Category Archives: Visa

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

Read More »

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.”  

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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  

Read More »

VFS to continue visa processing for Norway

The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has awarded VFS Global an extension to its global contract for visa processing services in four regions – Asia and Oceania, Europe and Russia, Middle East and Africa, and the Americas. VFS Global currently operates 101 Visa Application Centres across 39 countries for Norway. VFS processes approximately 260,000 Norway visa applications globally each year and travellers from China, Russia, Thailand and India account for most of the inbound traffic into Norway. Chris Dix, Head – Business Development, VFS Global, remarked, “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Norwegian government. This is not only commercially important for VFS Global, but also in demonstrating the Norwegian government’s trust in VFS, further reinforcing our company’s position as the leading  visa services partner to Schengen member states and to 57 client governments worldwide.” The Royal Norwegian Government reported the country’s tourism industry had another record year in 2016, following strong growth in the number of visitors in 2015. Figures compiled by Statistics Norway show average annual growth in the number of foreign visitors to Norway has exceeded the international average since 2010.

Read More »

UAE to add consular offices, visa centres across India

Boosting bilateral engagement with India, the United Arab Emirates will open several new consular centres in India. “Under the present circumstances, if people from Chandigarh, Chennai and Hyderabad want a visa to the UAE, they have to travel to either Mumbai or Delhi or Kerala. So to prevent hardship for the people, we are soon going to open our consular and visa centres in these cities,” said Dr Ahmed Albanna, ambassador of UAE. The UAE will be investing $75 billion of its sovereign wealth fund in the country. The announcement on expanding consular footprint of UAE came even as diplomatic sources confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Abu Dhabi in February 2018. Expansion of consular services of UAE will help the Indians in the country who constitute one of the largest overseas Indian populations. (Source: The Hindu)  

Read More »

Gulf Air launches Bahrain Tourist Visa Service

Gulf Air in partnership with VFS Global launched a Bahrain Tourist Visa Service exclusively for the airline’s passengers flying across its global network to Bahrain. Travellers with return tickets of Gulf Air can now conveniently apply for a visa to the Kingdom of Bahrain online via visa.gulfair.com or by visiting their local Gulf Air sales office with the necessary documents no more than 30 days prior to travel to submit their application. Captain Waleed Abdul Hameed Al Alawi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Air said, “We are delighted to launch the Bahrain Tourist Visa Service, making the process of obtaining a visa to enter Bahrain easier. We anticipate positive feedback from our customers and look forward to welcoming more people from around the world to Bahrain to experience all that the Kingdom has to offer.” Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global said, “The dedicated online platform not only makes applying for a visa to Bahrain quicker and more convenient than ever before, but also provides passengers with 24×7 accessibility and online tracking of their visas.”  

Read More »