Category Archives: Visa

Germany Visa application centre unveiled in Bengaluru


The new Germany Visa Application Centre was formally inaugurated in Langford Town by representatives from the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bengaluru, on June 23, 2017. Margit Hellwig-Bötte, Consul General of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bengaluru, and Jürgen Pengel, Consul and Head of the Consular Department of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bengaluru, inaugurated the centre. Services at the spacious new facility, which moved from its earlier location in Shivaji Nagar, commenced in March this year. The centre is located at No. 11, First Floor, Global Tech Park, O’ Shaughnessy Road, Langford Town and houses visa operations of 31 diplomatic missions (including Germany) under one roof. With more counters for applicants and expansive waiting and registration areas, the new centre has a larger Premium Lounge for applicants looking for more personalised assistance. An ATM has also been installed within the premises for the convenience of all applicants. Germany visa applicants can avail of separate submission counters, biometric booths, and dedicated services in the Premium Lounge. They can make payments by credit and debit card (in addition to cash payments) at this centre.

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Peru exempts visa for short-stay Indian travellers


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Peru, has decided to exempt the requirement of business and tourist visas to certain Indian citizens whose duration of stay is up to 180 days as maximum, whether continuous stay or various visits during the period of one year. The stay will be determined in the port of entry by the Immigration Officers. These rules have been effective since March 27, 2017. Others who are also exempted from visa include holders of valid visa of USA, UK, Canada, Australia or Schengen countries, with a validity of at least six months (excluding transit visas), and those who are permanent residents, accredited with the document of permit (Green Card) in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia or Schengen space countries.

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From July 1, no departure cards for Indian travellers


According to an order issued by the Union Home Ministry, from July 1, Indians flying abroad will not have to fill departure cards. “It has been decided to discontinue the practice of filling up of the departure card by Indians at all international airports with effect from July 1, 2017.” This is one of the steps by the government to ensure hassle-free movement of Indians travelling abroad. However, those going out of the country via rail, seaport and land immigration check-posts need to fill the embarkation card. The Home Ministry has said that the information shared by the passengers is available in the system from other sources as well. This would reduce the time required to complete immigration related formalities by passengers and would also allow airports to handle larger number of people.

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Indians can now apply online for Australian visa from July 1, 2017


The Australian High Commission and Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection have announced that all Indian nationals will be able to lodge visitor visa applications for Australia online from July 1, 2017. The Acting Australian High Commissioner to India, Chris Elstoft, said eligible Indian nationals can now apply online for a visitor visa through the Department’s ImmiAccount portal. Online application offers benefits such as 24/7 accessibility, electronic payment of the visa application charge and the ability to check the status of applications lodged online. With the applicant’s permission, the online form can be completed by a third party such as a family member here or in Australia, a travel agent, or its contracted visa application centre, VFS. “With the rising popularity of Australia as a holiday destination, there has been a significant rise in demand for Australian visas in India. There were more than 265,000 Indian visitor arrivals from July-Mar 2017, an increase of 15.4 per cent compared to the same period last year,” he adds.

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Now, US Visa to include social media info


A new enforcement by the Trump administration includes a new extreme visa screening process for foreign nationals–—including those from India–—under which applicants might be asked to share information regarding their social media accounts, emails and telephone numbers. The State Department, which issues visas to foreign nationals through its diplomatic missions across the world, said that it started implementing this new change from May 25. But these additional questions would be asked only in extreme circumstances, it said. “The additional questions apply to nationals of every country worldwide, including Indian nationals, but only when a consular officer determines that such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting,” Will Cocks, a State Department spokesman, told PTI. The State Department took these measures after President Donald Trump signed an executive order in this regard. “In accordance with the president’s March 6, 2017 memorandum on enhancing the screening and vetting of applications for visas, the Department of State has begun collecting additional information from visa applicants worldwide when a consular officer determines that such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting,” he said. Such visa applicants will be asked to provide additional information, including their social media handles, prior passport numbers, additional information about family members, and a longer history of past travel, employment and contact information, Cocks said.

