India’s High Commission in London has announced that it is outsourcing visa, Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), passport and select consular services to VFS effective March 1, 2015.
Until now, visa and surrender of passport were the only services that were outsourced. A spokesperson for India House said that from next month, OCI, passports and some consular services will also be outsourced.
“This will be unprecedented as almost all consular and passport and OCI services will be completely outsourced to a service provider,” the spokesperson added.
VFS will open 14 application centres across the UK where applicants can submit their documents for visa, OCI, passport and other consular services.
The Indian High Commission said 10 offices will be operational from March 2 while four offices will be operational from March 14.
VFS will introduce online appointments for all services. All applicants will be required to book an appointment online to submit their applications at the respective India application centres.
No applications via post will be accepted at High Commission of India, its consulates in Birmingham and Edinburgh, or at the applications centres managed by VFS in the UK from March 14.
Those in London can submit their applications at one of the three offices at Goswell Road, Hounslow, Paddington. Bristol, Cardiff and Belfast residents should choose UK-London as their jurisdiction while filling in their applications online for visa, OCI and Indian passport services.
Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, Liverpool, Bradford and Newcastle residents must select UK-Birmingham as their jurisdiction, while applicants residing in Edinburgh or Glasgow must select UK-Edinburgh.
There will be multilingual staff at the application centres. Copy and passport return by secured courier will also be provided. Application centres will be open from 08:30 -15:30 hours (Monday to Friday, excluding consular holidays)
For more details visit the VFS Website at http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk/ Detailed information will be available from February 23.