The Indian embassy has announced that passport applications for newborns and minors will be accepted at the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) from today.
Until now, such applications were accepted only at the embassy in West Bay, Doha.
Following the announcement on the embassy’s social media pages yesterday, Indian community leaders and members hailed the move - noting that the decision would help many people save time and avoid inconvenience. 
The ICC has been providing several consular services for a long time. However, Indian expatriates had to travel to the embassy for passport applications for children until now as this facility was not available at the ICC.
Welcoming the move, ICC president A P Manikantan said it would help the community members in a big way. “Until now, parents had to go to the embassy to apply for passports for their minor children or newborns. This facility will help them complete the formalities at ICC and avoid going all the way to West Bay,” he said.
The ICC is located off E-Ring Road in Abu Hamour, which many people find more convenient to visit than the embassy in West Bay. Also, the ICC has more flexible timings than the embassy, where consular services are offered only from 9.15am to 12.15pm and from 4pm to 5.15pm, Sunday to Thursday. No consular services are provided at the embassy on Friday and Saturday. In contrast, the ICC provides consular services through the week.
“The ICC has been providing consular services in two shifts during the day and until late in the evening. The services are available from 9am to 12noon and from 4pm to 9pm on all days except Fridays. On Fridays, we are open from 8.30am to 11am and from 4pm to 9pm. This will enable community members to submit applications at their convenience,” the 
ICC president added.
Meanwhile, Indian Community Benevolent Forum president P N Baburajan said it is a welcome move and the embassy has taken note of the requests of 
community members.
“We had been requesting the officials for such a move as it would help community members apply for (children’s) passports at their convenience. It was at times difficult for many parents as well as children to reach the embassy due to various reasons,” he noted. 
“The parents had to take a break (from work) or apply for leave for this purpose while students had to skip schools to complete the formalities. Now, they can go to ICC at their convenience either on weekends or in the evenings. This facility will help them in a big way,” he added.
It is also learnt that the Indian embassy will soon introduce an online appointment system to save time for applicants seeking consular services at the embassy.
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