Category Archives: Visa

Now, apply for Chinese visa from Connaught Place

Making visa application facilities convenient for travellers, the Chinese Visa Application Centre was inaugurated at Shivaji Stadium metro station, Connaught Place, New Delhi by HE Lua Zhaohui, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to India; Wei Xiaodong, Vice Director-General, Service Bureau for the Foreign Ministry and its Overseas Missions of China; and Zubin Karkaria, Chief Executive Officer, VFS Global Group. Commenting on the launch, the Ambassador said, “This is going to facilitate tourism between the two countries even further. Both countries boast of a huge population and want a better two-way exchange of tourist arrival numbers.” Adding on, Zubin Karkaria stated, “We anticipate strong tourism growth between India and China and this spacious centre will enable us to cater to the rising demand for China visas and simultaneously enhance the applicant’s experience.” On the occasion, the very first ‘China in Luxury’ outlet was also launched in the centre where travellers can avail of premium packages on exclusive travel experiences.

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Thai visa fee exemption extended till August 2017

The Thai Government has decided to extend the tourist visa fee exemption scheme, initially available from November-February, 2017, by an additional six months, informed Srisuda Wanapinyosak, Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and South Pacific), Tourism Authority of Thailand. “Visa applications from the Indian market grew by almost 200 per cent during the visa fee exemption scheme’s initial duration. Hence, it was decided to extend the scheme for six months.”

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Malaysia launches 15-day e-visa for Indians

In a move to boost Indian arrivals, Malaysia has launched a 15-day e-visa for travellers on a short visit. This was announced at a press conference in New Delhi by Malaysia’s Minister of Tourism and Culture, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz. “India and Malaysia share great relations that go a long way back and we want to foster these ties. We decided to launch this e-visa for the benefit of travellers who visit the country for a short while and since it takes only 48 hours for approval, it is also useful for those who require it urgently,” he said. The e-visa includes a single-entry and costs $20. Tourism Malaysia and leaders from TAAI, TAFI and OTOAI also signed a commitment plaque fortifying each other’s commitment to promoting travel from India.With a focus on sustainable tourism, Malaysia is also pushing its special interest packages for premium shopping, luxury travels, sports tourism such as golf, and Malaysia as a wedding and honeymoon destination. India is the sixth top tourist generating market for Malaysia with a total 722,141 Indian visitors recorded in 2015. Last year, from January to October, Malaysia received a total of 540,530 Indian tourists. Malaysia hopes to achieve 1 million arrivals from the India market this year.

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VFS to manage India visa services in Spain, Thailand, and South Africa

As part of its expanding visa services network for the Government of India’s Ministry of External Affairs worldwide, VFS Global will now manage India visa processing services in three additional countries: Spain, Thailand and South Africa. VFS Global has served the Government of India since 2007, and manages visa processing for the client government in a total of 12 countries worldwide. The Embassy of India in Spain and VFS Global have signed a four-year contract to manage India visa processing services in three cities: Madrid, Barcelona and Las Palmas. The new centres in these cities are on schedule to open in April 2017. VFS Global won the contract to offer India visa processing services in Spain in July 2016. However, the launches were delayed due to a petition filed by BLS International against the Government of India in the Delhi High Court, disputing its disqualification from the Spain bid for failing to meet the minimum technical criteria. Spain is the 12th country where VFS Global will begin visa processing operations for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. VFS Global also signed contracts to manage Indian visas in Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai) and South Africa (Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town).

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India grants 5-year multiple entry visa to Thai nationals

The Government of India has liberalised its visa policy for Thai nationals. It has decided to grant five-year multiple entry Tourist Visa and five-year multiple entry Business visa to Thai nationals with immediate effect with continuous stay of 90 days during each visit. It has also started Express visa service where visa will be issued by next working day. Separate Immigration counters and facilitation desks will be provided for Medical Visa. This service will initially be available at international airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. India has also relaxed the minimum salary limit and fixed at Rs 9.10 lakhs per anum for Employment visa to those Thai nationals who will be engaged at teaching faculty in the IITs, Central Universities, NITs etc. Foreign teaching faculty employed at South Asian University and Nalanda University will be exempted from minimum salary limit for the purpose of employment visa. Indian Embassy will grant Intern Visa to Thai nationals to pursue internship in Indian companies, educational Institutions and NGOs up to a maximum of 50 interns per year. Indian Embassy will also encourage Thai nationals to shoot feature film in excellent Indian locations and they will be provided Film Visa.

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Indians with diplomatic, special & official passports to travel visa free to UAE

The Government of India and the Government of UAE have signed an MoU on mutual exemption of entry visa requirements to the holders of Diplomatic, special and Official Passports. The agreement allows holders of diplomatic, special and official passports visa free travel between the two countries. This was a part of several list of agreements/MOUs exchanged during the State visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to India. He is the Chief Guest in the Republic Day celebrations.

