Tag Archives: VFS Global

VFS Global appoints Jiten Vyas and Vinay Malhotra appointed to its Executive Board

VFS Global has appointed Jiten Vyas and Vinay Malhotra – both Regional Group COOs – as members of the company’s Executive Board. The Executive Board (EB), in collaboration with the Board of Directors, plays a pivotal role in the compamny’s strategic decision-making across various business verticals and its functions. The addition of  Vyas and Malhotra, with their respective vast individual career experiences, will further strengthen the EB to bring in the wider operational business perspective, in light of the company’s growth strategy. Vyas, a UK citizen, who joined the company in 2003 is responsible for all business operations in Africa (including Turkey), CIS and Eastern Europe, Europe and Americas and Australasia. Malhotra, an Indian citizen,  who joined the company in 2013 is responsible for all business operations in Middle East, South Asia and China. Both of them have handled various leadership responsibilities across geographies for the company, and are also responsible for the strengthening of key client government relationships. Zubin Karkaria, CEO, VFS Global, commented, “We are proud to have dynamic and experienced leaders of the calibre of Jiten and Vinay, who have been instrumental to our global success in growing rapidly and serving now 62 client governments. As we further expand our scope of business, we look forward to having their considerable and combined expertise add value to matters of strategy and corporate development.”

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VFS Global to provide visa services for the Netherlands in eight regions, including India

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has awarded VFS Global the global tender to provide visa services in eight out of nine regions worldwide. It will operate for the Netherlands government in Africa, North America, Central and South America, Asia and Pacific, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Western Europe, and India. VFS Global has worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 2006 and will provide Schengen visa services, Caribbean visa services, long-stay national visas, Dutch Travel Documents and Civic Integration Exams under the new contract. Chris Dix, Head—Business Development, VFS Global, said, “VFS Global is delighted that we will continue to serve the Netherlands Government. We have enjoyed a strong partnership with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs for well over a decade, and welcome this opportunity to enhance our service capabilities on their behalf. We look forward to opening our facilities in 40 new locations to offer Netherlands visa applicants best-in-class visa solutions and a seamless application process.” Since August 2018, VFS Global has signed visa service contracts with nine existing and new clients, and governments from Europe to extend their visa service network. This includes contracts to provide additional visa services for client governments such as Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia and The Czech Republic.

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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.”

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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.”

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Yas Experiences appoints VFS Global as India representative

Yas Experiences, Yas Island’s recently launched trade arm, has signed an agreement with VFS Global, appointing them as the company’s representative in the Indian market. The appointment will see the new partner work closely with the Yas Experiences’ business development team in Abu Dhabi to promote the leisure and entertainment destination and provide package solutions for trade partners across India. As part of the agreement, VFS Global will set up three sales offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru to cater to travel partners in Central, North and South India respectively. The sales rep office headquartered in Mumbai will support Yas Experience’ sales & marketing efforts to further promote Yas Island to Indian travellers. The two parties will work together to explore approaches to target Indian holidaymakers, and with a strong network presence across India, both are confident of the results this strategic partnership will reap. “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the India representative for Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Yas Island is a unique destination renowned for its assortment of experiences. We are confident that we will be able to further establish the island as a premier destination for discerning Indian travellers,” said Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer – China, Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global. Around nine million Indians are expected to travel to the GCC by 2021, according to the latest figures from Colliers International.  

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ZTA appoints VFS Global to promote Zimbabwe in India, GCC

In a move to enhance destination awareness and foster market visibility, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has appointed VFS Global to promote Zimbabwe as a preferred tourism destination in both India and GCC region, through a collaborative relationship. As part of the agreement, VFS Global would support ZTA to build a unique identity of Zimbabwe as a potential tourist destination by educating and spreading awareness to tour operators, travel agents, MICE planners and the general traveller based in India or GCC region. Commenting on the new partnership, Karikoga Kaseke, Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, said “We have not been active in the GCC region and our absence has created room for negative perceptions to prevail. However, we are now ready for this market because Zimbabwe is now open for business. Through the appointment of VFS Global as market representatives for Zimbabwe in the GCC region we aim for increased awareness of Zimbabwe and establish destination presence and visibility. We anticipate a rise in arrivals from GCC region to 13500 by 2021 as VFS Global embarks on aggressively marketing the country. Zimbabwe has recently targeted India as a primary market due to its potential resulting from the rapid growing disposable incomes in India. Jiten Vyas, Regional Group COO, VFS Global added, “As a country bestowed with rich cultural heritage, Zimbabwe is strengthening their tourism business and entering their potential markets. We are pleased to partner with ZTA to put this country that has so much of untapped tourism potential on the world map for travellers from India and GCC who can now experience the beautiful nation of Zimbabwe.”      

