Dubai: An online visa application system has been set up by the Consulate General of India in Saudi Arabia following Indian government's decision to make it mandatory for all visa applicants to apply online.
   
The system was introduced on an option basis in coastal city Jeddah from December 17, as the online application system is being rolled out in a phased manner in all Indian embassies and consulates around the world.
   
However, it will be mandatory from January 1, 2012 to apply for Indian visa online. During the transition period, the applicants can continue to use the current visa forms, the consulate announced.
   
"The applicants need to log on to the website and fill a self-explanatory visa form and submit it online to start the process, take a printout, and approach a preferred visa outsourcing agency and submit copy of their application, passport, two photographs and application fees," the consulate said.
   
This would enable visa-outsourcing agencies to access forms online and further process their applications. On October 18, Indian missions in the UAE announced the launch of online visa application for tourist and visit visas.
   
Following Indian government's decision to make it mandatory for all applicants to apply online for tourist visa, the mission announced that physical application forms would not be accepted from January 1 next year.

(Agencies)