Indian expatriates constitute a significant portion of the UAE population and in order to be able to maintain their residence permit, they would need to renew their passport from time to time. Fortunately, the UAE government has made the renewal process easier for Indian passport owners by arranging for an efficient and up-to-date system for Indian passport renewal. In this article, we are going to explain all about Indian passport renewal in the UAE; from the procedure to required documents and renewal expenses.
Indian Community of the UAE
According to the report published by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), approximately 3.5 million Indian expatriates live in the UAE, constituting roughly 30 percent of the UAE population. Almost all of the Indian community expatriates are employed, with only 10 percent being dependent family members. On grounds of the critical role the Indian expatriates play in the UAE’s economy, the UAE government has considered the convenience of the Indian community and has arranged for ways through which the Indian expatriates can tend to their passport and visa related issues without difficulties and in no time.
If you’re among the Indian residents of the UAE and want to renew your passport before it expires, here is what you should do:
Indian Passport Renewal Procedure in the UAE
The authority in charge of Indian passport renewal in the UAE is the Consulate General of India. The Indian embassy processes all the applications and addresses all the passport- and visa-related issues of all the Indian citizens residing in the UAE. Indian passport services are facilitated through an outsourcing agency called the BLS that receives the required documents and fees from the applicants.
BLS International is an Indian outsourcing agency that provides many services, including passport- and visa-related services, to governments, diplomatic missions, and citizens globally. Indian expatriates in the UAE should contact the BLS international in order to benefit from the agency’s passport outsourcing services that include receiving applications for renewal of passports, addressing passport-related issues, facilitating passport changes, and addressing any other passport related query.
All the explanations and the big names might make the passport renewal process sound a bit complicated, but it’s way easier than it sounds. Here is how to renew an Indian passport in the UAE:
- Submit An Online Application for Passport Renewal
The first step for passport renewal is to register to the website of the Indian embassy in the UAE. This registration is one-time only and through it you will create yourself a user ID. The link to the website of the Indian embassy is https://embassy.passportindia.gov.in/.
Next, you should submit your application for passport renewal. Keep in mind that all applications have to be completed online. In order to submit your application, you should login to the website of the Indian embassy (through the link provided above) with your new user ID and fill in an application form. When the form is complete, submit your application.
If you find yourself in any trouble for completing the form and submitting your application, you can contact the nearest BLS center and they will fill and submit the application form for you. Before proceeding to the next step, make sure to print your application form since it is necessary for the rest of the procedure. Do not sign the print though, since the form should be signed in the presence of a BLS officer.
- Prepare the Necessary Documents (Adults and Children)
Aside from the application form, several other documents are needed in order for your application to be processed by the Indian Embassy or the Consulate General of India. The required documents include:
- 2 recent 51mm*51mm photos. Photos should not be older than 3 months. The background should be white and the applicant should wear dark clothing. The applicant should not wear any uniforms in the photo. Eyes should be open and ears, forehead & chin completely visible. There should be no shadows on the face and neck and no reflections in the glasses. For the applicants’ convenience, the BLS centers in the UAE offer photo services to their clients so that no inconveniences regarding the passport photo occurs.
- Original passport (submission of the original passport is required for all of the BLS services).
- Passport copy (first page, last page, address page if separate, valid UAE visa page, and any other endorsement pages).
- Copy of ID card with a photo and expiry date (driving license, Emirates ID card, health card).
- Original passports of parents (for children)
- Emirates ID of parents (for children)
If your UAE residence visa has been issued in Abu Dhabi or Al Ain and you want to present your application to BLS centers in Dubai or the northern emirates, you might have to submit additional documents. This rule also applies vice versa, meaning if you are a Dubai visa holder or your visa has been issued in the northern emirates, BLS centers in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain will request additional documents from you. Under such circumstances, make sure you bring along a valid proof of residency. This can either be a tenancy contract or a letter from your employer stating where you work or reside.
- Present the Required Documents to a BLS Center
As mentioned above, BLS is an outsourcing company that facilitates the process of visa- and passport-related applications. The Embassy of India and the Consulate General of India receive all the passport renewal applications through the BLS.
In order for your application to be processed, you should submit your printed application form alongside the aforementioned necessary documents to a nearby BLS center. You don’t need a prior appointment though; you will get a token upon your entry and wait for your turn. However, keep in mind that some BLS centers issue a limited number of tokens each day.
It is imperative that all the applicants be present for the submission of their application. This also includes children and newborns. Applicants should attach their photos to the application form and sign it (signing should be in black ink) in the presence of the BLS officer. If the applicant is under 18, both parents must be present for the submission of the required documents.
- Pay the Application and Documentation Fees
The passport renewal fees for EOI and CGI are the same and depend on the type of service and the number of passport pages. These fees are determined by the government of India and are subject to change from time to time.
- 36-page booklet for adults, 285 UAE Dirhams ($77.59)
- 60-page jumbo booklet for adults, 380 AED ($103.46)
- Children passport, 190 AED ($51.73)
- 36-page booklet, Tatkal service, 855 AED ($232.78)
- 60-page jumbo booklet, Tatkal service, 950 AED ($258.64)
- Children passport, Tatkal service, 760 AED ($206.92)
- Service charge, 9 AED ($2.45)
- Indian Community Welfare Fund 8 AED ($2.18)
- Wait for Your Application to be Processed
Passport renewal applications for Abu Dhabi and Al Ain residents are processed by the Embassy of India (EOI) while applications for the residents of Dubai and northern emirates are processed by the Consulate General of India (CGI).
