Category Archives: Visa

‘Multiple-entry e-visa’ to Malaysia suspended for Indian nationals

Multiple entry e-Visa for Malaysia will no longer be available for all Indian National applicants until further notice. As an alternative, applicants would still be able to choose Single Entry Visa (SEV) for 30 days. However, multiple entry e-Visa can  be obtained from VFS. Confirming this, an official at The High Commission of Malaysia said, “The multiple e-Visa facility has been suspended currently for the Indians. This facility will remain discontinued until further notice.”

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Free visa on arrival to Sri Lanka from August for 6 months

Sri Lanka has now included India and China in the free visa on arrival scheme to revive the country’s tourism sector which slowed down following the Easter Sunday bombings. However, visitors still have to obtain visa on arrival but the government has waived fee from 1 August. In April, Sri Lanka suspended its plans to grant visas on arrival to citizens of 39 countries after Easter bombings. The visas on arrival pilot programme was part of a larger initiative to increase tourist arrivals to the country during the six month off-season period from May to October. Originally the scheme was to come into force on May 1 but the security fears after the bombings forced it to be put on hold. Source: PTI

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VFS Global to open UK visa section in India on Saturdays for students

VFS Global is extending its business hours to include Saturdays, with an aim to provide more flexibility to student visa applicants to the United Kingdom. The new ‘Student Saturdays’ initiative is one of three special packages being rolled out for Indian students heading to the UK for further education, each featuring various additional services to provide convenient visa application process at a discounted price.  Furthermore, for the first time ever, VFS Global will offer UK student visa applicants the option of availing the popular On Demand Mobile Visa (ODMV) service for applications and biometric enrolments from home or campus.  The United Kingdom has long been one of the top choices for Indian students wanting to go overseas for higher education, with close to 20,000 students applying to universities from South Asia every year. In 2018, VFS Global processed over 19,900 student visa applications in South Asia, of which over 17,600 were from India.   With the UK academic year starting in September, the months of July and August become the peak season for student visa applications, and VFS Global aims to provide this year’s students a further enhanced visa application experience through a slew of special offers.   To provide flexibility, VFS Global will keep its UK Visa Application Centres across all 17 cities open on Saturdays throughout the season, to accept student visa applications via the ‘Student Saturdays’ package. In all, VFS Global has three carefully curated packages to choose from – Standard, Premium and Student Saturdays, each featuring a range of additional services to provide a seamless visa application experience, at a reduced price. Applicants opting for any of the packages can complete their applications from designated counters …

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Georgia to introduce e-Visa solutions for Indians

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and VFS Global has signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 19 July with the common objective of providing easier access to Georgia for travellers who intend to visit for tourism and business while improving the integrity of the visa and admission process. The MoU also ensures that foreign students travelling to Georgia on study visas have the right credentials, academic ability, financial capability and intent. The MoU also intend to help Georgian Educational Institutions improve the quality of their foreign students and to make Georgia an attractive study destination besides increasing the flow of travellers to experience the heritage of Georgia and have the opportunity to explore what Georgia has to offer.

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Russia & India to mutually abolish visas for tourist groups & e-Visas to Russia from 2021

Russia has offered India to mutually abolish visas for tourist groups & E-visas to Russia slated to start in 2021. Tourism professionals of the two countries discussed the expansion of air connectivity between Russia and India, the mutual promotion of tourism between the two countries, as well as the facilitation of the visa regime between the countries, including preparations for the introduction of an electronic visa in Russia since 2021 and the possibility of introducing group visa-free travel between the countries.This proposal was made by the head of the Federal tourism Agency Zarina Doguzova during the Second Russian-Indian strategic economic dialogue in Delhi. The Indian side expressed interest in the joint development of a draft government agreement on visa-free group travel for up to 21 days. According to the press service of the Federal Tourism Agency, the Second Russian-Indian strategic economic dialogue is taking place in India, within the framework of which a round table “Tourism and inter-territorial communication” was held on July 10, 2019. The moderator of this event, dedicated to the development of tourism between Russia and India, was the head of the Federal Agency for tourism Zarina Doguzova. The round table was also attended by Maya Lomidze, Executive Director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR). As a result of the round table, it was decided to establish a joint working group between representatives of the tourism authorities of the two countries, representatives of business and the expert community to develop a joint action plan to increase tourism exchanges. According to forecasts, in the future, mutual tourist flows may exceed 1 million people annually. Mutual steps to increase tourism exchanges between the countries Zarina Doguzova …

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UK Visa applicants to complete application form before scheduling an appointment

All UK Visa applicants would now be required to complete the application form on the website www.gov.uk in order to schedule an appointment to visit the UK Visa Application Center. It will be mandatory for every applicant to fill the Visa Application Form, pay the visa fee and then book the appointment. All applicants who have initiated the request through VFS website prior to June 15 would be able to track their application by using the valid email id and application reference number. This has been done to simplify the customer journey while completing the online process.

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India now extends e-visa facility to Saudi Arabian citizens

The Government of India has made e-visas available for Saudi nationals to make travel easier and boost the number of Saudi visitors to the country. Once the visa has been applied and payment has been made, the registration confirmation will be sent to the registered email within 24 hours. The applicant can just show print of this confirmation email and visa will be given by the emigration officials. Earlier, Saudi Arabian citizens had been giving their biometric details at the embassy and consulate. From now on, these details will be collected at airports in India.

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Sri Lanka continues visa-on-arrival for Indian nationals

Chamari Rodrigo, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai, has said that the visa-on-arrival scheme for visitors of Indian nationality continues undisturbed. Sri Lanka had suspended its plans to grant visas on arrival for citizens of 39 countries after the devastating Easter suicide bombings. But it was unclear whether India was one of them. The country had started offering free visa on arrival to Indian travellers as part of the its efforts to promote tourism starting May 1, 2019 for six months in its initial run. This scheme was aimed at a total of 36 countries that include India as well as Pakistan. The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai, India along with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) have started taking measures to ensure that tourists return to the island nation soon. They have already met two travel trade associations – Travel Agents Association Of India (TAAI) and Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) – and will soon be meeting the travel trade as well. Rodrigo said, “The country’s security situation now is normal, stability reigns across the country and children are back to school. However, it has had a direct impact to tourism and we have taken some measures to help revive the industry.” In 2017, Sri Lanka saw 3,83,000 Indian nations visiting the country. In 2018, this number jumped to 426,000 but still falling short of their targeted 450,000. Sri Lanka is looking to promote the destination for weddings and film shoots as well apart from FIT leisure.

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Schengen Visa Fee to increase to 80 euros from January 2020

The European Union Council has announced that travellers in need of a Schengen Visa will need to pay a higher visa fee starting from January 2020. The changes come after the European Union Council gave the final nod to an updated Schengen Visa code on 6 June. The new EU Visa regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Six months after, it will come into force and start applying to all third-country nationals that need a visa to the Schengen zone. Source: www.schengenvisainfo.com

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Tourist arrivals in India through visa on arrival increases at 120.99%

The tourist arrivals through visa on arrival increased at a CAGR of 120.99 per cent during 2010-17 to reach 1,697,175 tourists in 2017, as per a Tourism and Hospitality report by IBEF. Indian government has also released a fresh category of visa – the medical visa or M visa, to encourage medical tourism in India. Foreign tourist arrivals for medical purpose increased from 427,014 in 2016 to 495,056 in 2017(P). In June 2016, the Indian government approved 150 countries under the visa on arrival scheme to attract additional foreign tourists.

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