Indian missions outsource passport collection services

DUBAI — The Indian embassy and consulate in the UAE will soon outsource collection of passport and visa applications while 12 dedicated centres will be set up to receive these applications.

By Preeti Kannan (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Mon 7 Apr 2008, 8:49 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:46 PM

Indian Ambassador to the UAE Talmiz Ahmad said at a Press conference yesterday, after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Empost, that this step was aimed at reducing inconveniences to applicants.

This is the first time an Indian mission in the Gulf is outsourcing the service.

Ahmad said the proposed collection centres will be set up by Empost across the UAE in the next two months.

“The new arrangement will enable the public to submit applications at these centres across the country, before and after their office hours as well as on weekends,” he remarked.

The two missions in the UAE together process around 200,000 passport and 63,000 visa applications every year. The official statistics reveal that over 4,000 people visit the embassy and the consulate everyday to submit applications for renewal of passports and new passports and visas to India.

“There are certain ad hoc arrangements that need to be reviewed and dispensed with. There will be certain teething problems as we haven’t executed a similar contract before,” conceded Ahmad.

The location of the centres will be announced later but most of them will be in Dubai, said Indian Consul-General Venu Rajamony.

“Our preliminary assessment is to set up 12 centres. However, this could be increased depending on the need,” he said.

Rajamony added that the time taken to process passport applications would be five days in Dubai. Officials are trying to reduce the 40-50 days taken to process these applications in other emirates.

The centres might even aid the attestation of documents like education and marriage certificates and licences in the future.

Passport services will cost an additional Dh12, while visa services will be charged at Dh50. The applications will be collected by Empost and forwarded to the embassy or the consulate for processing.

These centres will be open from 7.30am to 10pm.

A dedicated web site will provide information on the services offered and enable online submission of applications, besides checking of the status of applications.

A call centre will also be set up to answer telephone queries and inform applicants of the status of their applications. Applicants will be photographed digitally at the collection centres. Applications can be fast-tracked in cases of emergency.

Abdullah Al Daboos, vice-chairman and president of Emirates Post Holding Group, was also present at the signing of the MoU.

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