The Indian Embassy in the US has announced to outsource its passport and visa related services to a new company for all its diplomatic missions in America following complaints against the current service provider.
Cox & King Global Services Ltd will replace the existing BLS International Limited and would offer its services from May 21 at all Indian diplomatic posts in the US, according to a statement by the Indian Embassy.
BLS will close its operations with regard to visa, overseas citizens of India (OCI), people of Indian origin (PIO) and renunciation of Indian Citizenship Certificate support services on May 20.
In addition to the Indian Embassy in Washington, India has Consulates in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and San Francisco.
Applications in person viz "walk-in application" will be accepted by BLS International till the afternoon of May 16.
Only Emergency Visa applications will be accepted by BLS till forenoon of May 20, the media note said, adding that the details of the services provided by Cox and King would be made available in due course.
"From May 21, 2014 all Visa/OCI/PIO/Renunciation of Indian Citizenship Certificate application support services will be provided by the Cox & Kings Global Services Pvt Ltd," the Embassy statement said.
Applicants, who have already submitted their applications to BLS International Ltd, may check their status online at BLS International website till May 20.
The status of these pending applications will be available on the website of Cox & Kings Global Services from May 21, it said.
In 2013, Indian diplomatic missions in the US issued nearly 3.4 lakh visas, with the Indian Consulate in New York leading by 95,000 visas followed by San Francisco (85,800), Houston (54,700), Chicago (45,000) and WashingtonDC (44,000).
In addition, they also issued over 75,000 OCI cards, more than 35,000 PIO cards and more than 49,000 surrender and renunciation of India citizenship.
Cox & Kings Global Services (formerly known as Quoprro Global Services) was incorporated in 2008 and is a specialist business process outsource agency which focuses on serving Consular sections of Diplomatic Missions, according to information available on its website.
Cox & King Global Services provides outsourcing services to Consulate General of Italy, UAE; Indian diplomatic missions in Israel, Germany, Japan, Sweden, in addition to Dubai Visa in India, Royal Thai Consulate General for Western India and Norwegian Embassy in India.