The Indian passport and visa service centres in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have introduced a new online appointment booking system, a media report said.
The website of BLS International, the outsourced agency providing Indian visa and passport application processing services, has now offered a provision to book appointments online, the Gulf news report said on Thursday.
Appointments can now be booked at 10 BLS centres across the UAE apart from two of its premium lounges which already had the online booking facility.
A spokesperson of the Indian Consulate in Dubai confirmed to Gulf News that the company started the online appointment booking system through its website on June 15.
“We will make a public announcement about the new appointment booking system soon,” he said.
The consulate official clarified that BLS centres would continue to offer some slots for walk-in customers using tokens to assist Indian workers who may not be able to book an appointment online.
The development comes after Gulf News had published two reports last week highlighting the crowd at BLS Centres flouting social distancing norms and the need for an online appointment booking system.
Many applicants, who are seeking passport renewal these days were those wishing to be repatriated due to the COVID-19 crisis and those waiting to stamp their new or renewed visas.
Unusually larger crowds had begun to throng the BLS Centres after weeks of the “Stay Home” period in the UAE as employees at the centres and mission struggled to clear the backlog.