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Israel reduces visa fee to INR 1,100 for Indian travellers

In an effort to encourage more Indian travellers to visit Israel, the country has reduced its visa fee to INR 1,100 from its previous INR 1,700 charge for Indian citizens. VFS Global currently offers visa processing services for Israeli visas in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. Centres will soon open in Hyderabad and Kolkata to service the residents in these cities, who will not be required to send their documents to the Consulates in Mumbai and Bengaluru or the Embassy in New Delhi. The revised application fee is on the B2 visa category, where a visit to Israel is for purposes including business, meeting or conference or tourism. Commenting on the initiatives, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines said, “We are happy to announce the reduction in visa fees for Indian travellers with immediate effect. I am confident that this move will encourage more people to choose Israel as a holiday destination and boost inbound numbers from India. I am confident that the revised visa fees will help grow the numbers.” In September 2017, the Ministry introduced one-year multiple entry visas for business travellers to Israel. Steps are being taken towards bringing more changes to make the process faster and easier for Indian travellers to visit Israel.

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VFS Global GDPR-compliant after data privacy rules come into effect

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went live recently, making it exigent that every business in India dealing with an EU counterpart pledges compliance. The legislation raises the standards of personal data privacy across the world by changing the rules of companies that collect, store or process user information. VFS Global, at the individual level, any outbound traveller to any of the Schengen and UK destinations, irrespective of nationality, is now covered under the sweeping data protection and privacy rights regulation. Barry Cook, Group Data Protection Officer, VFS Global explained that, as of May 25, 2018, businesses dealing in travel and visa facilitation services had to have critically evaluated and reinforced their information management systems to avoid the risk of data breaches, which can now attract heavy fines. The law was enacted two years ago while its enforcement across all 28 EU countries came into effect at midnight on May 25, 2018. The scope of GDPR is sweeping and encompasses right to access data, modification and erasure, right to object to automate processing or even to restrict processing, among others.  It also forbids targeted emails unless there is explicit consent from an individual at the receiving end. “We process millions of visa applications to EU nations from 139 countries world over, and it is imperative for us to put in fool proof systems to abide by the legislation. In general, travel and visa facilitation companies, by virtue of the nature of their business, are heavily exposed to personal data, which means that the industry as a whole needs to have imminent readiness to be GDPR-compliant,” Cook said.

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VFS Global to facilitate Fan IDs for FIFA World Cup

As Russia looks forward to welcoming football enthusiasts for the FIFA World Cup 2018, VFS Global offers extra convenience to football fans by providing access to more than 165 of its Visa Application Centres across the globe as distribution points for Fan IDs. A Fan ID is a personalised spectator’s card, which provides fast and convenient access to the stadium. Fans have the option of selecting their nearest most convenient Visa Application Centre for delivery of their FAN IDs. In addition, with a Fan ID foreign spectators can enter Russia visa-free. It also entitles spectators to free travel on special trains connecting the host cities and on public transportation of the host cities on match days. Entry and exit to the Russian Federation with a Fan ID will be possible starting ten days prior and after to the date of the first and last matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Prabuddha Sen, Chief Operating Officer – CIS & Eastern Europe, VFS Global, said, “We are delighted to be working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and offer our services to facilitate Fan IDs for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup. Fans can collect the spectator’s card from our 165 application centres across 72 countries worldwide. Vast network of centres, easy accessibility, online tracking, amongst other advantages, will make it much more convenient for visitors, providing them with greater speed and transparency in the process, thereby enhancing their overall World Cup experience.”

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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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