Category Archives: Visa

New Zealand introduces new visa process for Indian visitors

tourism-industry-220x147

Tourism New Zealand and Immigration New Zealand have launched an extension of the Tourism Industry Partnership (TIP) Programme to facilitate faster processing of visitor visa applications for Indian leisure travellers. Riding on the success of the previous partnership between Immigration New Zealand (INZ), Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and key travel agents, the Tourism Industry Partnership (TIP) Programme has now been extended to leisure agents. The previous programme was launched in November 2014 and focused on the business and incentive travel sector. With this new arrangement, Indian leisure travellers will benefit from a more streamlined visa service, with a faster processing time of three days, compared to the previous online application processing time of 15 days. Steven Dixon, Regional Manager, South and South-East Asia, Tourism New Zealand, said, “This new visa process will make it even easier for Indian travellers to experience New Zealand.  India is an important market for Tourism New Zealand and it is pleasing to see the increase in the number of Indians choosing New Zealand as their favoured destination. This agreement will ensure that New Zealand welcomes even more high calibre visitors.” Commenting on this, Marcelle Foley, Head, Operations Immigration New Zealand, said, “We have enjoyed the opportunity to partner with Tourism New Zealand and key players in the Indian travel trade to make it even easier for Indian business event travellers to visit New Zealand. ”

Read More »

UK extends 24-hour visa service to Pune and Bengaluru

Page-8-anchor-1-photo-Apr-20-780x405

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has announced an extension of the Super Priority Visa service (SPV) to Pune and Bengaluru, meaning that more Indians can get a visa decision in 24 hours or less. SPV is an optional service for customers in India who need to travel to the UK urgently. Pune and Bengaluru add to the three locations this service is already offered – Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai. SPV applications are assessed to exactly the same high standard as all other applications but are handled by UKVI at the highest priority, with dedicated staff members processing cases at the front of the queue and an express courier service ensuring quick return to the customer. This means that the 24-hour turnaround is achievable and secure. Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes said, “I am pleased that the Super Priority Visa service is being extended to even more Indian cities, giving many more UK visa customers the opportunity to receive a visa decision in 24 hours or less if needed. India was the first country in the world to receive this service in 2013 – and is once again leading the way as two more cities – Pune and Bengaluru – receive this first class visa service. This is further proof of the strength of the UK-India relationship and of the focus by UKVI on providing a convenient, world-class experience for Indian visa applicants.” The extension of this service aims to support the UK-India Technology Partnership, which will include establishing ‘tech clusters’ in these strategically important cities. This brings the total number of locations Indian nationals can use the SPV service to five, supporting the ‘Living Bridge’ between our two countries and facilitating …

Read More »

Conference visa for India to soon go online

Chander new

In a landmark decision, post efforts by India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB), the Ministry of Home Affairs will shortly launch an online module for submission of applications by the organisers of international conferences for seeking clearance from the Ministry. The clearance will be generated through the online system and sent to organisers. A copy of the clearance will also be endorsed to all Indian Missions/Posts. Commenting on the same, Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB, said, “It’s a great news for all of us in the convention industry. We have been persistently following up with the Ministry of Tourism on the need for grant of conference visa. We are sure this will help us to bring in more number of international conferences to India in the future.” Ministry of Tourism has informed that revised instructions have been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India vide circular number No 25022/8/2018-FCC, dated February 28, 2018, relating to the grant of Conference Visa to foreign nationals coming to India to attend international conferences/seminars/workshops. It states that as per para 13.5 of Chapter 13 of the new Visa Manual pertaining to the Conference Visa. Prior clearance of the Ministry of Home Affairs for holding an event (international conference/ seminar/ workshop) is required only if the event falls within the following parameters as mentioned in para 13 3 of the Visa Manual – (a) If there are participants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, foreigners of Pakistani origin and Stateless persons; and (b) If the participant of conferences /seminars /workshops are required to visit ‘Restricted’ or ‘Protected’ areas in India. or areas affected b y terror ism, militancy and extremism etc. viz. Jammu & …

