Category Archives: Visa

Cyprus offers visa services in Goa through VFS Global

Residents of Goa planning a visit to Cyprus can now apply for their visas at the new VFS Global Cyprus Visa Application Centre in Panjim. The centre brings Cyprus visa services closer to home, eliminating the need for applicants from Goa to travel to a neighbouring state to submit their applications. The centre in Goa was inaugurated by His Excellency Demetrios A. Theophylactou, High Commissioner of Cyprus to India. Theophylactou said, “The Cyprus Visa Application Centre in Goa is one out of 16 VFS global centres serving Cyprus in India. The opening signifies a steady increase in visa related queries. Consequently, this centre would further expand and enhance visa services, and promote people-to-people contacts, thus contributing to our bilateral relations. The centre would work in close cooperation with the Consular Section of the High Commission to achieve the goal of timely and efficient issuance of visas.” Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer–Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global said, “VFS Global has served the Government of Cyprus in India since 2015, and the expansion of our services on their behalf to 16 cities in India is a testament of their faith in our ability to offer applicants best-in-class visa services.”

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VFS Global now accepts visa applications for Ukraine in India

Residents of India wishing to travel to Ukraine can now apply for both short and long term visas at the VFS Global Visa Application Centre in New Delhi. Ukraine was recently signed on as VFS Global’ s 57th client government worldwide, when the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs and VFS Global signed a contract to provide visa services on behalf of the Eastern European nation across eight countries in the Africa region, Lebanon in the Middle East region, India in the South Asia region and China in September 2017. The contract entails the launch of 10 visa application centres across these eight countries by January 15, 2018, with the one in New Delhi being the first step toward that goal. Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global, remarked,  “It is with great pride that VFS Global announces its partnership with Ukraine. It is with even greater delight that we launch the first Ukraine Visa Application Centre in New Delhi, India. Ukraine is fast becoming a popular destination for Indian travellers and we look forward to offering travel enthusiasts in the region our best in class visa application services to ease their submission process.”

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Cox & Kings opens Morocco VACs in Delhi

Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS) has opened a Morocco Visa Application and Information Centres (MVAIC) in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by His Excellency Mohamed Maliki, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, in the presence of Venku Murthi, Chief Operating Officer, CKGS. Maliki said, “Both Morocco and India have shared values and a history that goes back over several centuries. Foreseeing growth and significance of the Indian tourism market to Morocco, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco has decided to outsource the visa application services and entrusted CKGS to open visa application centres in India. The opening of the visa application centres in major cities in India is an important milestone which reflects the strength of the two countries’ relations as well as Morocco’s outreach to Indian travellers.” In the first phase, centres have opened in the four key metros—Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. Murthi said, “We are happy to be entrusted with the role of providing visa application services by the Embassy of Morocco as this is an opportune time to tap the growing Indian outbound travel market. Our offices across 11 centres in India will seamlessly facilitate visa processing, thereby increasing the number of Indians travelling to Morocco.’’  

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UK to extend Registered Traveller Service to Indian nationals

In an effort to enhance its visa service, the United Kingdom Visa & Immigration (UKVI) has extended the Registered Traveller Service to Indian nationals – an optional membership scheme which provides expedited crossing through the UK border. Registered Travellers are entitled to use the EEA entry lanes, or if they hold an electronic passport, the ePassport gates, and won’t need to routinely fill in a landing card. There are more UK Visa Application Centres in India than any other country. UKVI will also be improving the application process during 2018, with new online forms and upgraded technology to make the experience smoother and customer-friendly. Tricia Warwick, Interim Director for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, VisitBritain, said, “We want the UK to be a ‘must-go-now’ destination for visitors from India. Making it easy to travel here is an important part of our tourism offer. With our hotels, attractions and shops, all offering great value for Indian visitors right now, it is a great time to come to Britain.” Source: ANI

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UK encourages Indian visitors to use post-dated visa

The UK has launched their annual ‘Beat the Peak’ campaign to encourage Indian visitors to make the most of UKVI’s post-dated visa offer, which allows travellers to apply three months in advance and date their visa for when they travel. Visa applicants can benefit from quieter Visa Application Centres and more available appointment slots outside of the peak period. The post-dated service allows Indian visitors to the UK to start their visa on their intended travel date. For example, those planning to travel in April can apply for their visas in January, whilst keeping the full six month validity for when they intend to travel. Launched by Dominic Asquith KCMG, British High Commissioner to India, the 2018 ‘Beat the Peak’ campaign will include a range of activities led by the UK High Commission that aim to engage with the Indian tourist market and encourage them to visit Britain and apply early for their visa to do so. Asquith KCMG, said, “In the year ending September 2017, over half a million visas were issued to Indian nationals and visit visas alone were up by 11 per cent year-on-year. Indians can now expect a quicker visa process if they apply up to three months early and beat the summer peak in April and May.”  

