I’m currently on my F-1 student visa in the US. I am a citizen of India. While traveling to another state, one TSA officer told me to replace it because it has a washed out photo, or I’ll have problems in the future. What are the steps to replace/update it? I don’t want to go back to India, just to replace it. Can I do it while staying in the US?
If your passport got damaged because it got wet etc. then you can apply for a new passport using the counselor services of the Embassy of India in the USA.
There is a passport service section where you can find information on how to apply for a new/replacement passport while in the US. You will need:
- your recent original indian passport
- US resident status details
- apply for the passport on the CKGS website ONLY. Don't apply on the Government of India's website.
- You will be given a temporary number. Do remember to write it down or print it. You can use it to complete your application later on etc.
- You can submit your application via walk-in or mail it to them. Follow the packing details carefully if you choose to mail it.
Please read the application guide once before getting started.
If you haven't had problems before, the problem might just lie with this particular TSA agent, especially if s/he was one who is unaccustomed to checking passports (which is most of them, outside of major hubs, border areas, college towns, resort areas, and a few other places frequented by international visitors).
Broadly speaking, there is no way to alter any part of any country's passport without replacing the entire passport. There is no way to modify your name, for example, or your sex, even if they have been legally changed, and you can no longer add pages to them. If the photo is faded or has otherwise been damaged, unfortunately, you will need to obtain a new passport.