VFS Services (USA) Inc.
India Passport Services Application Centre (IPAC)
Version 1, January 2012
VFS recommends that you do not purchase tickets or make bookings which cannot be cancelled without cost prior to the delivery of service, except where it is a specific requirement stated as part of the application prerequisite.
These terms contain a disclaimer which limits our liability to our refund policy stated below.
Except where covered in our refund policy below, all fees are not refundable, and may be retained by us on payment by you, even if you do not make or proceed with an application, and whether or not an objective is ultimately met.
You are responsible for the accuracy of your application form, and in checking your application form we do not guarantee that we will find any errors, and we do not verify information you have provided.
The IPAC is a service provided by VFS Services (USA) Inc. Our corporate head office is at 1001, Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 905, Washington, DC, 20036.
||Application of These Terms
These terms and conditions govern your use of the services of the IPAC, all applications you make, and all enquiries you make for advice or information concerning Indian Passport Services. Each applicant for a service hereby accepts and confirms that, prior to submitting an application; they have read, understood and agreed to be bound by, without limitation or qualification, all of these terms and conditions. No employee of VFS has any authority whatsoever to change, amend, amplify or withdraw any or all of these terms and conditions without prior written approval from VFS.
||The Passport Application Service
The India Passport Services Application Centre of VFS is a contractor to the Embassy of India (EOI) in the United States of America. In this capacity, the IPAC is responsible for scheduling appointments, receipt of passport applications for Indian Passports and Passport Service Application Charge (PSAC), submission of applications at the Embassy of India (EOI) in Washington, DC and Consulate General of India (CGI) in New York, Chicago, Houston and San-Francisco, collecting the processed application from the EOI/CGI, and returning it to the applicant.
||Acceptance and Rejection of Applications
The assessment of applications is carried out by the Embassy of India or its Consulates, and the grant or refusal of service is at their sole discretion. The Embassy of India and the CGI reserve the right to request further documentation and information from the applicant, and to refuse any passport service application. The applicant must supply such further documents and information if they wish their application to continue to be considered. VFS has no responsibility for the refusal of the Embassy of India or the CGI to issue a passport, and VFS may not be held liable for any delay or refusal of the Embassy of India or the CGI to process a passport application.
The fees payable by you comprise the Embassy Fee i.e Passport Service Application Charge (PSAC), which VFS forwards to the EOI/CGI, and VFS’s facilitation fees, comprising our Application Center service fee and other fees such as bank charges and additional services.
Fees stated are only valid on the day that they are quoted or provided by VFS. If you decide to make your application on a later date, the fees may change.
All costs of returning passports and documents to you are included in the final total fee based on information provided by you and the delivery methods selected by you.
All fees must be received in full under the available payment options as cleared funds for the application to be processed.
Except where covered in our refund policy below, fees are not refundable, and all fees are payable and may be retained by us on payment by you, even if you do not make or proceed with a service application, and whether or not an application is ultimately granted.
VFS will process all passport service applications with reasonable care and skill and in accordance with all procedures prescribed by the Embassy of India from time to time. We use reasonable care to check your application form for obvious errors on the face of the form, but we do not guarantee to detect errors on your form, and we do not undertake to verify any information you provide, which you are responsible for ensuring is accurate.
It is the responsibility of all applicants to complete all applications forms truthfully, to provide correct and accurate information and documentation, to ensure that they have the required current and valid supporting documents, and on receipt of processed application to check the validity of the services issued to ensure that it covers that was requested, and that it is valid for the purpose of the application.
Supporting documents may be retained by the Embassy of India and not returned. Applicants are advised to submit/send photocopies of the supporting documents (not the originals) unless originals are specifically requested.
The processing times for services are estimates only. These are based on information and experience of the Embassy of India and Consulates and may vary from time to time.
The processing of your application is subject to the procedures and deadlines established by the Embassy of India and Consulates, over which VFS has no control.
Advertising material may be included along with passports or other documents when they are returned to the applicant. If you do not wish to receive any such advertising material, you should notify VFS in advance at the time of submission of your visa application. Please note that all advertising material accompanying the relevant documents is provided by VFS, and does not have the endorsement of the Indian Government.
||Changes to Procedures and Fees
The procedures and fees of the Indian Embassy and Consulates for the processing of passports and related services are outside the control of VFS and subject to change without prior notice. VFS does not accept responsibility for any changes in procedures or fees and reserves the right to pass on any increased fees.
Subject to the following paragraph, if you commence an application process, including by submitting an online application, you may cancel your application at any time before you application is posted or otherwise forwarded by VFS to the Embassy of India, the Consulate General of India or any other Indian embassy, in which case we will refund to you the embassy fee, but not any facilitation fee, bank fee or other fee. Once your application has been posted or otherwise forwarded by us, it may not be cancelled.
If you commence an application process, including by submitting an online application, but do not complete the application process, including where you fail to send your application documentation to us or to attend in person at a passport application center to complete your application, within 12 months of commencing the application process, then your application shall be considered to be expired, and VFS may, without further notice, retain the embassy fee paid by you, as well as all service fees, bank fees and other fees.