Read More »

Uzbekistan eases visa norms for 39 countries

uzbekistan-logo-220x114

The Republic of Uzbekistan has introduced a simplified procedure for issuing tourist visas for citizens of 39 countries. The list includes countries of the European Union, East Asia and the Middle East, as well as India, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Citizens of these countries now should not submit tourist voucher or invitation letter to receive visa. Consular offices of Uzbekistan will issue visas for citizens of these countries within two working days. Travellers from India no longer have to show LOI (letter of invitation) but simply apply for a visa at the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Delhi. From July 2018 onwards, tourists can apply for visas online (E-visa) and collect it on arrival.

Read More »

UK sees a surge in Indian arrivals

visa-pti

British visas issued to Indian nationals in 2017 increased sharply over the previous 12 months, according to the latest quarterly report from the UK’s Office for National Statistics. Over 526,000 UK visas were issued to Indian nationals between January and December 2017, a jump of nearly 10 per cent from 2016. The increase was driven by a surge in visitors and students with visitors increasing by 11 per cent to 427,000 and students 28 per cent to 14,500. Indian nationals still receive more employment visas for than all other nationalities combined, with 59,000 Indians choosing the UK to further their careers. The British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, said, “These statistics illustrate the continuing strength of the UK and India’s relationship.  I am delighted that more Indians than ever before are choosing the UK for work, study, tourism and business travel.  Particularly welcome is the 28 per cent increase in Indian students, showing that our world-class universities are again attracting more of India’s brightest and best young people. Our visa service for Indians is as good as any other.  Almost 90 per cent of applicants are issued visa, in line with global norms.  Some 99% of Indian applicants get their visa within our 15-day service standard and we have more visa application centres across India than we do in any other country.”

Read More »

Cyprus offers visa services in Goa through VFS Global

VFS Cyprus VAC launch (002)

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, in a ceremony held on February 16, 2018. He said, “It is a pleasure to inaugurate the Cyprus Visa Application Centre in Goa, operated by VFS Global. This is one out of 16 VFS Global centres serving Cyprus in India, and the 15th Centre that is being formally inaugurated. The opening also 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. Goa, like Cyprus, is a major tourist destination; therefore, the centre fulfills a vital service with respect to the provision of information and guidelines to applicants who intend on visiting Cyprus, not only for tourism but also for business or study purposes. 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. We are pleased to be bringing …

Read More »

FTAs on eTV witness 58.5 % surge in Jan 2018

download

The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in January 2018 was 10.66 lakh as compared to FTAs of 9.83 lakh in January 2017 and 8.45 lakh in January 2016. The growth rate in FTAs in January 2018 over January 2017 was 8.4 per cent, compared to 16.4 per cent in January 2017 over January 2016. During January 2018, a total of 2.40 lakh foreign tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 1.52 lakh during the month of January 2017 registering a growth of 58.5 per cent. The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during January 2018 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (16.36%) followed by USA (14.10%), UK (10.81%), Canada (4.63%), Russian Federation (4.49%), Australia (3.60%), France (2.76%), Germany (2.64%), Malaysia (2.63%), Sri Lanka (2.59%), China (2.27%), Japan (2.08%), Republic of Korea (1.93%), Afghanistan (1.86%) and Nepal (1.59%). The percentage share of top 15 source countries availing e-Tourist Visa facilities during  January, 2018 was as follows: UK (18.6%), USA (10.6%), Russian Fed (6.5%), France (5.4%), Canada (5.3%), China (4.8%), Australia (4.3%), Germany (4.0%), Korea (Rep.of) (3.9%), Oman (3.4%), Italy (2.4%), Thailand (1.9%), Israel (1.4%), Netherlands (1.4%), and South Africa (1.4%). The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during January 2018 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (28.03%) followed by Mumbai Airport (17.47%), Haridaspur Land Check Post (7.63%), Chennai Airport (7.17%), Goa (6.19%), Bengaluru Airport (5.16%), Kolkata Airport (4.81%), Cochin Airport (3.77%), Ahmadabad Airport (3.01%), Hyderabad Airport (2.56%),Gede Rail Land Check Post (1.82%), Trivandrum Airport (1.56%), Tiruchirapalli Airport (1.25%), Ghojadanga Land Check Post (1.11%), Amritsar Airport (1.01%).

