Tag Archives: VFS Global

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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VFS Global now accepts visa applications for Ukraine in India

Residents of India wishing to travel to Ukraine can now apply for both short and long term visas at the VFS Global Visa Application Centre in New Delhi. Ukraine was recently signed on as VFS Global’ s 57th client government worldwide, when the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs and VFS Global signed a contract to provide visa services on behalf of the Eastern European nation across eight countries in the Africa region, Lebanon in the Middle East region, India in the South Asia region and China in September 2017. The contract entails the launch of 10 visa application centres across these eight countries by January 15, 2018, with the one in New Delhi being the first step toward that goal. Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global, remarked,  “It is with great pride that VFS Global announces its partnership with Ukraine. It is with even greater delight that we launch the first Ukraine Visa Application Centre in New Delhi, India. Ukraine is fast becoming a popular destination for Indian travellers and we look forward to offering travel enthusiasts in the region our best in class visa application services to ease their submission process.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.”  

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