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BLS to open 150 VACs for Spain in 45 countries

After bagging the contract from Spain MAEC (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation – Spain), BLS International will open nearly 150 Spanish Visa Application Centers in 45 countries to support the Spanish Embassies and Consulates globally. Out of a total 128 Spanish Visa Centers, 53 are already operational from December 2016, and together the company expects to process approximately 1.8 million applications annually. The five-year contract is worth €175 million (Rs 1,300 crore), Recently, BLS International also announced the renewal order for four years from Russia and Singapore for outsourcing services to the Indian Embassies and Consulates. Shikhar Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director and Additional Director, BLS International Services Limited said, “Through our association with Spain government, we intend to provide Spanish Visa’s effortlessly accessible by providing services in many small countries like Algeria, Ecuador, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Mauritania etc. We aim at expanding our foreign mission category by bagging global contracts particularly from Thailand and Canada governments, via a competitive process.” BLS International has commenced one Spanish Visa Application Center in each Delhi and Mumbai and at least one center in other countries around the globe including, Russia, Morocco, Algeria, Turkey, China, India, South Africa, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Bolivia, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Dominican, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Senegal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ivory Coast, Vietnam, Oman, Kenya, Cameroon, Scotland, Israel, Ghana, Qatar, Ukraine, Thailand, Philippines, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Tunisia, Nigeria, Armenia, Belarus, Iraq, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan. The company plans to open several more offices in these locations in 2017.

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UK encourages visitors to apply early for visas

The UK has launched a new campaign to encourage Indian visitors to apply early for their visas in the quieter, off peak period, during January and February.  Visa applicants can expect to get a visa decision more quickly outside of the peak period, and benefit from quieter Visa Application Centres and more available appointment slots. They can now request for their visas to be post-dated by up to three months, so the visa starts on their intended travel date. Those planning to travel in April can apply for their visas now and the six month validity can start on their intended departure date. The initiative was announced at the Destination Britain India, currently being held in Pune and hosted by the UK’s national tourism agency VisitBritain. The three-day tourism trade fair brings together more than 75 travel agents from across India and more than 20 UK travel suppliers for three days of networking and business appointments. British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, said, “We are delighted that more and more Indians are choosing to come to the UK either on holiday or for business. The latest visa statistics show that visitor visas issued have increased by six per cent in the year ending September 2016 and last year we issued more Indian visit visas than ever before. There has never been a better time to visit the UK – 2017 is the Year of Culture, which will see an exciting festival of events celebrating the vibrant cultural history of UK and India held in both countries.” India will become the first visa country to benefit from the Registered Traveller Service, as announced by the British Prime Minister …

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India eases visa process for Omanis

With a view to attract Omanis for tourism and business purposes, the Government of India has decided to grant multiple entry tourist and business visas valid for a period of five years. Each visit under Tourist Visa, however, shall not exceed 90 days. Tourist Visa holder will also not be required to register himself/herself. Similarly, multi-entry business visas will also be valid for five years with continuous stay during each visit not to exceed 180 days. The requirement of registration of Business Visa holders has also been done away with. In 2016, the Embassy of India in Muscat issued over 72,000 tourist visas and over 900 business visas. In order to further facilitate Omani patients visiting India for medical treatment, Government has decided to open separate counters at Immigration points for speedy and smooth clearance of Medical Visa holders, initially at six International Airports viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Facilitation desks will also be available at these airports, which would have Arabic as well as Russian translators to help patients overcome the language barrier. This facility will be particularly useful for people of Oman visiting India for medical treatment. It may be noted that BLS Oman, which is responsible for accepting visa applications, has already opened a separate counter at their Muscat Centre to facilitate Medical Visa applicants. In 2016, a total of11612 Medical Visas and 8491 Medical Attendant visas were issued by the Embassy. Medical Attendants accompanying patients going to India for medical treatment are granted Medical Attendant Visa under the existing procedure. Source: Indian Emb of Oman

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Getting Indian visa becomes easier for Bangladeshi tourists

As part of ongoing efforts to streamline, liberalise and ease the process of securing Indian visas, the High Commission of India will allow all Bangladesh travellers with confirmed air, train or bus tickets to submit their tourist visa applications without e-token or prior appointment dates from January 1, 2017. This was informed by the Indian High Commission in Dhaka. It was informed that the date of journey should be after seven days but within one month of submission of the visa application form. The Indian Visa Application Centre in Mirpur will receive walk-in tourist visa applications from confirmed travellers and senior citizens from 1 January instead of the centre in Uttara. Those who already have appointment dates can continue to submit their tourist visa applications in centres at Gulshan, Uttara, Motijheel, Mymensingh, Barisal, Khulna, Jessore, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Sylhet. (Source:Firstpost)

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