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Czech Republic opens first VAC in Goa

The Embassy of the Czech Republic has inaugurated the 16th  Czech Republic Visa Application Centre (VAC) in India, in Goa on January 17. HE Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in India, inaugurated the centre located in Panjim. He said, “The launch of the Czech Republic Visa Application Centre in Goa reflects the country’s genuine commitment to provide for the growing demands of visas to the country among Indian tourists, business and culture. As a result of this policy, the Czech Republic has emerged as one of the preferred European destinations for Indian tourists.” The opening of 16 visa application centres in India over a two-year period signifies VFS Global’ s strengthening association with the Embassy of the Czech Republic. Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer – Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global, said, “Outbound traffic from India is constantly growing, and the Czech Republic in particular is rapidly gaining popularity as a preferred tourist destination among Indian travel enthusiasts. With India being a large source market for travel to Europe, the new centre will help enhance the visa services network for the Czech Republic visa applicants in the region.”

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Suspension of transit facility without valid China visa continues till further notice

The Border Police & Immigration department at Baiyun Airport, Guangzhou continues to revise the transit regulations until further notice. Passengers transiting Guangzhou and any other city in China before taking a connecting flight for their overseas travel will not be allowed to transit without valid China visa stamped on their passports prior to the commencement of journey from Delhi. The transit policy was undertaken in view of expediting security arrangements for the dignitaries in BRICS Summit held in Xiamen, China.

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Online visas drive Australia’s rising Indian tourist arrivals

India has emerged as Australia’s fastest-growing source market for tourist arrivals. One of the main reasons for this is the introduction of electronic lodgement of visa applications for Indian passport holders, which is likely to further boost arrivals. Arrivals from India to Australia grew by 15 per cent for the year ended October 2017, with an influx of 294,000 visitors, compared to the same period last year. This makes India the ninth-largest inbound market for Australia, and inches it closer towards achieving its Tourism 2020 goal of 300,000 visitors annually, three years ahead of target. Tania Gerlach, Chief Migration Officer, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, says, “We are extremely pleased with the success of the e-lodgement process, with over 60 per cent of the total tourist visa applications now received online. The month of November 2017 has witnessed the highest-ever tourist visa lodgements. Online lodgment offers benefits such as 24/7 accessibility, electronic payment of the visa application charge and the ability to check the status of applications lodged online. Processing times for these visas will now be faster, as both applications and supporting documentation are immediately available to the processing office.”

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Israel eases visa process for Indian tourists

With an aim to encourage Indian travellers to visit Israel, the country has simplified the visa application procedure for Indian citizens. The relaxed visa rule involves less documentation for Indians who have availed visas of Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel and have completed their travel to these countries.  For these travellers, the documents include a valid passport, completed visa application form, two photographs, cover letter with travel information, traveller’s insurance and passport copy. Hassan Madah – Director of the Israel Ministry of Tourism, India, says, “Easing the visa requirements will not only make the application process faster but will also increase travel to Israel as well. We are also working on an express service with VFS which will be introduced soon. In addition to this, we are working towards e-visa processing as well as easing the group visa process.” In September this year, one year multiple entry visas for business travellers was introduced. Visa processing is available through VFS processing centres located all over India for the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai and Bengaluru as well as the Embassy of Israel in Delhi.

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Vietnam extends e-visa scheme to India

Vietnam has expanded its e-visa scheme to cover visitors from six more countries, including major tourism markets like Australia and India, taking the total number of countries now to 46. Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the UAE are the other four. Vietnam began allowing tourists from 40 countries to apply for e-visas last February, with China, Japan, South Korea, the US, the UK, Germany and Sweden — all major target markets for its tourism sector, among the 40. Of the six new additions, Australians are the seventh biggest group of foreign arrivals and among the top spenders. Visitors can apply online for a 30-day, single-entry visa by paying a non-refundable application fee. It will take applicants three working days to find out if their visa applications have been approved. Visitors with e-visas can enter through eight international airports, 13 international border gates on land or seven ports. Source: Vietnam News  

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