Tag Archives: VFS Global

VFS resumes visa applications for 25 countries

With borders gradually opening, VFS Global has started re-opening its Visa Application Centres and resuming services for around 25 countries in accordance with the rules set by the respective governments. “Over the last few weeks, VFS Global’s Visa Application Centres (VACs) resumed operations, with a few countries opening up the application process for limited categories. Since then, visa applications for around 25 countries have resumed at select Centres across India,” according to an update from VFS Global

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Flexibility in visa rules, enhanced health precautions for students travelling to UK for new academic year

As part of its commitment to enhance the visa system experience for students, United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has introduced flexibility in visa rules, with health precautions throughout the visa system, to ensure a comfortable and safe environment for all customers, especially incoming international students, along with its visa services partner VFS Global.  UK Visas and Immigration has introduced greater flexibility in visa rules, allowing students to apply for visas when they are able to travel to the UK, rather than at the start of their studies, with health precautions throughout the visa system along with visa services partner VFS Global, to ensure a comfortable and safe environment throughout the visa application process. Study visa applications for the UK can be made in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru (Global Tech Park only), Chandigarh, Chennai, Jalandhar, Kochi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai (Mahalaxmi only), New Delhi (Shivaji Metro Stadium only), and Pune. In order to ensure a safe environment for customers and employees, VFS Global has established standardised protective measures to be followed across all its UK Visa Application Centres. To ensure health and safety norms are followed, the centres have implemented a mandatory online appointment system, besides checking body temperature of all customers at the entrance, and maintaining physical distancing measures. Additionally, staff also carry out preventive measures such as disinfecting high-contact surfaces, body temperature screenings, use of hand sanitisers, regular hand washing, etc. Since 06 July 2020, UK Visa Application Centres have re-opened in 11 cities in India in a phased manner: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru (Global Tech Park only), Chandigarh, Chennai, Jalandhar, Kochi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai (Mahalaxmi only), New Delhi (Shivaji Metro Stadium only), and Pune – and these centres are receiving Tier 4 …

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VFS Global launches online appointment booking service for COVID-19 sample collection

VFS Global has launched online appointment booking service for COVID-19 sample collection, in association with certified medical laboratories, in Mumbai, Delhi and Kochi, in response to the evolving travel guidelines and consumer convenience. Similar offerings will be extended to customers in Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Pune in the coming weeks. This service is offered in association with a network of certified medical laboratories approved by the Government of India and having all due accreditations for swab collection for COVID-19. Customers in Delhi, Kochi and Mumbai can book appointments on VFS Global’s website (https://www.vfsglobal.com/en/individuals/indiacovidtest.html) and provide samples at designated associate medical laboratories from 10 August 2020. ‘At Your Doorstep’ services are also offered in Mumbai, Delhi and Kochi, that enables sample collection from the safety and comfort of a customer’s home. Samples are collected by trained medical professionals from associate medical laboratories and the reports directly sent with full confidentiality to the registered email address of the customer. Who can avail this service? The COVID-19 RT-PCR Sample Collection service is open for all and is not limited to travellers. The service can be availed by those who may or may not be exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (strictly as per local regulations of various states), and only with a doctor’s prescription in Delhi and Kochi. A dedicated help desk is also provided for VFS Global customers next to select VFS Global Centres to assist with this service. Speaking about the service, Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO – South Asia, Middle East & North Africa, and Americas, said, “We believe a convenient and reliable pre-departure COVID-19 sample collection/testing solution can become a catalyst in the recovery process of international travel …

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VFS Global to begin limited operations at select VACs in 11 cities

VFS Global is re-opening Visa Application Centres in some cities for specific visa categories. Countries for which visa services will resume are United Kingdom (from July 6), Italy (July 3), UAE, Turkey, Ireland, Belarus, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Norway, Portugal and South Korea. Applicants will have to schedule an appointment in advance on www.vfsglobal.com. After specific Embassies/Consulates as well as local authorities have given their approval, VFS Global’s centres will accept visa applications for select countries with strict health and hygiene SOPs in place.

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VFS Global to apprise trade on reopening via webinar on July 3

VFS Global is all set to host a webinar for the trade on Friday, July 3, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. The informative session titled ‘A Safe Restart – Your Safety, Our Priority’ will offer a glimpse into VFS Global’s plan as it gradually resumes visa services in India, while ensuring complete adherence to health and safety guidelines. To register, please contact jaspreet.kaur@ddppl.com or call +9650196532.

