact you once they receive the passport for dispatch

-------------------------------------------- VFS --------------------------------------------

26-Apr-2021 (Day 64 - 10:37 AM) - Received Email & Text Msg: Dear Applicant, Your Application has been reviewed by the Embassy of India/ Consulate General of India & will be dispatched using the courier service you had opted.

26-Apr-2021 (Day 64 - 06:35 PM) - Received Email & Text Msg: Dear Applicant, Your document (s) is dispatched using the return label purchased or sent by you. If using VFS courier, please check for email from “TrackingUpdates@fedex.com” for details. If you have used your prepaid label then track the status via the website of the concerned service provider. Note: Information is printed on the documents as what you have filled while completing the online Form on the Government Portal. If you have made mistakes while filling up the Govt. form then VFS Indian Consular application Centre wont be in a position to assist. To get the corrections done, you should contact the Embassy of India or its Consulate directly based on your Consular Jurisdiction.

------------------------------------------- FedEx -------------------------------------------

26-Apr-2021 (Day 64 - 01:53 PM) - Received Email from TrackingUpdates@fedex.com: Tracking number and shipment information along with scheduled delivery time. I could see same details on my FedEx Account

26-Apr-2021 (Day 64 - 04:46 PM) - Received Email from TrackingUpdates@fedex.com: Passport Picked-up

27-Apr-2021 (Day 65 - 08:19 AM) - Received Email from TrackingUpdates@fedex.com: Out for Delivery Today by 08:00 PM

-------------------------------------------- End --------------------------------------------

27-Apr-2021 (Day 65 - 12:22 PM) - Both old and new Passports Delivered

Documents:

I wanted to make sure there were no back and forth emails on missing documents. So, I made a list of my own from checklist and also based on experiences shared on forums. Before sending my original passport, I took a scan of all its pages.

Also, I retained a scanned copy of final set of documents (incl. Govt Application) for my own records. I sent 2 address proofs as there were differences in the way my middle name and Apt. # were mentioned on the documents. Both documents were meant to clear confusion, if there was any.

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Pointers:
  • When in doubt, send additional documents to avoid back and forth emails or spending unnecessary money on shipping
  • Print your Govt. application as a PDF, go through it in detail to look for any mistakes or any missing information. Take help of someone to scan through it. Once you are sure everything is in order, print it on papers and sign it.
  • Double check signatures, date and place on all relevant forms. Same is applicable for the information they are seeking through those forms. Do not leave anything blank which applies to you.
  • Arrange your documents in the same order as mentioned in checklist. Double check each document so that you do not miss any.
  • Retain copies (even if it’s a scanned copy) of everything you are sending, for your reference - especially pages of your old Passport(s).
  • If you are on any kind of deadline, go for Tatkal. Else, be prepared for processing time to be anywhere between 6-10 weeks (in given circumstances).
  • Calling VFS again and again won’t help. You will just be wasting money. They will repeat same information what you see online.
  • Don’t expect embassy/consulate officers to reply to your emails. Be patient. They will not expedite just because you are emailing them. Remember, there are many others like you.
  • Most delays can be attributed to the reasons above. If you take care of these, you should be good.

Good Luck!

6 Likes

Thank you so much for this!

Anyone has recent experiences about Police verification?
My passport renewal is under review at Indian Embassy/Consulate SFO since last 3 weeks and I do got email about police verification for Address where no one currently lives in India. I have provided phone number of my relative but he didn’t receive any call yet.

1 Like

Curious,
If I have one passport which is about to expire next year (2023) and an older one (valid from 2003-2013) which has already expired (and had been replaced by current one), do I send both? or just the one that is about to expire?

Just the one which is expiring.

If it makes you feel better, you can send a self attested copy of old passport.

Do you remember what docs they asked your family member in india? Did the family member have to go physically to the police station to show the docs? @Diwedy

Yes, physical presence was required along with 2-3 photos, Aadhar and copy of passport which was being renewed.