Cox & Kings will handle India Visa Services in US

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May 29, 2014

By Geeta Goindi

Washington, DC – The Embassy of India has announced that the new contract for providing visa related services has been awarded to Cox & Kings Global Services Pvt. Ltd.

Indian Consulate Office

May 29, 2014

By Geeta Goindi

Washington, DC – The Embassy of India has announced that the new contract for providing visa related services has been awarded to Cox & Kings Global Services Pvt. Ltd.

Indian Consulate Office

Following a spate of complaints against the former agency, BLS International Limited, its services have been terminated at all Indian diplomatic missions in the US.

At a press briefing, Mr. N.A. Prasad, Minister of Consular affairs at the Indian Embassy, underlined that the change is effective May 21 and hereafter only Cox & Kings Global Services is the authorized agency for providing Visa, OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India), PIO (Person of Indian Origin) and Renunciation of Indian Citizenship Certificate application support services.  He informed reporters that BLS is still handling Indian passport services.  “That is a separate contract”, he said.

The Minister cautioned to beware of fake online sites, noting that there have been instances of unsuspecting people in London, Singapore and other places being conned by these web-sites.  “The Indian Embassy has been receiving complaints about these fake sites which have been functioning for 7-8 months now”, he said.  “These will keep popping up because unscrupulous elements are there”.  Mr. Prasad reiterated, “there is no authorized agency for the Indian Embassy in the US other than Cox & Kings Global Services.  All other agencies which are claiming that they are authorized, are not so”.

Regarding the reason for switching service providers, he said, candidly, “The services of BLS have been terminated because of their inability to provide quality services”.  He explained that all applications received by BLS up to Friday, May 16, will be processed and sent to the applicants.  If the applications are incomplete, they will be returned to the applicants who then have 21 days to furnish any missing documentation and send it to the new agency, Cox & Kings Global Services.  “It appears that most pending cases have been completed by BLS”, Mr. Prasad said.

Among the reasons for returning applications, he cited missing documentation, and applications received after the cut-off date of May 13.  The Minister made it clear that if applications have been returned without money orders, applicants must immediately contact BLS.

The status of all new and pending applications can be checked on the Cox & Kings Global Services web-site at http://www.in.ckgs.us

Mr. Prasad forewarned that “there might be ups and downs.  The information might not be readily available as Cox & Kings Global Services is a new agency and it will take some time for it to stabilize the process.  There is no need to panic”, he said.

Given that the new agency would have a large workload at the outset, he advised that applicants who are not in a hurry to travel should wait for a week to ten days and then apply.  “In terms of the initial days of transition, there were some technical issues on the first day which may have been resolved by now”, he said.

It is noteworthy that CKGS Service Centers are located at all six Indian diplomatic missions in America, as follows: Suite 100, 1250 23rd Street, NW, Washington, DC; Second Floor, 235 West, 23rd Street, New York, NY; Suite 1003, 19 S, La Salle Street, Chicago, IL; First Floor, 225 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA; Suite 550, 1001 Texas Avenue, Binz Building, Houston, TX; First Floor, Suite 180, 5883 Glenridge Drive, Atlanta, GA.

CKGS help-desk phone numbers are: Toll free – 1-866-978-0055; 408-709-1764; and 408-709-1773.  Queries can be e-mailed to enquiriesusa@ckgs.com

Last year, Indian diplomatic missions in the US issued about 375,000 visas, considerably less than the 2011 figure of 600,000.  Mr. Prasad believed the number will decline further for Indian-Americans who either have 10-year visas or are applying for OCI/PIO cards.  For Americans, he predicted the figure will rise as more and more people travel to India for business, tourism, study, research and employment.


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