Category Archives: Visa

Thailand offers free visa-on-arrival from today

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced granting a visa-on-arrival fee waiver for tourists from 20 countries, including India. From November 15, 2018 to January 13, 2019, citizens of Andora, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China (including Taiwan), Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will be exempted from the 2,000 Baht visa-on-arrival fee for the purpose of touring in Thailand for not more than 15 days. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor, TAT, said, “This is good news for Thailand’s tourism industry as we’re preparing a range of year-end activities and promotions, including the launch of Amazing Thailand Grand Sale ‘Passport Privilege’ during the same period.” Tourism promotions and events in the pipeline between now and January next year also include the New Year Electronic Music Festival in Pattaya from December 30-31, and TAT will hold the countdown celebration in five destinations in the five regions of Thailand: Chiang Rai in the north, Nakhon Phanom in the northeast, Ratchaburi in the central region, Satun with its world-renowned geopark in the south and Sa Kaeo in the east.

Read More »

Slovakia to operate 38 new VACs in 10 countries including India

VFS Global has signed a contract with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic for providing visa services in 10 countries including India. The other countries to get visa application centres for Slovakia via VFS Global are China, Kazakhstan, Palestine, Belarus, Russia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Egypt. The rollout of 38 visa application centres is expected to be completed by December 2018. Under the new contract, VFS Global will accept both short and long-term visa applications on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Chris Dix, Head – Business Development, VFS Global, said, “We are excited about our new partnership with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. The countries where we will be operating are markets where VFS Global has worked for several years and whose travellers are familiar with our services and expertise. We are also pleased to have the opportunity to serve our new clients in new locations, and bring applicants in these locations the same benefits and high-quality service that we have been offering our customers worldwide for the last 17 years.”

Read More »

Doha offers visa-free arrival for Indians

Citizens of India can now be granted a visa waiver for a period of 30 days on their arrival in Qatar, upon certain conditions. The passenger’s passport must be valid for at least six months and must have a confirmed return ticket. He/she must have a valid credit card. (For a family travelling together, the card must be in the name of the passenger or one per family). Passengers should also provide a confirmed hotel reservation.

Read More »

Visitors with e-visa can visit India via Madurai airport

Amid growing demands, the Government of India has included Madurai airport in the list of entry points where persons holding e-visa can enter India. According to a circular released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, visitors holding valid e-visa can enter the country without going to the nearby airport with e-visa on arrival facility. This facility is expected to benefit a large number of tourists from Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the UAE, Mauritius, the US and the UK. Overall fourth in Tamil Nadu, the Madurai airport is the 26th airport to get the facility in the country.

Read More »

VFS Global signs visa service contracts with eight European governments

In August and September 2018, VFS Global signed eight contracts with existing and new client governments to extend their visa service network. As per the new contracts, VFS Global will now provide visa services for Belgium in Rwanda; Estonia in China, India, Belarus, Turkey, and Russia; Germany in China and 13 other countries in South East Asia; Hungary in India, Belarus, Kazakhstan; Italy in Bahrain and Ecuador; Lithuania in Ukraine; Slovenia in 13 countries (Australia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Canada, Iran, Kosovo, Mexico, New Zealand, Serbia, South Korea, Taiwan, UAE, UK, USA); and the Czech Republic in Vietnam, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. VFS Global plans to open an additional 97 visa application centres to meet the requirements of the new contracts and offers applicants a convenient and easy visa application process in these additional countries. The roll-out of all new operations is expected to be completed by mid-2019. Zubin Karkaria, Chief Executive Officer, VFS Global Group said, “VFS Global is grateful for the trust and goodwill the European member states have placed in us over the years. With the recent renewal of our relationship with eight European governments across multiple regions, we are pleased to offer our high quality visa services to many more visa applicants.” Chris Dix, Head–Business Development, VFS Global, said, “This has been a great quarter for VFS Global. Today, VFS Global is the trusted partner of 61 client governments, in large part due to our uncompromising approach to using technology as a key business driver.”

Read More »

Indian nationals eligible for Turkish e-Visa now

Indian nationals having supporting document are now eligible for Turkish e-Visa – equivalent to the sticker visa issued at Turkish missions. Getting e-visa costs 45 USD less than sticker visa and it takes only 3 minutes at the said website. Turkish mission in India delegates no handling company for e-visa. One needs to log on to official web site https://www.evisa.gov.tr. Turkish e-visa is only valid when the purpose of travel is tourism or commerce. For other purposes, such as work and study, Turkish Embassy or Consulates will issue visa. E-visa kiosks at any airport in Istanbul will not be available after October 28, 2018. One needs to get e-visa before departure to Turkey.

