The most important identity proof of any person in the world can be his passport. You will need it not only for study abroad but also after completion of it. So, needless to say, you have to take good care of this thing. You cannot afford even a slightest damage to the passport, because it ultimately results in re-issuing the passport. Any changes in the passport can also create travel complications for you.
Passport is your international identification proof. It contains physical record of the countries you have visited. Ignoring a thing of such great importance can put you into trouble. Better maintain and take good care of it. And this is how you can do it. Below are simple thumb rules to maintain your passport.
image source: internationalservices.byu.edu
- Correct Details of the Person
There can be a change in your name because of marriage or other reasons. It is completely necessary to have that changed name on your passport. Carrying a passport with the old name can cause you complication and you might not get to travel abroad with the old passport. You can apply for re-issue of the passport. Along with the application you will be commanded to have gazette notification of your changed name and also an identity proof of your fresh name.
Also there can be error from your side or from the passport office (which rarely happens) in specifying you details such as median name, initial or date of birth. In such cases you must report about the error to the passport office and get things corrected. If you report the error within 3 months of issue of your passport then there will be no fees charged for it while after that you may be charged a particular fees almost equal to applying for a new passport.
You can make these errors less by applying online and checking the details by your own.
- Wear and Tear
The damage to your passport even if it is sometimes very small can lead to re-issuing of your passport. The damages are reviewed by the visa officers. The extent of the damage is also decided by the visa officers. Any tear, oil and water spill, ink spot, and also sometimes mishandling of the visa personnel can be a hurdle to abroad travel.
It is extremely important to keep your passport far away from meeting such conditions. Sometimes the damages caused by our carelessness while sometimes it is others fault. Well, nobody likes to pay some another person’s mistake.
- Expiry Date
You will not be allowed to travel abroad if your expiry date of the passport is near. Usually many countries will restrict you to travel if your expiry date of the passport is within 6months. So before travelling you need to check two things, firstly of course the expiry date of the passport and second whether the country accepts your passport.
The Indian passport office allows you to apply for renewal of passport when there is one year remaining for the expiration of the passport.
- Extra Pages of the Passport
If you are supposed to travel from host country to your home country frequently then you will need additional pages. Some countries provide the option of paying extra and getting extra pages for the passport. Sadly, in India we do not any such provision. After you go short of pages are commanded to apply for new passport.
You should not stick any temporary cover or any sticker on the passport. The visa officials will not allow such passports. Also they consider it illegal. Some visa departments in abroad may attach some easily removable stickers to your passport for the internal verification process. Such stickers are allowed and you can travel with these stickers. Never put any temporary cover to beautify or make it attractive.
Your photo on the passport must satisfy the given specification. We are not telling you to look all doom and gloom in your picture but keep that big smile a little smaller. In India the specified rule ask a neutral expression and a white background at your back. Saying cheese and giving poses is strictly not permitted for the image in India.
- Keep It Safe
Put your passport in a safe water-tight option. Water and oil spills can damage passport. Along with this, it is a good habit to keep your passport in a passport holder. They are readily available in the market. People use them to keep cash as well as passport. They are air-tight and water-tight pouches. They keep the passport clean as well as dry. This saves the passport from wearing and tearing. To make it water proof you can also apply a coat of silica gel on your passport.
- Never Out of Sight
When you are living abroad you may have to give your passport to many people for different purpose. On this time never let your passport go out of site. Keep looking for the officer, authority, friend, or staff who is having it. Forging with passport is a common business; make sure you are not the victim of it.
Do not deposit your passport as an identification proof when you are renting a vehicle. You can deposit something else like driving license. Same goes with hotel, do not take the risk of depositing passport even there.
Never leave the passport unattended in your accommodation. Always keep it in lockers or some sort of safe place. Though universities provide you lockers, you should first make sure that documents are going to be safe over there and then think of keeping them in it. It is always better to prevent then cure!