UAE | Society

New company in UAE begins Indian visa services

Indian passport and visa services will be handled by BLS International Services from April 6

  • By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:37 March 29, 2011

  • Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News
  • M.K. Lokesh, Indian ambassador to UAE, after inaugurating the new office of Indian Passport Services, at Muroor street, Abu Dhabi, ON Tuesday. Also present are Raminder Singh Taneja (left), CEO of BLS International Services Ltd, New Delhi.

Abu Dhabi: A new company will start handling the outsourced Indian passport and visa services from Wednesday at its five centres across the UAE.

BLS International Services, a Dubai-based company had won the contract from the Indian Embassy to handle services catering to around 300,000 applicants in a year.

The previous contract between the embassy and the Empost ended on Tuesday.

M.K. Lokesh, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, inaugurated the service centre in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. The centre is located near the main bus depot, opposite Aramex office on Muroor road.

Lokesh told Gulf News that the announced reduction in service charges will come into force from today. In addition to the passport fee, the service charge for passport will be reduced to Dh9 from Dh12 and for the visa to Dh37.50 from Dh50, he said.

The Indian Embassy and the Consulate in Dubai started outsourcing the services since 2009 as they found it hard to handle a large number of applicants.

Call centre

The ambassador told Gulf News that around 280,000 to 300,000 applicants for passports and visas are handled every year.

The embassy and consulate had stopped accepting the passport and visa applications since the services were outsourced.

The embassy had already announced that the passport and visa service centres located at the premises of the Indian Associations and Indian Social centres in different emirates will continue to function in the existing locations.

BLS International offers similar services for Indian expatriates in Kuwait. Its new website and call centre for the customers in the UAE are expected to be operational from Wednesday.

Centre locations

  • Abu Dhabi: Near Main Bus Depot, Muroor Road, Opposite Aramex Office, Abu Dhabi.
  • Dubai: Bur Dubai at Al Khaleej Centre on Mankhool Road; Dubai National Insurance Building in Port Saeed area of Deira.
  • Sharjah: Faisal Building, second floor, on King Faisal Road.
  • Umm Al Quwain: Jawasat Road, Riqqah Area, Opposite Lulu Centre.
  • Ras Al Khaimah: Shop no. 3, Opposite Al Safeer Mall.

For more information, visit: Embassy of India website www.indembassyuae.org

Comments (19)

  1. Added 19:54 April 6, 2011

    AED 30/- for courier delivery ????

    LJT, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 19:33 April 6, 2011

    I would like to ask if there are office located in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah, why not in Al Ain? Try to add one office in Alain as this will be easier for Ajman residences to renew their passports.

    sunil, al ain, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 18:45 April 6, 2011

    Empost delivered our Passports to our residence,would BLS do the same, do they have ground operations to support the requirement.

    JTC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 18:44 April 6, 2011

    A Passport is the most important identity of a person especially when living in a foreign country. Empost was doing a fantastic job by provding excellent services throughout the emirate and especially it was available throughout the day and all days and extremely convenient timings including places like ALAIN. How will BLSl be held accountable in case of a loss of this document or even what is the integrity of this compnany? What difference does it make if the handling cost has been reduced, a pasport is renewed normally once in 10 years. Also additional services are also not done on daily, monthly basis to justify that EMPOST was costly. EMPOST is an UAE governmental agency and we could have expected the full backing from the government in the eventuality of any calamity/loss of the passport. This decision by the UAE Indian Counsulate auhtorities is highly condemned.

    Sanad, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 18:28 April 6, 2011

    These centres should have some facilities, as they want the new born to be accompanied with the parents while applying for new passport. I faced very horrible time while applying for my son passport at empost near DNATA. i had to wait for long time during this period my 15 days son was hungry crying there was no place for my wife to breast feed him at last the lady in the next office allowed my wife to use her cabin which was half covered atleast. Thnx for that generous lady who helped us. When they are so strict in rules cannot they think of providing an room or seating area seperate for the ladies or mothers if not giving preference to them.

    Shaikh Khalil, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 17:53 April 6, 2011

    I went to this new office and was surprised with the quality of staff hired by this new vendor. The staff appeared to be illeterate and had no idea about their work. Supervisor was also clueless. Embassy has given this contract to a new firm just on the basis of lower quotations it seems. However the quality of service is compromised. By saving AED 3/- only i don't want the service to be compromised. This is ridiculous claim by the vendor and indian embassy both. Empost was far better.

    Rahul, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 17:30 April 6, 2011

    What is the necessity of changing contract? Is it cheaper? Is it better service available than empost? Wait and watch.

    raju, sharjah, India

  8. Added 16:59 April 6, 2011

    There was complete mess in AUH also! Indian embassy should intervene and ensure that only qualified people are appointed to handle the job because this is a question of the country and its people and its security!

    Suresh, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 15:45 April 6, 2011

    The website was to be functinal on April 6, as of now, still waiting. Will it be for the services too?

    Jessie , Lobo, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 15:10 April 6, 2011

    Empost were providing one of the best services I have ever came across for passports. Even I didn't find in India passport office.

    zameer, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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