Paper trail: Hamsa Koya showing the receipt he got when he gave his passport for renewal Image Credit: AHMED KUTTY/ XPRESS

Abu Dhabi: An Indian expatriate is stranded in the UAE after his passport went missing when he submitted it to the Indian mission for renewal last January.

Fisherman Hamsa Koya, 40, said he has not been able to get a convincing answer despite repeated enquiries with Indian embassy officials in Abu Dhabi and passport authorities in India.

“I want to go home and see my family. My wife and children are waiting for me. But how can I go without a passport?” asks the Keralite, who has been working in Abu Dhabi for 10 years.

He said he gave his passport for renewal at the BLS International – an external passport service authorised by the Indian embassy.

Passport renewal can take up to 40 working days.

“But it has been six months now and I am still without my passport. I don’t know what to do,” he said.

Koya said he was initially told by the Indian embassy that his passport was stuck because of a delay in police verification from Kerala.

“But I found out it was not the case as enquiries made by my family back home revealed authorities in Kerala had sent back the passport after completing the formalities.

“Now the embassy is claiming they have instructions from the passport office in Kozhikode, Kerala, not to renew my passport. I want to know why. I do not have any police case against me. I am a law-abiding citizen.”

“The final response I got from the embassy is that I can go back to India on an outpass as there is no trace of my passport. My employment visa is valid for six more months. Why should I exit the country on an outpass?”

A comment from the Indian embassy was not immediately available.