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My friend (an Indian citizen) has gotten married in a court (court marriage) . Due to personal reasons, no one in the family has been told about it.

His family now wants him to travel outside India. He is keen to go to and his spouse is fine with it. He is now applying for a passport. Due to secrecy surrounding the marriage, he plans to mention his marital status as "single".

Will it be a problem for him? Suppose he wants to change his marital status on the day of appointment (May 2019) or at a later date, would it be possible? What documents should he submit in such a case? Can it be done discreetly without his family knowing about it?

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    All sorts of problems can arise if one lies on official documents. If your friend's passport application asks if he is married he should answer honestly. If that is a problem for him and his family he should resolve that first. – Redd Herring Apr 22 at 17:28
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    Think about the problems of changing his status later, when the documents will prove that he was lying. It will be easier to conceal the passport from his parents, than to cover up with the authorities. – Weather Vane Apr 22 at 17:35
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    Are questions about passports on topic here when they don't directly relate to travel? – fkraiem Apr 22 at 17:56
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    Questions about passport applications in several different countries are on the site, mostly with no close votes. – Willeke Apr 22 at 18:03
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    @fkraiem the first version of the question mentioned that the passport application was made because of a planned trip outside India (but in any event I would suggest that a passport is inherently directly related to travel). – phoog Apr 22 at 18:33
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TL;DR. Don't lie on your application. It is usually much easier to hide info from or convince your family than the government. He should tell the truth on the passport application and take measures to hide the original passport from his family (Show them a copy with spouse name blanked out maybe). Or on the other extreme, if that is not possible and he feels marriage must be concealed at all costs, he may consider putting off the process of obtaining passport till the time is right.


There are multiple questions here and I'll try to answer the easiest ones first

Can marital status be changed discreetly?

No. Indian passports have spouse name in biodata page. If you declare your marital status, the last page of passport will have your spouse name. If your friend's family sees the passport, they will know the truth.

Can marital status be changed? With what documents?

Yes. If you need to change the status during application just mention it to the person on the counter. If you have a passport, apply for reissue of passport on account of change in personal particulars.

In the past, a marriage certificate was required, but it seems this requirement has been done away with. It is possible officials may insist on the certificate.

Be aware that if your friend mentions his status as single and later applies to re-issue passport with updated status, an observant officer may notice that date on the certificate is earlier than date of issue of existing passport and then fine him/stall his application on account of deception.

Will mentioning wrong status be a problem for him?

Yes. General advice given here is to not lie knowingly during application. Apart from the problem of explaining change in status in subsequent passport, your friend may face some uncomfortable questions from a foreign consulate if he plans for his wife to join him in a foreign country later. He will be required to disclose his marital status on most visa applications as well. If he lies there too and his lie is subsequently discovered, consequences can be severe.

It may make it harder for them to obtain documentation for children later if they don't have spouse names on passport ( e.g. India requires (Q6 in the FAQ) both parents to be present for minor child's passport or copies of both parent's passport with spouse name added).

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    FWIW probably safer to lie to the family and claim the gov't screwed up his passport than to lie to the gov't. – aslum Apr 23 at 12:41
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    @aslum, Depends on the family. Both men and women have been 'honor' killed over such transgressions. It can literally be a case of picking your poison. – ouflak Apr 24 at 7:55
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During the verification process cops visit the applicant's home and they verify information provided from neighbor's as well. They don't ask about everything though but, if they find something odd they will question. Generally they just want to check whether the applicant is really a resident and Indian national.

It will lead to cancellation of the application and police may charge the applicant for providing false information.

FAQ Q2: Why is Police Verification required for issuance of passport?

A: Passport is a very valuable document. Thus, in order to ensure that it does not go in wrong hands, police verification is required for issuance of passport.

Source: https://portal1.passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/online/faqPoliceVerification

In addition to this applicant will also need to go to police station for interview and submitting the documents.

  • Do cops visit for a passport application? Please provide a source to support that. – JJJ Apr 23 at 13:34
  • @JJJ added in the answer. – noob Apr 23 at 13:43
  • @JJJ You get a free pass if you work in the public sector though... "Government/Public Sector/Statutory body employees can be issued passport without police verification". – pipe Apr 23 at 13:48
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    @JJJ It's because India is regularly a target of terrorists across the border and government wants to make sure before handing the passport over to someone. – noob Apr 23 at 13:54
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    @JJJ From personal experience...you either go to the police station personally for verification, or they send someone to your house to verify. Police verification is required for passport in India. – Paresh Apr 24 at 4:42

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