The government of India is planning to double the number of passport and visa processing centres in the UAE, according to a media report.
Currently, BLS International Services Limited is the only company handling these applications, with their three-year agreement being extended to January 2017.
Neeta Bhushan, Charge d’Affaires at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi told Gulf News that they will select two companies instead of one as it will allow opening of new centres in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
“We expect a healthy competition between two companies, which will improve the efficiency and quality of services,” Bhushan said.
A new centre is planned in Musaffah, Abu Dhabi, to cater to thousands of blue-collar workers living in the industrial area and Indians living in the Western Region.
“The new companies are expected to start their operations in February,” Bhushan told the newspaper.
An estimated 2.6 million Indians are living in the UAE with the two Indian diplomatic missions in the UAE issuing around 300,000 passports a year. Both the missions issue 74,000 Indian visas a year, the report said.