Category Archives: Visa

UAE to open consular offices, visa centres in India

UAE_visa-187x165

Boosting bilateral engagement with India, the United Arab Emirates will open several new consular centres in India. “Under the present circumstances, if people from Chandigarh, Chennai and Hyderabad want a visa to the UAE, they have to travel to either Mumbai or Delhi or Kerala. So to prevent hardship for the people, we are soon going to open our consular and visa centres in these cities,” said Dr Ahmed Albanna, ambassador of UAE. The UAE will be investing $75 billion of its sovereign wealth fund in the country. The announcement on expanding consular footprint of UAE came even as diplomatic sources confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Abu Dhabi in February 2018. Expansion of consular services of UAE will help the Indians in the country who constitute one of the largest overseas Indian populations.

Read More »

Norway to continue visa processing with VFS

VFS-GLOBAL-e1490958251793

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.

Read More »

VFS opens 16th VAC for Cyprus in India

Cyprus VAC launch (002)

VFS Global has expanded the network of Cyprus Visa Application Centres in India with centres for applicants now launched in four additional cities of Thiruvananthapuram, Goa, Gurugram, and Jaipur. The centre in Thiruvananthapuram was inaugurated by Demetrios A. Theophylactou, High Commissioner of Cyprus to India. This takes the total number of visa centres for Cyrus to 16 in India. Earlier, applicants in Thiruvananthapuram were required to travel to Chennai to complete their visa application process for Cyprus. Theophylactou said, “It is a pleasure to inaugurate the Cyprus Visa Application Centre, operated by VFS Global. The opening is quite timely, also due to a noticeable increase in visa related queries from Kerala. I do believe that this centre would further expand and enhance visa services and also promote people-to-people contacts, thus contributing to our bilateral relations. Kerala is a major state with a large percentage of human capital working abroad; therefore, the centre fulfils a vital service with respect to the provision of information and guidelines to applicants who intend on visiting Cyprus for tourism, business, study, as well as employment purposes. The centre would work in close cooperation with the Consular Department of the High Commission to achieve the goal of timely and efficient issuance of visas.” VFS Global has served the Government of Cyprus in India since 2015. Globally, the company serves the client government since 2010, through a network of 21 Visa Application Centres in seven countries. Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer – Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global said, “Cyprus is fast emerging as a popular destination of choice for leisure and business travellers from India, due to its abundant natural beauty and historical heritage. As …

Read More »

VFS Global likey to expand Thailand VACs to 13 Indian cities

Druck

VFS Global recently received authorisation from the Royal Thai Embassy in New Delhi and its Consulates in Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai to process Thailand Visa Application Centres across India. In order to provide convenience to the travellers from across East, West, North and South India, VFS Global has expanded its network of Thailand Visa Application Centres to 13 cities. VFS Global has already been servicing Thailand visas in East, North and South India, with centres in the cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Gurugram, Kochi and Chandigarh. With the addition of operations in Western India, travellers can now also apply for a Thailand visa at any one of the VFS Global Thailand Visa Application Centres in Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Goa. Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer – Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global, says, “Thailand has long been a popular destinati0n for Indian travellers, and a long-standing partner of VFS Global. For well over a decade, we have proudly served The Royal Thai Embassy and The Royal Thai Consulate General in India, with nine centres. It is therefore an honour to announce that VFS Global has been authorised to expand its Thailand visa services across India through its network of visa centres in 13 cities.”  

Read More »

Singapore most powerful passport, India at number 75

Jerene-Jan-2017-Singapore-passport-iStock-700x420

According to Passport Index developed by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital, Singapore tops the rank of being the most powerful passport in the world under the Global Passport Power Rank 2017. This ranks passports of the world by their total visa-free score. Singapore is closely followed by Germany, Sweden and South Korea who are tied at number three, followed by eight other countries holding the number four spot jointly. The Indian passport appears at number 75 with a visa-free score of 51, ranking even lower than African countries like Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. Some of the countries with a lower ranking than India are Egypt, Bhutan Cambodia, Jordon and our neighbours Sri Lanka and Nepal. The last on the list is Afghanistan with a score of 22 preceded by Iraq and Pakistan with a joint visa-free score of 26.

Read More »

Ethiopia offers e-visas to MICE participants

E-Visa

Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs main Department in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines Group has launched e-visa services for African and international participants of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions held in Ethiopia effective September 20, 2017. With this, MICE travellers to Ethiopia will be able to issue their visas online, book, pay and check-in their flight with Ethiopian, all online. Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebre Mariam, remarked, “With the immense potential for conference tourism, Ethiopia has still a lot to do to tap into the sector and the launching of an e-visa service for MICE is an impetus for the exponential demand of Ethiopia’s conference tourism; saving time and cost besides inducing a modern online visa application process with more simplicity and efficiency. Further facilitating passengers travel experience, Ethiopian offers special fares and discounts besides availing custom designed tour packages to the various breathtaking tourist sites in the country. I wish to take this opportunity to thank our IT team and our colleagues at Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs main Department for a remarkably gratifying collaboration.” Ethiopia has availed an e-visa service for international visitors to Ethiopia effective June 12, 2017. Gebreyohannes Teklu, Director, Main Department for Immigration & Nationality Affairs, said, “The introduction of e-visa for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions will provide travelers with a fast and convenient way to apply for a visa and initiate their travel to Ethiopia while ensuring absolute security of sensitive information. This is important milestone for Ethiopia being capital of Africa to serve various African Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions.”  

