Dubai: Indian nationals stranded in the UAE with expired visas should avail of the UAE government’s visa fine waiver scheme that has been extended to November 17 and Indian missions here will do everything to issue relevant emergency travel documents free-of-cost, Dr Aman Puri, Indian consul general to UAE, said on Thursday.
Speaking at an informal media meet organised by the Consulate General of India, he said, “The UAE government has extended the visa waiver scheme until November 17. We would advise a maximum number of Indian expatriates with expired visas to avail this scheme. We are working towards facilitating repatriation for people who may not have their travel documents, passports or even copies.
"We have our ways of verifying and establishing the bonafides of a person . So please come forward and avail the visa fine waiver. During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have increased our capacity to issuing 1,500 passports daily from 1,000 earlier. We are committed to issuing travel documents. Applications for documents can be made at the nearest BLS centre by any Indian seeking this service.”
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Dr Puri described himself as a dentist by qualification, a diplomat by profession and a physician by heart.
Commenting on the Indian diaspora in the UAE , Dr Puri said that this country had the largest population of Indians outside of India and the Indian missions were the largest passport issuing office outside India.
Talking about the success of the Vande Bharat Mission, Dr Puri said, so far over 325,000 Indians have been repatriated from Dubai and Northern Emirates, besides 50,000 from Abu Dhabi. “Around 50,000 Indian residents have returned to the UAE as well.”
He said India has now entered into an “air bubble” arrangement with 11 countries, meaning it has a special flying arrangement between countries in the absence of normal flights. People desirous of travelling to India can register themselves on newdelhiairport.in. Information on this portal applies to all international airports in India. A PCR test report carried out in the UAE can be uploaded on this portal. If found negative, the individual will be exempt from the mandatory seven day institutional quarantine and can proceed for home quarantine, he added.
Dr Puri complimented the UAE’s smart strategies in managing the pandemic and working towards an economic arrival. He said hosting of the IPL tournament in September is a testimony to the country’s determination towards revival of the economy.