Whether your new passport is going to be issued in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, your application will take at least 5 working days to be processed. The Tatkal service, however, will only take a minimum of 2 working days.
The main difference between a Tatkal passport and a normal one is the processing time for applications. Tatkal passport applications usually take much less time to be processed and, therefore, are suitable for individuals in an urgent need of a valid passport; whether for traveling or other reasons.
Receiving Your New Passport
A courier service facilitates the delivery of the renewed passports so that applicants receive their passports without having to go to the BLS centers again. If, by any chance, you miss the courier, your passport will be returned to either Al Khaleej BLS Center in Dubai or Shams Boutik BLS Center in Abu Dhabi. You will be able to collect your passport from these centers from Saturday to Thursday between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm.
Validity of the Indian Passport
An ordinary Indian passport will often be valid for 10 years from the date of issue. However, under some circumstances, the authorities in charge of passport issuance might issue passports with shorter validity periods. Passports with shorter validity periods can also be reissued for a maximum period of 10 years.
The validity period of Tatkal passports are more flexible. Authorities at the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of India, Dubai, process Tatkal applications and issue passports with the validity of which depending on the circumstances. In other words, Tatkal passports are issued with a range of validity periods and their expiry date depends totally on the decision of authorities.
For children, the validity of the passport is usually 5 years from the date of issuance.
Keep in mind that it’s against the law to have more than one valid passport at the same time. You can apply for a passport renewal one year prior to passport expiry. However, if they are to reach age 18 sooner than 5 years, the validity period of their passport will be shorter correspondingly. In other words, their passport will be valid until they become 18 and after that, they would have to apply for a passport renewal though the same way explained above.
Changing Passport Information
It’s quite normal that you want to make a few changes in your passport details. You might want to change your address or even your name and when doing so, you will need to update your passport information. In such cases, your passport renewal application will have to be verified by the police.
Applications usually take longer to be processed when they have to undergo police verification. However, in times of emergency, you can file a request to postpone the police verification and leave for after your passport issuance. In other words, you can turn a pre-police verification into a post-police verification. You can also pay an extra fee and apply for a Tatkal service when you’re in a hurry to renew your passport.
UAE BLS Centers for Indian Passport Renewal
The following is a list of the BLS centers in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain emirates along with their location and working hours. You can visit the nearest BLS center and complete your application for passport renewal.
- BLS Centers in Abu Dhabi:
There are three different BLS centers in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and you can visit any one of them that you prefer for completing your passport renewal application.
- Shams Boutik BLS Center
Address: Level 1, Shop No 32, Shams Boutik Mall, Al Rayfah Street, Al Reem Island
Working Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Lunch break 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm), last token will be issued at 4.30 pm.
- Musaffah BLS Center
Address: Cubes Park Block 4, Entrance D, Mezzanine Floor, Mussaffah Industrial Area (M 25)
Working Hours: 7:00 am to 4:00 pm (Lunch break 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm), last token will be issued at 3:30 pm.
- Abu Dhabi Premium Lounge BLS Center
Address: Office M 02, Mezzanine Floor, Al Muhairi Building
Working Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Lunch break 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm)
- BLS Centers in Dubai:
You can find three BLS centers in the emirate of Dubai and submit the required documents for the renewal of you passport to any one of them that you see fit.
- Khaleej Center BLS
Address: Office 118 -119, Mezzanine Floor, Al Khaleej Center, Opposite Al Ain Center, Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai
Working Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Lunch break 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm), last token will be issued at 4:30 pm.
- Deira BLS Center
Address: Shop No. 13, Ground Floor, Zeenah Building, Opposite Deira City Center P3 Parking, Deira
Working Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Lunch break 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm), last token will be issued at 3:30.
- Dubai Premium Lounge BLS Center
Address: Office 507, Habib Bank AG Zurich, Al Jawarah Building, Bank Street, Bur Dubai
Working Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Saturday to Thursday)
- Sharjah BLS Center
Address: Office 11, Mezzanine Floor, Abdul Aziz Majid Building, King Faisal Street
Working Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Lunch break 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm)
- Ras Al Khaimah BLS Center
Address: Behind Specialist Medical Centre, Dahan Road
Working Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Lunch break 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm)
- Umm Al Quwain BLS Center
Address: Shop No. 14, Al Abdul Latif Al Zarooni Building, King Faisal Road
Working Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Lunch break 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm)
This concludes our guide on Indian passport renewal in the UAE. If you are an Indian resident of the United Arab Emirates and want to renew your passport, the first step is to apply online at https://embassy.passportindia.gov.in/. After submitting your online application, you should prepare the required documents and present them in person along with a print of your online application form to the nearest BLS center. Your application will then be processed by the authorities and you will receive your passport via a courier service after it is issued.
Thanks to a new law, foreigners can now become UAE citizens under certain conditions. We have covered all about the new UAE nationality law in another article. If you are a resident of the UAE and want to obtain citizen rights, we have also prepared for you a thorough guide on how to get a UAE passport.