Read More »

UK to extend its Registered Traveller Service to Indian nationals

uk

The UK continues to make improvements to its visa service. The United Kingdom Visa & Immigration (UKVI) has committed to extending the Registered Traveller Service to Indian nationals – an optional membership scheme which provides expedited crossing through the UK border. Registered Travellers are entitled to use the EEA entry lanes, or if they hold an electronic passport, the ePassport gates, and won’t need to routinely fill in a landing card. Moreover, There are more UK Visa Application Centres in India than any other country, including a premium lounge recently opened in Bengaluru. UKVI will also be improving the application process during 2018, with new online forms and upgraded technology to make the experience smoother, easier and more customer-friendly. Tricia Warwick, Interim Director for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, VisitBritain, said, “We want the UK to be a ‘must-go-now’ destination for visitors from India. Making it easy to travel here is an important part of our tourism offer. With our hotels, attractions and shops, all offering great value for Indian visitors right now, it is a great time to come to Britain.” The British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, said, “2017 was a record breaking year for the UK-India relationship, with more Indians travelling to the UK than ever before. In the year ending September 2017 well over half a million visas were issued to Indian nationals and visit visas alone were up by 11% year-on-year. “That is great news for both our countries. We know hundreds of thousands of Indians will travel again in 2018 – and they can expect a quicker visa process if they apply up to three months early and beat the …

Read More »

Czech Republic opens first visa centre in Goa

Visa-Services-600x300

The Embassy of the Czech Republic has inaugurated the 16th VFS Global Czech Republic Visa Application Centre in India, in Goa. HE Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in India, inaugurated the centre located in Panjim on  January 17, 2018.  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.” Besides Goa, other cities where applicants can submit visa applications for the Czech Republic are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi,   Puducherry, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram. VFS Global has partnered with the Government of the Czech Republic since 2008, when it first set up visa application operations in Russia. Since then, it has established a robust network of 93 centres across 17 countries for this client government.

Read More »

FTAs on e-TV witnessed 48.3% growth in December y-o-y

Foreign-tourists-e1502864255169-300x225

The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in December 2017 was 11.76 lakh as compared to FTAs of 10.21 lakh in December 2016 and 9.13 lakh in December 2015. The growth rate in FTAs in December 2017 over December 2016 has increased to 15.2 per cent, compared to 11.9 per cent in December 2016 over December 2015. FTAs in 2017 were 101.77 lakh with a growth of 15.6 per cent over 2016, compared to FTAs of 88.04 lakh with a growth of 9.7 per cent in 2016 over 2015. The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during December 2017 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (19.04%) followed by USA (16.90%), UK (10.41%), Australia (5.31%), Canada (3.85%), Russian Fed. (3.79%), Malaysia (3.11%), Germany (2.08%), China (2.06%), Sri Lanka (2.01%), Singapore (1.85%), France (1.81%), Japan (1.64%), Thailand (1.60%) and Italy (1.44%). The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during December 2017 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (25.80%) followed by Mumbai Airport (17.31%), Haridaspur Land Check Post (9.75%), Chennai Airport (6.36%), Bengaluru Airport (5.33%), Dabolim (Goa) Airport, (5.29%), Kolkata Airport (4.95%), Cochin Airport (3.92%), Hyderabad Airport (3.02%), Ahmadabad Airport (2.63%), Gede Rail Land Check Post (1.94%), Trivandrum Airport, Trichy Airport (1.44%), Ghojadanga Land Check Post (1.26%) and Sonauli Land Check Post (1.14%).

Read More »