How to Get an Emergency Travel Document for Indian Citizens

USCIS form I-131 Application for travel document lies on flat lay office table and ready to fill

Traveling to India can be a daunting task for Indian citizens living abroad, especially in cases of an unplanned emergency. Without the proper documents, you may be denied entry into the country. This can be a stressful situation to deal with, especially if you are in a hurry.

Fortunately, there is an option available to Indian citizens who need to travel to their home country with haste. An Emergency Travel Document (ETD) is one of the most convenient and cost-effective solutions that can help you get access to India quickly and securely.

What Is an Emergency Travel Document

Indian people who urgently need to visit India may choose to obtain an Emergency Certificate (EC). Indian nationals whose passports have expired, been lost, stolen, or destroyed are given this one-way travel document. Moreover, people who are subject to deportation orders receive it.

Within 24 hours of registration, an EC may be obtained at the closest Indian Embassy, High Commission, or Consulate. Applicants must fill out an application form and provide identification papers, such as a ration card, birth certificate, driver’s license, or PAN card, together with other pertinent documents, such as flight information and proof of residency in India, in order to obtain the document.

Depending on their specific scenario, applicants might need to submit further paperwork. An EC is only valid for one-way travel to India, so travelers must make sure they have all the paperwork they need to leave India and return to their home countries.

When Do Indian Citizens Need an Emergency Travel Document?

An Emergency Certificate (EC), which is only provided to Indian citizens in specific circumstances, is a one-way travel document. It makes it easier to go urgently to India when an Indian passport’s validity has run out or when the document has been misplaced, stolen, destroyed, seized, or canceled. Additionally, it is given out when a citizen of India is being deported.

The EC only permits its bearer to return to India from the nation that granted it, and only if the holder is able to present sufficient documentation before leaving India. Since the certificate does not ensure entrance into India, travelers must first obtain permission from the Indian Mission.

It should be emphasized that a certificate for an emergency cannot be used for regular travel to India. Its primary function is to give Indian nationals who urgently need to return home a one-time emergency travel document when they are unable to get a regular passport with a long enough expiration date.

How to Apply for an Emergency Travel Document?

Getting an Emergency Certificate is a relatively simple process for Indian citizens. The following steps should be followed when applying for an EC:

Step 1: Prepare the Necessary Documents

In order to apply for an Emergency Certificate, Indian citizens must prepare the following documents:

  • Valid photo identification
  • Valid proof of address in India
  • Travel tickets or booking confirmation
  • One recent passport sized photograph
  • A completed application form

Step 2: Application Submission

The application form should be submitted in person to the Indian Embassy or Consulate in the country where you are currently residing. It is important to note that ECs are not issued by the Indian government via post or email, and must be collected in person at the Embassy or Consulate.

Step 3: Processing Time and Fees

Once the application is submitted, it usually takes up to 7 days to process, depending on the individual case. There will be a fee applicable that can only be paid once you have collected your EC in person at the Embassy or Consulate.

Necessary Documents and Forms Required

To apply for an Emergency Certificate (EC), an Indian citizen must compile the required paperwork. These consist of a properly completed and signed application with an attached passport-size picture. Indian people requesting an Emergency Certificate (EC) must furthermore possess a legitimate form of identification and evidence of address, such as a voter ID card, Aadhaar card, or PAN card. Other acceptable forms of identification and address documentation include passports and driving licenses from other nations.

The application process for an Emergency Certificate (EC) requires applicants to provide the following documents:

  • Duly filled emergency certificate form
  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • A copy of valid photo identification
  • A copy of current Indian passport page showing date of expiry
  • Copy of visa page/s indicating explicit details like place and date of issuance
  • Copy of letter from Indian embassy/ consulate in the foreign country
  • The original expired Indian passport.

Once all the necessary documents are submitted along with the filled application form, it is sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs for processing. Once approved, the EC will be issued by regional Passport Office/consulate general in person or through registered post/speed post or courier service.

Fees and Processing Time

Indian nationals must pay a charge of US$17 to get an Emergency Certificate (EC) in order to travel to India. The verification of passport information and Indian nationality will determine how long it takes to submit an application. The EC will be issued and an Indian person will be permitted to enter India on a one-way travel document when these components have been validated.

For instance, the EC should be granted within 24 hours of the US$17 price being paid provided the passport information and Indian nationality are verified without the need of any external reference checks. The processing period may exceed 24 hours for requests involving reference checks or additional explanations from applicants.

How to Renew an ETD in India?

When an Indian person has to travel quickly without a valid Indian passport due to lost, expired, or misplaced passports, an Indian Consulate will give them an Emergency Travel Document (ETD), which is a temporary passport. While it is quite simple to renew an ETD in India, caution must be taken to ensure the procedure is carried out properly.

Here are the steps that must be followed:

  1. Get an appointment at the nearest Indian Consulate.
  2. Visit the Consulate in person and present the documents required for renewal of ETD. These documents include:
  3. A duly filled application form
  4. Identity documents such as PAN card and voter ID card
  5. Proof of residence such as driving license or utility bills
  6. Once all necessary documents are submitted, you will be interviewed by a Consular Officer who will verify your identity and other information. After satisfying all requirements, you will be issued your renewed ETD.

Tips for Indian Citizens (NRI) Traveling With an Emergency Travel Document

Indian citizens who need to travel abroad urgently often face challenges due to their lack of proper documentation. For these times, an Emergency Certificate (EC) can be a lifesaver. It is a one-way travel document that may be issued only to Indian nationals in certain circumstances.

When applying for an EC, Indian nationals residing abroad should adhere to the following tips:

  1. Submit documents in advance and clearly explain the urgency of the situation.
  2. Submit necessary supporting documents like a passport, visa status and recent photographs with valid identification to prove eligibility.
  3. Ensure that all paperwork is complete and accurate prior to submitting the application form to the High Commission or Embassy of India.
  4. Be aware that the High Commission may decide whether or not to issue an EC after they are satisfied with the applicant’s bona fide.
  5. Be prepared for denial if there are doubts regarding the urgency and validity of the request, or if incorrect information is provided in the application form.

Following these will help Indian people apply for an Emergency Certificate from their High Commission or Embassy of India abroad as easily as possible.

The procedure is easier than ever for Indian nationals who find themselves in need of an emergency travel document. You can go abroad to your planned location using an Emergency Travel Document (ETD).

In order to obtain an ETD, you need to:

  1. Obtain a visa from the Embassy or Consulate of your intended country of travel
  2. Complete the application form on the Indian Ministry of External Affairs website
  3. Submit the relevant documents such as passport and identity documents
  4. Pay the applicable fees
  5. Collect your ETD from the Embassy or Consulate and take it with you for travel abroad

The whole process can be completed online, making it easy and convenient for anyone who needs an ETD for their travels within India or abroad.

The nearest Indian Embassy or Consulate should be contacted by Indian nationals who are overseas and require an Emergency Travel Document. These organizations can give the necessary information and documents to get the Emergency Travel Document, as well as assistance in clarifying the criteria and the length of time required for processing. Indian nationals who urgently want an Emergency Travel Document should also bear in mind that in order to get the document in a timely manner, they must submit the application and necessary paperwork as soon as they can.