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DUBAI

Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi has issued a circular outlining new ‘temporary’ measures in keeping with the ongoing social distancing norms owing to COVID-19. It has exempted Indian citizens above 60 years, children below 12 years, pregnant women and people of determination from physical appearance while applying for passports at BLS International centres in the UAE. It has also introduced an online system to book appointments in order to reduce crowding at the centres.

Seniors above 60 years and pregnant women can authorise family members or close relatives to submit passport application form and other relevant documents on their behalf. Pregnant women can authorise their husbands to complete the official formalities. They should provide supporting medical documents confirming pregnancy.

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A joint undertaking of both father and mother stating their no-objection has to be submitted along with the passport application form and relevant documents in the case of children below 12 years. Only one parent need to be present at the BLS centre to submit the form and documents.

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In case of people of determination, the father/mother/family member can submit the passport application form along with relevant documents; supporting medical documents or authorisation letter need to be submitted as applicable.

“These measures will be in place until the situation improves,” says the circular from the Embassy.

BLS International is the agency that has been outsourced to provide Indian visa and passport application processing in the UAE. It has 10 centres and has started online appointment booking system now.

Applicants must visit: https://blsindiavisa-uae.com/passport/bookapp.php and select location, date, appointment time slot, service type and fill details like name, email, and phone and passport numbers. Applicants can book only one slot per passport.

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For newborn babies, the passport number of any one parent is mandatory.

“Applicants are required to recheck all the details of passport (name, passport number) before confirming appointment, these details cannot be modified once saved and you may have to cancel appointment if the details are incorrect,” informs BLS.