Tag Archives: VFS Global

Czech Tourism appoints VFS Global as India rep

Czech Tourism has appointed VFS Global as its India representative. Ing. Tereza Matejkova, Head-Trade Fairs, Czech Tourism, said, “We are very happy to announce that we appointed VFS Global as our India representation for a year. We are looking for Indian travel agents and tour operator cooperation through our India representation. We will also be organizing familiarization and press trips to introduce our destination to the India market. We will also conduct roadshows and other marketing activities to boost the numbers to Czechia.” 66,000 Indian tourists visited Czech Republic last year which was a 20 per cent increase, added Matejkova. Arzan Khambatta, Head-India, Czech Tourism and Head-Tourism Representation, VFS Global, said, “We are happy to represent Czech republic in India and we hope to work in close collaboration with Czech tourism Board partners as well as Indian partners to grow the number of Indian tourists to Czechia.” He further explained that the tourism board will first start with cooperation with travel trade in India. “We feel there is a lot of scope to increase awareness about Czech Republic as a tourist destination and develop new products for the destination from the India market. We will also work to promote Czechia through social media and other consumer platforms which will be done at a later stage,” added Khambatta.

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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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VFS launches Czech Republic visa centre in Ahmedabad

The Embassy of the Czech Republic and VFS Global have opened a Czech Republic Visa Application Centre in Ahmedabad, to make visa application facilities more accessible for people in the western region. Ahmedabad is the seventh city in India where VFS Global has launched a Visa Application Centre for the Czech Republic, in the last one year. Earlier, applicants from Ahmedabad seeking a Schengen visa (if the main country of travel to Europe was the Czech Republic) were required to travel to Mumbai or New Delhi. H.E. Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to India, said, “Yet again, we continue to expand our footprints in the seventh major city in India, where people can submit their Schengen visa applications for travel to the Czech Republic by going to the visa centre of VFS Global. Like always, we strive to fulfil on our promises. And I will continue this journey of building convenient ways to ensure seamless travel to Czech. Our endeavours sees no limit as we will announce the opening of additional Czech Visa Applications Centres soon.” Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer – Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global, said, “We are pleased to further enhance the visa services network for the Czech Republic in India, through this modern visa application facility in Ahmedabad. The new centre will serve the ever-increasing volumes of visa applications for the Schengen country, and illustrates the emerging popularity of the Czech Republic as a tourist destination. We are confident that the introduction of professional and hassle-free Czech Republic visa services in Ahmedabad will be well-received by aspiring travellers from this city.”

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VFS Global won’t process Spain visa from Dec 17

Effective December 17, VFS Global in India and Nepal will no longer accept Schengen visa applications on behalf of the Embassy of Spain or Consulate General of Mumbai in India. Applicants who have confirmed appointments with VFS Global up till December 16, 2016 shall continue to have their applications processed at the VFS Global office in and Nepal. The VFS Global website stated, “For all other queries from 17 December 2016 onwards, please get in touch directly with the Spain Consulate General OR Embassy of Spain in your city. For queries regarding visa applications submitted on/before 16 December 2016, please note, our website, online appointment system, call center line and helpdesk email support will be operational until December 26, 2016. VFS Global will continue to process Schengen visa applications on behalf of the other European member states served by VFS Global.”

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President of France bestows National Order of Merit on Zubin Karkaria

Zubin Karkaria, CEO – VFS Global, and CEO – Kuoni Group, was appointed ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite’ (Knight of the National Order of Merit) by the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, last week. The prestigious French award was conferred on Karkaria by H.E. Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, on behalf of President Hollande, at a ceremony in Mumbai. Karkaria, who has been a part of the travel industry for more than 25 years, established visa processing multinational VFS Global in 2001. In 2015, he became the first Asian to head the Switzerland headquartered Kuoni Group, VFS Global’s parent company. The distinction recognises his exemplary contributions in developing France as a tourist destination through leisure travel and the management of visa services across the world. Having pioneered the concept of visa process outsourcing in 2001 with the launch of VFS Global, Karkaria has contributed to the increased inbound tourism into France. VFS Global today serves the Government of France through 52 Visa Application Centres in 19 countries around the globe. Speaking about Karkaria’s achievements, the Ambassador said, “France is proud to be the top global tourist destination, as well as a fast-growing destination for the Indian traveller. Over 5 lakh Indian visitors chose France last year and we want to welcome many more. It is an honour to confer the Ordre national du Mérite on Mr. Karkaria who played a stellar role in this success in conceiving the visa facilitation system and promoting France as a travel destination, thus contributing to developing people-to-people contacts between France and India.” Commenting on the recognition, Karkaria said, “I have always believed in the enormous potential France has as …

