TORONTO: Consul general Preeti Saran on Thursday opened the Indian visa office in Brampton.
BLS International Ltd, which is the new company contracted by the Indian government to provide visa and consular services from March 1, will run this office.
And the good news is that those seeking visa and other consular services will now pay just $7.40 as service fee as against $20 being charged previously.
They will also enjoy other benefits such as on-site photo-copying and photo and internet services at a nominal charge.
Further, they will have up-to-date tracking information about their documents if they use Purolator courier service.
Till now, visa applications and other consular services were being provided by VFS Global whose contract expired on December 31.
BLS International Ltd’s new visa and passport application centre, which is located at 10 Gillingham Drive (Unit 201), will accept applications for visa, passport, surrender certificate, Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card and police clearance certificate (PCC) as usual.
This centre will serve people from Brampton, Mississauga, Hamilton and the surrounding areas, the consul general said.
The other visa centre by BLS International Ltd will now operate from 1448 Lawrence Avenue East (Unit 6). Both the visa centres will remain open from 8 am to 5 pm from Monday to Saturday.
In Winnipeg, the visa centre will be located at 1806, 201 Portage Ave, 18th Floor.
The Brampton visa office covering about 3,000 sq. ft canaccommodate 80 to 100 people at a time, according to Girish Ojha of BLS International. And its Toronto office, covering about 2,000 square ft, will have the capacity to accommodate 70 people at a time.
“BLS International will answer all online queries within 48 hours,’’ said Ojha.
He said his company has entered into an arrangement with Purolator to help applicants keep tack of their documents. But people are free to use any courier service provider, he added.
Ojha said a staff of 30 people at both of their visa offices in the GTA will provide value-added services by charging reduced fee and operating on Saturdays as well.