DUBAI: Starting today, Indian missions in the UAE will accept online application for Indian visa in a move to simplify visa procedures.
The Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Mr M K Lokesh said the online forms would be optional till January.
"Applicants can continue to use the current visa forms if they choose to do so during the transitional period," he said.
Applicants can complete the online form themselves or seek the assistance of BLS International, a private agency that collects and dispatches passport and visa applications, for a fee of Dh25.
The online form can be accessed through https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/ which will generate a temporary application ID which will help retrieve information of unfinished forms.
On completion of the form, another 12-character alphanumeric file number will appear. Either a printout of the completed form or the file number has to be submitted, along with supporting documents, to any of the BLS International offices in the UAE.
Details of BLS offices and visa checklist can be found at www.blsindiavisa-uae.com, the Khaleej Times said.
The Indian Consul General in Dubai, Mr Sanjay Verma said the online process will help reduce the waiting time for visas for prior-approval categories.
BLS has also launched a premium lounge service for a fee of Dh225 to assist applicants of visa and passport services requiring the agency to do the complete procedures for submitting the applications, said Mr Andrew Gonsalves, the BLS Regional Head (Middle East).