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Emirates passengers can apply for UAE visa from mobiles

Emirates Airline customers flying to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can now apply for a visa using their mobile devices. In a first-of-its-kind initiative in visa application, applicants anywhere in the world can use the mobile app, launched by Dubai Visa Processing Centre (DVPC), to complete the entire visa application process for UAE visa using mobile devices. The transactional app involves one-time profile creation, and allows data and document upload, payment and service delivery. Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, VP (India & Nepal), Emirates, said, “The launch of the mobile app will allow our customers in India an even more convenient way to apply and complete their entire visa process through their phones. At Emirates, we are always looking for initiatives to enhance our customers’ experience online.” Vinay Malhotra, COO-South Asia and DVPC, VFS Global, added, “We are in a constantly evolving environment in terms of developing best-in-class technologies, and with this app, we aim to deliver exceptional levels of service and enhanced convenience for travellers. The DVPC mobile app will serve as a one-stop shop for UAE visa applicants, offering users an end-to-end platform for UAE visa applications.” Smartphone and tablet users can download the free DVPC mobile App from Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store. Customised versions of the app are available for iOS and Android devices. Through the app, passengers can apply for the 96-hours, 30-days or 90-days single entry visas, based on their Emirates itinerary. Customers may apply up to 4 international working days in advance of their Emirates flight departure date.

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Zubin Karkaria honoured with TAAI’s ‘Award of Distinction’

Zubin Karkaria, CEO of VFS Global, and CEO of Kuoni Group, was conferred with the ‘Award of Distinction’ by the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), for his long-standing contribution to the Indian travel and tourism industry. The award was presented to Karkaria at the 63rd TAAI Convention held in Abu Dhabi on 14 October 2016. The award recognises his pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit and his role as a mentor in the industry. Presently, VFS Global serves 51 client governments and operates in 126 countries across 5 continents. The company, which pioneered the concept of visa process outsourcing, has facilitated travel across the world by enhancing efficiencies in the visa application process and making the overall visa application experience easier and more convenient for potential travellers. The ISO 27001:2013 certified company (for Information Security Management System) has been recognized for maintaining highest levels of security, while adhering to best practices in technology, innovation, and streamlined service delivery. Karkaria, who has been a part of the travel industry for more than 25 years, established visa processing multinational VFS Global in 2001. In 2015, he became the first Asian to head the Switzerland headquartered Kuoni Group.

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VFS to continue to process Schengen visa for Spain

Amidst discussions about VFS Global in India and Nepal to discontinue the processing of Schengen visa applications from October 11, on behalf of Embassy of Spain or Consulate General of Mumbai in India, VFS Global has issued a statement saying, ”At the request of the Government of Spain, VFS Global in India and Nepal will continue to provide Spain visa services until further notice.” VFS Global has served as the visa service provider for the Government of Spain since 2007, in 49 countries, globally.

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Turkey visa application centre opens in Mumbai

VFS Global has opened a Turkey Visa Application Centre in Mumbai on July 1. It was inaugurated by Erdal Sabri Ergen, Turkish Consul General in Mumbai.  He was accompanied by other dignitaries from the Turkish Consulate, and members of VFS Global staff. The new facility is located at Urmi Axis Building, Mahalaxmi. This inauguration comes close on the heels of the contract signing between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and VFS Global in March 2016, to roll out centres in 18 cities across India, the Maldives and Nepal, namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Goa, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Puducherry and Thiruvananthapuram in India, and Malé (the Maldives) and Kathmandu (Nepal).

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Schengen comes home for biometrics

VFS Global has introduced the On-Demand Mobile Visa Service for Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Portugal and Slovenia visas applicants across India. Travellers can give their biometrics data and visa application in the comfort of their home or office. A well-trained and professional team from VFS Global will visit the applicant at his/her chosen location anywhere in India to collect the details. The service is ideal for corporate groups, incentive groups, on-campus students and cultural & sports groups. It is available on any day of the week, including weekends across India. VFS offers a dedicated Helpline numbers for appointment bookings and assistance. The applicant can call the country specific Helpline number to book an appointment, pay the fee online and receive confirmed appointment details, following which a team will make a visit at a location convenient to the applicant on the appointed date and time to collect biometrics and accept the application.

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