The new facility, spread across 13,000 square feet at Salt Lake’s V-A Sector, is set to be the largest single-country visa application centre in the city.
After a visit to the site, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam outlined the government's plans to separate visa centres from its 75 embassies and high commissions in places where there is a high load of visa-seekers.
Departing from the old ways where agents charged individuals up to Rs 12,500 to process applications, a visa seeker will be able to apply for a fee of Rs 826, inclusive of goods and services tax (GST). The processing fees for visas of all categories will be lowered at the new state-of-the-art facility.
It will cater to all types of visa-seekers at 10 counters, which is a big leap from the three-counter service provided by the Deputy High Commission that serves applicants from 9 am to 12:30 pm on working days.
The centre will have two counters for passport returns along with three desks for pre-screening and two to fill out forms.
With ample space for parking all sorts of vehicles, the centre will also have a cafeteria, prayer room and nursing zone for women.