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VFS Global releases FAQs to help ease traveller concerns on visa queries

The travel and tourism industry, unarguably, is one of the most affected sectors since the onset of COVID-19. With country borders sealed, cities brought to a standstill and all transportation stationary, it is difficult to imagine the recovery trajectory of travel. Industry experts suggest that while travel will eventually recover in stages, a shift in both travel norms and traveller behaviour is expected. Addressing some common questions on every traveller’s mind, VFS Global has shared guidelines to assuage their concerns and help navigate their holiday plans once international borders open again. • What happens to passports submitted before services were suspended? Following the national lockdown in India, Visa Application Centres had to shut down operations in adherence to directives from central and local authorities and diplomatic missions. When the Visa Application Centres are allowed to re-open, VFS Global will be able to evaluate at which stage of assessment each application is and resume the applicant return process accordingly. If you have a query about your passport that was submitted with your visa application, please write to customercare@vfsglobal.com. • Will Visa Application Centres open for appointments once the national lockdown lifts? Visa Application Centres in any city/country operate according to the directives of the central and local authorities and the diplomatic mission / the country being applied to. In some cases, even if central/local authorities lift the lockdown, the country you are applying to may not be accepting visa applications. In this scenario, an open Visa Application Centre might not serve your purpose. Make sure you’re checking regulations by not only your government but also that of the country you plan to visit. • What are health and safety precautions implemented …

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VFS Global increasing its capacity by 40% for peak season rush

VFS Global is increasing its manpower and visa handling capacity by 40 per cent across its centres in South Asia region ahead of the peak season rush. Sharing the news, Sanjeet Joher, Head- South Asia, VFS Global, said that they are working to enhance the visa appointment system as well, apart from extra operational hours. “We are increasing the size of our team to provide better services to our customers. We want to ensure that they have a seamless experience when they visit VFS with the help of our customer relationship managers across our centres. In our efforts to educate the trade about our services and initiatives, we will organise more training sessions and roadshows with travel agents. We also want to debunk myths around visa application and procedures,” he said.

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VFS Global launches mobile biometrics services for Italy visa applicants across India

VFS Global has launched mobile biometrics service for customers applying for Italian tourist visa across India, enabling them to submit applications, documents, and enrol biometrics from any location of their choice. This ‘doorstep’ service can be delivered to individuals and groups living in all cities in India. A team of VFS Global staff will visit the customer at the location to collect their visa application and enrol biometric data. They will also be available to assist with any visa application queries. Submissions from large tour groups, business delegates and school trips wishing to travel to Italy, will especially benefit from this  new service, as applicants will not be required to visit a Visa Application Centre to submit their applications. The documents, once processed with the visa decision will be returned by courier to the customer’s desired location. The mobile biometrics service is optional and applicants will have to pay an additional fee. According to the Embassy of Italy in India, 555,000 travellers from India visited Italy in 2019, which indicated a 15 per cent increase over the previous year.

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VFS Global witnesses 22 per cent increase in visa applications from India

VFS Global has witnessed a 22 per cent increase in visa applications from India over a two-year period and processed 5.28 million applications. This was an overall increase of 13 per cent in visa applications observed since 2017 with Tier II cities recording significant increases in 2018. Globally, it saw a 16 per cent increase in the number of visa applications processed in all countries of operation around the world. South Asia emerged as the top source market for foreign travel, with most number of visa applications recorded for this region. Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer – Middle East, South Asia, and China, VFS Global, says, “With the year-on-year increase in visa applications from India, it is evident that foreign travel is no longer the domain of a privileged few. A large part of this growth comes from the smaller cities – more Indians from these cities are travelling abroad than ever before, and are keen to explore even off-beat destinations. There is a greater comfort with visa application process as well today – the anxiety that people used to associate with the process has been significantly eased with options like personalised assistance, doorstep services and document upload assistance being offered at every step.” Visa application counts in the major cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru grew consistently. Significant growth in visa application counts were witnessed in some other metros, such as Ahmedabad (32% growth in 2018) and Pune (20% growth in 2018). Steep year-on-year growth in count was recorded in Tier II cities, such as Jalandhar (66%), Chandigarh (54%), Pondicherry (43%), and Goa (45%).    

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Thai immigration with VFS Global to introduce Thailand eVisa service from February 14, 2019

In line with the Government of Thailand’s initiative to promote tourism, the Immigration Bureau of Thailand has partnered with VFS Global to offer the new eVisa On Arrival (eVOA) service that will enable a faster and more convenient arrival process for travellers from 21 countries like India, China, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, to name a few. Travellers who are eligible to use the online eVOA service provided by VFS Global will receive their travel authorisation from the Immigration Bureau of Thailand prior to their departure from their country of origin. The eVOA service will be available as of February 14, 2019 on thailandevoa.vfsevisa.com. The new Thailand eVisa On Arrival offers travellers a whole new experience when applying for a travel pre-authorisation to Thailand and when entering the country at the Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueng airports in Bangkok, as well as at Phuket and Chiang Mai airports flying by Thai Airways and other airlines. In three simple steps, eligible travellers can apply online for eVOA for Thailand by visiting thailandevoa.vfsevisa.com anytime, anywhere or get assistance at VFS Global visa application centres across the globe. Travellers receive their pre-departure travel authorisation online before the trip within 24 to 72 hours. Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, Commissioner of Immigration Bureau, said, “With the eVOA service, we are proud to offer a new age digital solution which enhance the overall experience for the modern-day traveller who seeks to visit Thailand from 21 countries across the globe. In our cooperation with VFS Global, we aim to effectively meet the objective of increasing tourism to the country through this solution especially taking into consideration the all-important security aspect that allows pre-check of travellers prior the arrival, as …

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