Read More »

Tourism from India to Russia grows 27.5 per cent

At the recently-concluded Round Table on Tourism on the sidelines of the Russian Indian Summit 2018, Ivan Breganov, Regional Manager of IFS (Russian Visa Center) confirmed that the number of tourist visas issued from January to September 2018 has already surpassed the total number of visas issued in 2017, pegging the YoY growth around 27 per cent. The round table was organised by Russia Expo Center, Moscow along with Russian Information Center, Mumbai (RIC) with more than 120 trade professionals from India attending along with TAAI MC Member Rajan Sehgal and EEMA Executive Vice President Sanjiv Pasricha making the keynote address along with Timur Vekilov, Chief Representative in India of Russ Expo Center. The round table moderated by Paresh Navani, Director, Russ Information Center discussed the needs and special services required by Indians and ways to address the same. In this regard, Russ Information Center announced the pre-launch of Ural Airlines set to begin operations from March 24, 2019 connecting Mumbai to Yekaterinburg and Moscow along with some tourism products to take advantage of the new airline service between the two countries, further RIC presented its ‘Indian Friendly’ programme to the Indian travel trade, the Indian friendly programme trains Russian hotels on Indian culture, cooking Indian dishes and ensure that other specific needs are provided to Indians in Russia. Another point noted by the attendees was that tourists from Russia to India has also grown over the last years by around 29 per cent, showing good recovery of arrival compared to the past few years.

Read More »

GetMyVisa.com launches online visa services for 50 most-visited destinations

GetMyVisa.com has launched its tourist and business visitor visa application service for 50 countries, most frequented by Indians. Conceived and developed, in Mumbai, by a team of skilled entrepreneurs, GetMyVisa.com is built to create a simple and counselled internet visa application process, with accurate and updated information on visa regulations and the convenience of applying for visa anytime. The GetMyVisa.com application process covers E-visa, third party and in-person submission with interview and biometrics collection. Every applicant receives personalised attention and is assisted by a call center, web chat, SMS alerts and email confirmations. One can start to process visa for themselves and or their family and friends. Business house travel administrators can use the portal for all their executives. With 50 million Indians travelling abroad every year for short visits the crying need for an easy online visa process is now fulfilled. At the launch, Apurva Mody, Founder Director, GetMyVisa.com, said “Our travel plans need not be shattered for not being able to obtain a visa. Planning with timely information and guidance is the key.” Besides visa information, GetMyVisa.com also provides a destination country profile, customs and duty-free information, driving license information, health, travel tips and VAT refund information. Also included is emergency handling information such as Indian embassy and consulate contacts overseas.

Read More »

Easy visa application process ups Indian arrivals to Australia by 20%

Since the introduction of the new visa system by the Department of Home Affairs (HA), arrivals from India to Australia have surged by 20 per cent. The online application process provides a more convenient option for Indians looking to visit Australia, by allowing them to apply for their Australian tourist visa within the comfort of their home, without any biometric requirement or physically submitting their passport to the Department. Tania Gerlach, Chief Migration Officer, Department of Home Affairs, commented, “The expansion of online lodgement to Indian applicants is an important step in managing the large number of visitor visa applications processed in India. Processing times for these visas are now faster, as both applications and supporting documentation are immediately available to the processing office.” Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager – India, Tourism Australia, said, “We see the introduction of online visitor visa lodgement as a progressive and innovative measure to ease travel logistics. In addition to destination delights to woo potential tourists, ease of access is usually seen as a catalyst that drives decision making.” Consumers can conveniently apply for their Australian visitor visa through the Department’s Immi Account portal. Online visa lodgement 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.

Read More »

Israel opens Visa Application Centre in Kolkata

In an effort to encourage more Indian travellers to visit Israel, the Embassy of Israel in India has opened a Kolkata Israel Visa Application Centre for West Bengal and Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Additionally, visa applications in jurisdiction under the New Delhi centre are also acceptable at the new Kolkata Centre. The visa application categories include B1 for employment, B2 for business, tourism, meeting or conference and A2 for students. Commenting on the new opening, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines said, “Israel is experiencing a tourism boom like never before. India has recorded a half yearly growth of 82% as compared to the same period in 2015 and has become one of the best performing markets in Asia for Israel. The new centre in Kolkata will no longer require residents from West Bengal and Northeastern states to send in their documents to the Embassy in New Delhi.” Among other initiatives, Israel recently announced a reduction in visa fees to Rs 1,100 from its previous Rs 1,700 charge for Indian citizens. In December last year, relaxed visa documentation was brought in for applicants who have availed visas of Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel and have completed their travel to these destinations. Madah added, “The Ministry of Tourism will be conducting a roadshow in Kolkata on August 29 to increase interest for the destination among consumers and trade fraternity.”

Read More »