Applications for Indian passports in Dubai and the Northern Emirates can now only be made online, Khaleej Times can reveal. With the launch of the Global Passport Seva Project, the time taken to process and complete an application will reduce further from the current “three to four” working days.

Consul-General of India to Dubai Vipul told Khaleej Times that all Indian citizens living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates have to use the new portal, https://embassy.passportindia.gov.in, for availing all passport services, including fresh/re-issue of passport, re-validation of passport, registration of birth and issue of passport to newborns.

The new system will help in “easy and convenient application submission process, digital overhauling and end-to-end status tracking”, according to the consulate’s website. It will also “enhance security and make passport services accessible and user-friendly”.

Vipul said: “The new process would completely eliminate paperwork. The implementation (of the project) came into effect in Dubai and the Northern Emirates on April 7, after the last successful testing was completed on April 6.”

The consul-general also said the turnaround time for passport services would “considerably reduce”. However, he did not specify the exact number of days it would take to process the document.

“We currently provide services in under five days (three to four working days). With the new system, that is set to reduce further,” said Vipul. He explained that the one-time user ID can be used for the entire application process, and parents can log-in to register details for their children.

“Earlier, the physical application would come to us. We would run due security procedures. This is not the case anymore. All paperwork has been eliminated,” he added.

According to official statistics, the Indian diplomatic missions in the UAE issued 272,500 passports in 2018. Of these, the consulate in Dubai issued 211,500 and the embassy in Abu Dhabi the rest.

The Global Passport Seva Project project has been implemented in the United States, the UK, Oman and Dubai. It is part of the flagship Passport Seva Programme of the Ministry of External Affairs. It was first inaugurated outside India at the high commission of India in London on October 24, 2018.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also told overseas Indians in January this year that his government was making efforts to ease the processes concerning their passports, and work is on to issue chip-based e-passports. The online application system is a pre-cursor to the chip-based system.

“Our embassies and consulates are being connected to the Passport Seva Project worldwide,” he had said. “This would prepare a centralised system connected to the passport service for all of them.” He had indicated that along with passport, the rules related to visa were also being simplified. Inaugurating this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), he said that the government’s endeavour was that overseas Indians should stay “happy and safe wherever they are”.

How to avail of passport services online

All applications are required to be completed online. The procedure is as follows:

1-Applicants are required to do one-time registration at https://embassy.passportindia.gov.in/ and create a user ID

2-Log in using the newly created user id and fill in the application form online

3-On the applicant home page, click on “apply for ordinary passport/emergency certificate/police clearance certificate/surrender of Indian passport/diplomatic passport/official passport” link to file a new application

4-After submitting the form online, take a print-out of the application.

5-Affix photo at the designated place

6-Submit the print-out along with required documents and prescribed fee at the nearest BLS Centre with the supporting documents

7-Signatures are required to be affixed before the Submission Officer of the BLS

Copyright © 2019 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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