Indian passport 3
Indian passport Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: A new centre for Indian passport and visa services will be opened in Abu Dhabi shortly, the Indian Embassy announced on Monday.

“The Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi is glad to announce that our outsourced service provider, BLS International Services Ltd, would be shortly opening an additional centre,” the mission said in a statement posted on social media.

The new centre would be located at Cubes Park, Block – 4, Mezzanine Floor (M-10), Musaffah Industrial Area (M 25). The nearest landmarks are Danube Homes and Abu Dhabi Labour Court 2, the mission stated.

Initially, this centre would accept and deliver all services relating to passport applications only. However, the acceptance of visa applications will not be entertained for the time being at this centre until further notice, the mission clarified.

Indian nationals, including those who are residing in and around this new location, can approach the centre for their passport-related services once the centre becomes operational, the mission said, adding that the exact date of opening will be announced soon.

Back to pre-COVID days

The embassy said it is withdrawing all previous restrictions imposed on re-issue of passports based on the expiry date of passports and reverting to pre-COVID procedures.

As such, the mission said, any applicant can apply for re-issue of passport before one year of expiry of existing passport at any of the nearest BLS centres within the emirate of Abu Dhabi as was being done during pre-COVID times.

However, the exemption from physical presence for seniors above 60 years, minor children below 12 years, pregnant women and differently-abled applicants (as per the advisory dated June 17, 2020) for passport applications and acceptance of applications through PRO (as per advisory the dated November 22, 2020) shall continue till further notice, the mission added.

In a bid to help maintain social distancing for preventing the spread of COVID-19, the embassy had exempted Indian expats employed in Abu Dhabi from personally submitting their passport applications.

Passport applications of employees of all categories of a particular company including employer/senior management/ CEOs/ MDs etc. could then be submitted through the authorised/ company PRO at the nearest BLS centre by adhering to the procedures announced by the mission.

Indian expats have been urged to contact BLS International Services for any further clarifications on passport applications.

The BLS main office can be reached on phone at 04-3875667 and via e-mail at info@blsindiavisa-uae.com