Category Archives: Visa

Business & medical e-visa now available for application

With effect from April 1, 2017, the e-visa facility for business and medical tourism is finally open for application. While the e-tourist visa facility was the first one to be launched, the central government further added the e-business and e-medical visa in an effort to propagate ease of visa facilitation. Furthermore, the facility has been extended to the nationals of 161 countries for entry through 24 airports and three Indian Ports while the window for application under e-visa scheme has been increased from 30 days to 120 days. Duration of stay on e-visa has also been increased from 30 days to 60 days with double entry on e-Tourist and e-Business visa and triple entry on e-Medical visa. Additionally, separate immigration counters and facilitation desks to assist medical tourist have been provided at six major Indian airports. A new category of Visa, Film (F) Visa, has also been introduced with maximum duration of one year with multiple entry facility.

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Oz visa processing may take 3 weeks due to high demand

Australian High Commission in India has advised visa applicants not to finalise their travel arrangements until they get a visa. The visa office at the Australian High Commission, New Delhi is currently experiencing a very high volume of Visitor visa lodgements from applicants travelling to Australia from India, especially in the upcoming summer months.  As a result, visa processing is taking longer than usual. Visitor-Tourist visa applications are currently taking up to 17 working days (over 3 weeks) to be processed. Visitor-Business visa applications are currently taking up to 10 working days (up to 2 weeks) to be processed. Hence, they have recommended to lodge the visa application well ahead of the proposed travel date and only finalise travel arrangements after the visa process has been completed. Agents are also advised to write to the High Commission only if the application is not processed within the current processing timelines.

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Malaysia offers multiple-entry e-visa to Indians on OTOAI’s request

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak has announced the launch of multiple entry e-visa valid for 15 days for Indian nationals. The announcement came a day after Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI), met Dato’ Seri Mohd. Nazir Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism & Culture, Govt. of Malaysia, along with Raghuvinder Singh of D Pauls Travel and suggested that e-visa facility being offered to Indians should be made multiple entry. The suggestion led the Minister to take action and decision was taken within a day, and the Malaysian Prime Minister announced, “I would like more Indians to visit Malaysia and I have informed the Prime Minister that we have decided to allow no visa fee, online application approval within 48 hours and multiple entry to be accorded for Indian nationals.” The Malaysian Prime Minister met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his official visit to the country on April 1. Sahni said, “Thanks to Datuk Seri Mirza Mohd Taiyab, Director General Tourism Malaysia, Dato Daljit Singh, Indian Community Relations Advisor to the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia, Datuk Siew Ka Wei, Chairman Tourism Malaysia and Sulaiman Suip as the new Director, North & East India operations, for their contribution. We acknowledge Hon. Dato Seri’ Mohd Nazir Abdul Aziz and his team for taking action so quickly.”

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VFS launches UK VAC in Pune

VFS Global, in partnership with United Kingdom Visas and Immigration, inaugurated a new Visa Application Centre in Pune to allow travellers from the city easy access to the United Kingdom. The newly opened centre offers a number of benefits to customers in Pune including more application counters to make it quicker and easier for customers to submit their visa applications. In addition the VAC has a new Premium Lounge which offers complimentary drinks and a separate lounge so that customers can apply for their visas more quickly and in more luxurious surroundings. The VAC is co-located with the Schengen Visa Application Centre to make it more straightforward for customers to apply for both visas at the same time. Speaking at the launch, Nick Crouch, Regional Director-South Asia, UK Visas and Immigration, said, “The UK continues to welcome more and more visitors from India. The latest visa figures show that over 395,000 Indian visit visas were issued for UK last year, a six per cent increase from 2015. We hope to see even higher numbers for 2017. India is an incredibly important market to the UK which is why we continue to make improvements to our visa service. Last year we introduced a new Visit Visa Application form which for the first time is translated into four regional languages and allows customers to download a completed Schengen visa form. We will continue to listen to feedback from our customers in order to make further improvements where we can.” Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer- Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global, added, “VFS Global and UK Visas and Immigration continue to invest and improve the visa service we offer Indian customers. Due …

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VFS launches nationwide network of Japan VACs

VFS Global, in partnership with the Embassy of Japan in India, is expanding the network of Japan Visa Application Centres across the country, bringing visa application facilities to applicants in 13 additional cities in India. As part of the country-wide rollout, VFS Global launched Visa Application Centres in the South Indian cities of Chennai, Bengaluru, Pondicherry, Hyderabad, Cochin and Trivandrum. Earlier this month, on 10 March 2017, a centrally-accessible and well-connected centre was launched in Mumbai, and on 03 March 2017, a full-fledged Visa Application Centre started operations in Kolkata. So far, New Delhi, Chandigarh, and Jalandhar were the only cities where applicants could submit Japan visa applications through VFS Global centres. Applicants from other cities in India had to submit their visa applications, either in person or through a travel agent, at the Japanese Consulates in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bengaluru or through the submission facilities arranged in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Dehradun, Agra and Guwahati. His Excellency Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India, said, “India is an important market for the tourism sector in Japan. In 2016, approximately 1, 23, 000 Indians visited Japan. I see enormous potential in the Indian market.  The opening of multiple centres across India is a major step towards enhancing people-to-people exchanges and the cultural relationship between the two countries.” Commenting on the launch, Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East and South Asia, VFS ¬Global, said, “With the opening of the Japan Visa Application Centres across India, travellers to Japan will now get their visas processed through our professionally managed services. We are confident that these centres will positively contribute to the strong ties of travel between the two countries, by maintaining best-in-class standards …