Your right above is the only cancellation right you have. Once you have submitted your application, you will be deemed to have agreed that VFS may immediately commence processing your application and providing any services, and as a result you will not have any right to cancel.
||Refund of Passport Service Application Charge / Embassy Fee
If VFS is in breach of contract or negligent in relation to any passport application submitted, resulting in the service not being granted or loss of applicants documents, in each case, wherein the applicant has to apply for a new document or cannot travel to India at the times stated by the applicant in his/her application, then VFS will refund to the applicant the embassy fee, but not any service fee, bank fee or other fee.
VFS will also refund the embassy fee if you cancel your passport service application before it is forwarded by us to the EOI, CGI or any other Indian embassy, under Paragraph 4.8 above, but not any service fee, bank fee, or other fee. THIS AGREEMENT IS SUBJECT TO AN EXPRESS LIMITATION OF LIABILITY SET FORTH IN SECTION 6 BELOW.
||Loss or damage to passports and other travel documents
VFS takes every reasonable precaution while handling an applicant's passport & documents, and if due to any breach of contract or negligence on the part of VFS, the applicant's submitted passport or documents are lost or damaged beyond a useable condition, then VFS will pay to the applicant the amount of the fees charged by the government, for the replacement of the lost or damaged passport or other documents through their normal replacement procedure, and VFS will assist the applicant with the same within its capacity. Such payments will be made by VFS to the applicant on the presentation of the payment receipt issued by the government office for the replacement of such lost or damaged passport or documents. THIS AGREEMENT IS SUBJECT TO AN EXPRESS LIMITATION OF LIABILITY SET FORTH IN SECTION 6, BELOW.
||Disclaimer and Limitation of Liability - Please read carefully
EXCEPT FOR THE REFUND OF FEES AND REIMBURSEMENT STATED IN PARAGRAPHS 5.1 AND 5.2, ABOVE, VFS SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS SUFFERED BY THE APPLICANT IN CONNECTION WITH ANY PASSPORT SERVICES APPLICATION, INCLUDING LIABILITY IN OR UNDER CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHER THEORY OF LIABILITY INCLUDING DAMAGES FOR ANY DELAY OR FAILURE OF VFS IN HANDLING OR PROCESSING APPLICATIONS, LOSS OR DELAY OF PASSPORTS OR OTHER DOCUMENTS, DELAYS OF THE AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA OR THE REJECTION OF APPLICATIONS FOR ANY REASON. IN NO EVENT WILL THE DAMAGES CHARGEABLE AGAINST VFS EXCEED THE AMOUNTS SPECIFIED IN PARAGRAPHS 5.1 AND 5.2 ABOVE EVEN IF VFS WAS AWARE OF THE AMOUNT OF THE POTENTIAL DAMAGE.
And for the avoidance of doubt:
||No Liability for Incorrect Information
VFS shall have no liability for loss, delays or non-issuance of any application arising from or in connection with (to include but not restricted to) incomplete application forms, incorrectly or falsely completed application forms, and inaccurate or incomplete supporting documentation.
||No Liability for Events Not In Our Control
VFS shall not be considered to be in breach of contract or negligent or otherwise liable in any way for any delay or failure of any application or loss, damage or delay to any passport or other documents due to accident, theft, natural calamities (act of god) or any other reason outside the control of, and not arising out of a willful default of VFS or for the loss or damage to any passport or other document after it has been returned to the applicant.
||No Liability for Postal and Courier Service
VFS shall have no liability for any delays, or for loss of or damage to any passport services application, passport or other documents, caused by, or occurring whilst any application, passport or document is in the possession of, any third party postal or courier service, including transportation of passport services applications, passport or other documents between VFS and the Embassy or a Consulate and when being returned by VFS to the applicant.
||No Liability for Assessment of Passport Services Applications
VFS is not involved in the process of assessment of passport services applications, or their grant or refusal, and shall not be liable or responsible for any delay by the Embassy of India or the CGI in assessing, granting or refusing any passport service application or for the grant or rejection of any passport service application.
||No Liability for Wasted Costs and Expenses
VFS shall have no liability to any passport service applicant, or any other person relying on or benefiting from any passport service application, for any commitment, cost or expenditure incurred in reliance on or anticipation of receiving an Indian passport service, whether within a particular timescale or at all, including but not limited to air travel, hotel, and other travel and accommodation arrangements, and any other arrangements made.
VFS recommends that you do not purchase tickets or make bookings which cannot be cancelled prior to the issuance of a passport service, except where it is a specific requirement stated as part of the passport service application, in which case open tickets should be obtained.
||Third Party Rights
Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall benefit or be enforceable by any person other than the passport service applicant.
||Changes to these terms
VFS, in its sole discretion, may change, amend, cancel or withdraw any or all of these terms and conditions at any time without any prior notice.
These terms and conditions and any passport application shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of District of Columbia, United States of America. Any claims or disputes arising in relation to the services provided by VFS to the applicant shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts in Washington DC.
Please address any complaints to the complaints department at 1001, Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 905, Washington DC by post or by email to IPACUSA@vfsglobal.com