The time required for renewing Indian passports in UAE has been considerably brought down to just five working days, according to top officials.
Earlier, Indian passports which were issued by a different Indian passport authority in the UAE or outside, were taking 40 working days for renewal. This time frame was even applicable to Abu Dhabi residents whose passports were issued from Dubai and vice versa.
“We started renewing all passports within five working days [if applicants fulfil all legal requirements]from the beginning of this month,” T.P. Seetharam, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, told Gulf News in an interview.
He said this is applicable to passports issued by all other Indian passport authorities in India and abroad, including the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
The ambassador said Indian residents in Abu Dhabi can approach the embassy immediately if their passports were not renewed within five days, via email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technical reasons for backlog
He said the backlog caused by many technical reasons during the past few months was cleared by the end of May.
The consular staff worked extra hours during May to ensure that there were no pending applications. There was a delay in delivery of passports in May as the courier company assigned for the task had to handle three times more passports as compared to previous months.
Police clearance causes delay
The issued related to police verification [in India]of the applicant causes delay in passport renewal of Indians in the UAE, consular officials at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi told the daily.
There is no mandatory police verification for passport renewal. However, if the police verification report during the issuance of the first passport was not perfect [lacking proper address or any other details], an adverse remark will be there with the applicant’s file on the passport system.
If a person is wanted by the police or court in India in a criminal case, this will also reflect on the system. Such passport holders are classified as “Prior Approval Category” (PAC) and the diplomatic missions are not authorised to renew their passports unless such adverse remarks are cleared, they said.
As the current term of BLS, the outsourced agency for handling passport applications in the UAE, ends by the end of August, Seetharam said the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi has constituted a committee to examine the bids submitted by various agencies for the upcoming term.