The Indian Embassy in the US today announced to outsource its passport related services to a new company for all its diplomatic missions in the country.
BLS International will replace the existing VFS global Ltd and start receiving applications for Indian passport related services from May 7, according to a public announcement by the Indian Embassy here.
Besides the Indian Embassy in Washington, passport related services are handled by the five other Indian Consulates in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta and Houston.
"The Services of the current service provider VFS Global Ltd will be terminated w.e.f. May 7, 2013 at all Embassy/Consulate locations in USA. VFS Global Ltd will continue to receive passport applications in person until May 6 and by mail until May 3, 2013," the Embassy statement said.
Headquartered in New Delhi, BLS International specialises in outsourcing of visas, passports and attestation applications in India as well as abroad.
According to the passport outsourcing tender issued by the Indian Embassy on March 1, the outsourcing agency would be responsible for collection of passports, supporting documents, and prescribed application fees from the applicants.
In 2012, the Indian Embassy in Washington and the five Consulates had handled 78,836 passport related applications.
The Indian Consulate in New York had received the maximum number of 25,430 passport related applications, followed by San Francisco (20,186), Houston (12,711), Washington (9,620) and Chicago (9,435).