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Indians with valid US visa or Green Card to get visa on arrival in UAE

Indian passport holders with a valid American visa or a Green Card can avail visa on arrival in the United Arab Emirates. The entry visa will be issued upon arrival as per the decree approved by the UAE Cabinet. The decision aims at advancing the UAE-India relations in economic, politics, and trade. It contributes to achieving UAE’s vision to be the leading country in attracting global tourism. “Citizens of the Republic of India who are holders of normal passports with a six-month, or more, valid green card or visa issued by the United States of America shall be granted entry visas to the UAE from all ports for a period of 14 days, subject for a single renewal for the same period upon payment of applicable fees,” an official statement said. The number of Indian tourists coming to the UAE last year reached about 1.6 million Indian tourists, and there were about 50,000 UAE tourists who visited India in the same year. There are about 143 flights a day between the UAE and Indian cities, at a rate of 1000 flights per week. The UAE-India trade has grown to around $60 billion per annum as per the latest figures, making India the second largest trading partner of UAE. The UAE exports to India totaled $27 billion while Indian exports to UAE totaled $33 billion. India is investing about $70 billion in the UAE through 45,000 Indian companies, while the UAE is investing $10 billion in the Indian sectors of energy, metallurgical industry, services, technology and construction. A number of UAE companies invest and operate in India such as Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (ADNEC), Emaar, …

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32.18 lakh tourists availed eTV during Jan-Feb 2017

During January-February 2017, a total of 32.18 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa (eTV) as compared to 20.54 lakh during January-February 2016, registering a growth of 56.7 per cent . A total of 1.70 lakh tourists availed the e-Tourist Visa services in February alone as compared to 1.17 lakh during the month of February 2016 registering a growth of 45.2 per cent. UK (26.1%) occupied top spot in the list of source countries followed by USA (11.0%), France (7.3%), Russian Fed (7.3%) and China (5.1%). While New Delhi Airport (42.0%) received the most number of tourists on eTV, Mumbai Airport (19.6%) was next, followed by Dabolim (Goa) Airport (13.3%), Chennai Airport (6.3%), Bengaluru Airport (4.9%).

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BLS International launches Spain visa application center in Chennai

BLS International has announced the opening of their first Spanish Visa Application Center (VAC) in Chennai. After winning the global contract from the Government of Spain in December, 2016, this is the 3rd Spanish Visa Application center opened in India, after New Delhi and Mumbai. The company currently operates 78 Spain Visa Application Centers spread across 37 countries. In future that the center will offer value added services like SMS service alert, photocopy service and convenient courier services to the applicants. Shikhar Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director, BLS International Services, shares, “BLS International has always endeavored to offer first-class services to its customers. We charge the applicant a nominal fee under the umbrella of word class services given in return to them. Our dedicated and pro-active staff is always ready to cater to the needs of the applicants. We aim to revolutionize the Spanish Visa application experience and the newly launched center in Chennai is yet another milestone. Since the commencement of the operations on the 19thDecember 2016, we have processed in excess of 200 applications per day across India and expect the numbers to grow by 20 % this year. With the opening of new centers in India it will further strengthen ties to the South market for both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and BLS International. We are looking at processing approximately 1.8 million applications annually through our global network.”

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Czech Republic opens visa application centre in Jaipur

VFS Global has launched its Visa Application Centre for the Czech Republic in Jaipur. Applicants for visas to the Czech Republic from Jaipur can now visit the centrally-located centre to submit visa applications and enrol for biometrics in a spacious and comfortable environment. The centre was inaugurated by Martin Smolek, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and H.E. Milan Hovorka Ambassador of the Czech Republic in India, and Mayor of Municipal Corporation in Jaipur, Dr. Ashok Lahoty. The new centre in Jaipur is located inside Mangalam Ambition Tower, Subhash Marg (Malan Ka Chauraha), C Scheme, Jaipur. Over the last few months, VFS Global has set up centres in nine other cities in India to increase accessibility to visa services for applicants across the country. Applicants earlier had to travel to Mumbai or Delhi to apply for Czech Republic visas. Over the next few days, VFS Global will launch more such centres for the Czech Republic in India, in a phase-wise manner.

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France’s VAC in Pune gets a new address

The relocated France Visa Application Centre was inaugurated by Yves Perrin, Consul General of France in Mumbai, on February 27, 2017. Residents of Pune can now apply for visas to multiple countries, including France, under one roof, at the modern and centrally-located Joint Visa Application Centre in Viman Nagar. The Centre also serves 15 other Schengen countries besides France, including Italy, Germany, Austria, Greece, Latvia, Sweden, Swiss, Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Luxembourg, Cyprus and Estonia. In addition to this, the centre will also cater to the client governments of Australia, UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey and UAE. Many of these centres were earlier located in Tadiwala Road and Kalyani Nagar areas of the city. With the launch of the new Joint Visa Application Centre, VFS Global has consolidated all visa requirements under one roof. With a larger space and state-of-the-art infrastructure, the new Joint Visa Application Centre has an increased number of application counters making the visa application process quicker and more convenient for applicants. The centre is equipped with dedicated counters for individuals, representatives and travel agents making the visa application experience hassle-free and convenient for all.

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