UAE rains: Indian expats relieved after move to replace flood-damaged passports for free

The consulate waives fees, streamlines process



by

Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Thu 11 Aug 2022, 9:12 AM

Last updated: Thu 11 Aug 2022, 11:36 PM

The Indian community in the eastern region are relieved after the Consulate held a free passport Seva camp to help all those who lost or damaged their passports in last month’s floods. According to the Indian consulate, it received 80 requests of replacement during the camp.

“I am so happy,” said Ali C.P., a Fujairah resident who had earlier told Khaleej Times about the passports of five of his family members being damaged. “I visited the passport seva camp with all my documents. The consulate had waived all the fees, so it was a big burden off my shoulders. The process was very streamlined, and I finished submitting everything in about two hours. The move by Indian Consulate has been a real blessing.”

Social workers welcomed the move by the Indian Consulate to alleviate the troubles of its citizens.

“It is commendable is that the Indian Consulate waived off all their fees for issuing the new passports,” said Dr. Puthoor Rahman, President of the Indian Association in Fujairah. “All the applications have been accepted and sent for verification. It might take some time, but all the residents are relieved that the process was streamlined and made so easy.”

Last month, the UAE recorded the highest rainfall in 27 years, resulting in flooding in different areas of Fujairah, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. In total, seven people died and hundreds were displaced, with many incurring huge losses after water flooded their homes.

“In adhering to the request from the Indian Associations and diaspora members in these flood affected areas, the Consulate General of India in Dubai organized a special Passport Seva camp on 7 August, 2022 (Sunday) at BLS centers in Fujairah & Kalba to facilitate those Indian nationals whose passports got damaged or lost during the floods,” said Ramkumar Thangaraj, Consul (Passport, Attestation and Education).

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Khaleej Times had earlier reported how several residents, who had lost all their passports were looking at paying hefty sums to get their documents replaced. The charge for replacing a lost or damaged Indian passport is approximately Dh570.

“It was a great relief,” said Kalba resident Nabeel, who used the opportunity to get the damaged passports of two of his employees replaced. “We were asked to submit a signed personal letter for each passport holder clarifying that the document was damaged, along with the other necessary documents. We only paid the charges for the courier and typing, which came to about Dh90. It is a really great move by the consulate to help us after all the losses we have suffered.”

According to Nabeel, the Indian consulate is the only overseas office that has conducted a similar outreach process and waived off its fees. “I have a few other employees from other Asian countries,” he said. “I will have to go into their offices and figure out how to get those documents replaced.”

The Indian consulate has said that it will continue to accept applications from those who lost their passports for the next three weeks.

“Around 80 such passport applications have been received,” said Ramkumar Thangaraj. “Applications from Indian nationals whose passports have been damaged/ lost in floods were accepted on gratis basis and this will continue for the next three weeks till 28 August 2022. The Officials from Consulate visited flood affected areas and assured all necessary assistance to the affected Indian nationals.”


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