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.
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.
- 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