I was one of the early folks who applied on the GOES website and realized that the verification has to be done in-person at one of the PSKs (Passport Seva Kendra). :( Fortunately, I traveled to India on business and was able to complete the visit at the local PSK.
P.S. It’s MANDATORY to visit the PSK assigned to your address (as stated in the last page of your passport) otherwise you will not be allowed to proceed further with the application. In my case, my local address is in Thrissur Town (Kerala state) and hence visited the PSK in Thrissur.
The process is quite similar to obtaining a PCC (Police Clearance Certificate) in case you have done that before with the only exception being a mandatory Police verification done at the address provided. As my appointment was on the same day as my return journey back to US, I tried negotiating with the Immigration officer at the last counter but in vain. Knowing that the verification could take at least a few days, I almost gave up but decided to pay a visit to the local police station (one responsible to conduct the verification) to see if anything can be done. After a few hours of running around from the PS to the Special Branch Office and back to the PS, my verification was miraculously completed few hours before leaving for the airport! Below is a time series of events completed so far:
Jul 4th — Registered on GOES website and paid the $100 fee. Same day received automated notification from Passport India to submit the “Background verification for GEP” online
Jul 21st — Submitted application on Passport India website and got appointment for Jul 24th
Jul 24th — Completed appointment (also registered for Rs.45/- SMS service for status update) and same day verification
Now awaiting SMS confirmation and further notification from GOES.
(More to come..)