Read More »

Foreign arrivals on Etv witness 71 per cent rise in September YOY

etourist-visa-big-e1467174970937-300x225

According to a latest data by the Ministry of Tourism, FTAs on e-Tourist Visa during September 2017 was a total of 1.18 lakh tourist as compared to 0.69 lakh during September 2016, registering a growth of 71 per cent. During January-September, 2017, a total of 10.67 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 6.75 lakh during January-September, 2016, registering a growth of 58 per cent. The percentage shares of top 15 ports in tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa during September 2017 were New Delhi Airport (53.4 per cent), Mumbai Airport (18.5 per cent), Chennai Airport (6.7 per cent),  Bengaluru Airport (6.3 per cent), Kochi Airport (4.2 per cent), Hyderabad Airport (2.8 per cent), Kolkata Airport (2.2 per cent), Amritsar Airport (1.1 per cent), Trivandrum Airport (1 per cent), Ahmedabad Airport (0.9 per cent), Tirchy Airport (0.8 per cent),  Dabolim (Goa) Airport (0.6 per cent), Calicut Airport (0.5 per cent), Jaipur Airport (0.4 per cent) and Pune Airport (0.2 per cent).

Read More »

Oman eases visa rules for Indians

visa-uae-300x225

Oman is granting non-sponsored tourist visa for the citizens of India, China and Russia who reside in or hold an entry visa to one of these countries – USA, Canada, Australia, UK and Schengen states – to enter the Sultanate of Oman. These revised terms and conditions were issued by the Omani authorities. The issued statement indicated that the visa shall be granted for a period of one month for a fee of OMR 20. The spouse and children of the visa holder would also be allowed to enter the Sultanate while accompanying them. Applicants must also have a return ticket and confirmed hotel reservation in order to be granted the visa. Salim Adi Al Mamari, Director General of Tourism Promotion, from the Ministry of Tourism in Oman, said, “With the revision in visa regulations, we are expecting that Indian arrivals across all segments will grow exponentially – especially leisure and visitors to conventions and exhibitions. We aim to expand our travel and tourism offerings and are certain that the revised policies will offer expediency and convenience to travellers and will encourage more impromptu trips to the Sultanate.” Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman, said, “The outbound segment in India is on a rise with the Indian economy booming and increasingly better standards of living. Most Indians typically travel for three to five nights as they want to experience Muscat and beyond. We are certain that the recent change in policies will be favourable for the Indian travellers and Sultanate will see a positive growth in this upcoming festive and holiday season.”  

Read More »

Czech Republic visa application centre steps into Gurugram

DSC_4633

To ease the visa application process for potential travellers from the surrounding regions of Delhi/NCR, the Embassy of the Czech Republic and VFS Global have opened a Visa Application Centre in Gurugram. Earlier this month, visa applications centres were also opened for the Czech Republic in Chandigarh and Jalandhar. H.E. Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to India, said, “The Gurugram centre marks the launch of another important location within Delhi & NCR where people can submit their Schengen visa applications for travel to the Czech Republic via VFS Global. We thus continue to deliver on our promises. This is not the end of our endeavours, as we will soon announce the opening of additional Czech Visa Applications Centres in the market.” Since VFS Global first launched visa application centres for the Czech Republic in India around two years ago, the company has opened centres across several cities in the country, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Puducherry, Thiruvananthapuram, Pune, Jalandhar and Chandigarh. The newest centre in Gurugram highlights the destination’s growing popularity among Indian travel enthusiasts. Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer – Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global, said, “It is our privilege to be the trusted partner of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in India. The extension of our association with this esteemed client across the region reflects their faith in our ability to provide services to enhance the visa application experience for travellers. In view of the increase in travel to the Czech Republic, we are confident our efforts will make the travel experience seamless and smooth.” In addition to visa services, VFS Global was selected as the official …

Read More »

Indian visa to cost 50% more

Visa

The Indian government has reportedly increased the visa fee in different categories for nationals from the US, the UK, Canada, Israel, Iran and UAE. As per a government notification, a tourist visa up to one year will now cost $153 from the earlier $100. The tourist visa for over a year and up to five years will cost $306 instead of $120. Mainly affecting foreigners who work in the country, the move comes about as a reciprocal measure, since countries like the US, New Zealand, and Australia have planned or already implemented such processes. However, UK nationals, who used to cough up $162 for a tourist visa up to a year, will now pay $248. And for a five year tourist visa, they will pay $741 instead of $484. For employment visa, nationals from Canada, Ireland, France, Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand will now pay $459 instead of $300 for a visa spanning over a year and up to five years. Israelis continue to cough up the most for a short-term visa. They will now pay $1,714 instead of $1,120.

Read More »