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Mumbai Port to get e-visa facility from December


Mumbai Port will soon be among the three Indian ports in the country that will be able to offer e-visa facilities to international cruise passengers. N.S. Rathor, Chairman, Western Region and Regional Chapter Chairman, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), says, “I was part of the meeting between Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust, and the Bureau of Immigration officials who have principally agreed to allow the port to offer e-visa facilities by December, 2017. Currently, only Mangalore, Goa and Kochi offer this.” Talks are on to offer this service from Chennai seaport soon. Foreigners will then be able to enter India through five seaports — Mumbai, Kochi, Chennai, Goa and Mangalore — with electronic visa (e-visa), in addition of 16 airports where the facility is available.

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Qatar Airways offers free stay, transit visa for Doha layovers


Qatar Airways is inviting travellers to turn their layover into a stay-over with discounted fares and a free-of-charge hotel stay and transit visa when stopping over in Doha. Travellers can now enjoy discounts of up to 50 per cent on flights on board the airline’s award-winning Business Class from May 9-22, 2017, for travel until June 21, 2017. Passengers are also invited to add Doha to their travel plans and experience a true taste of Arabian hospitality with a free one night hotel stay in one of the capital’s luxurious four or five-star hotels and a free transit visa. Passengers can enjoy the world’s best Business Class with fares from India to the Americas (starting from INR 180,000), Africa (starting from INR 100,000), and Europe (starting from INR 150,000). “We are delighted to be able to offer our passengers fantastic offers on flights on our award-winning premium class cabins. This unique offer will allow them to extend their layover into a stay-over, giving them the opportunity to experience the many delights Qatar has to offer,” said Ehab Amin, Chief Commercial Officer, Qatar Airways.

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Gulf Air joins hands with VFS Global to provide visa for Bahrain


Gulf Air has partnered with VFS Global to facilitate visa issuance for passengers flying to the Kingdom of Bahrain. The online visa facility will launch this summer on Signing the agreement with VFS Global, Gulf Air Chief Commercial Officer, Ahmed Janahi, said, “Soon, Gulf Air passengers will be able to easily obtain short term visit visas to Bahrain via our website – allowing them to come to Bahrain and experience all that our Kingdom has to offer in terms of tourism, business opportunities and more.” Zubin Karkaria, Chief Executive Officer, VFS Global Group, says, “We believe the online e-visa platform will make visa application much more convenient for Gulf Air customers, providing them with greater speed and transparency in the process, thereby enhancing their overall experience.” Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global, added, “Applying for an eVisa through our dedicated online platform, designed exclusively for Gulf Air passengers, will transform the visa application experience for passengers, offering more customer-centric services. Quicker turnaround times, 24X7 accessibility, and online tracking, amongst other advantages, will make applying for a visa to Bahrain easier than ever before.”

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VFS launches nationwide network of Japan VACs

Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East and South Asia, VFS ¬Global

VFS Global, in partnership with the Embassy of Japan in India, is expanding the network of Japan Visa Application Centres across the country, bringing visa application facilities to applicants in 13 additional cities in India. As part of the country-wide rollout, VFS Global launched Visa Application Centres in the South Indian cities of Chennai, Bengaluru, Puducherry, Hyderabad, Cochin and Trivandrum. Earlier this month, on March 10 2017, a centrally-accessible and well-connected centre was launched in Mumbai, and on March 3, 2017, a full-fledged Visa Application Centre started operations in Kolkata. So far, New Delhi, Chandigarh, and Jalandhar were the only cities where applicants could submit Japan visa applications through VFS Global centres. Applicants from other cities in India had to submit their visa applications, either in person or through a travel agent, at the Japanese Consulates in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bengaluru or through the submission facilities arranged in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Dehradun, Agra and Guwahati. The network expansion comes close on the heels of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan in November 2016. During this visit, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his intention to enhance the bilateral relationship with India by expanding the number of Japan Visa Application Centres for Indian nationals. H.E. Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India, said, “India is an important market for the tourism sector in Japan. In 2016, approximately 1, 23, 000 Indians visited Japan. I see enormous potential in the Indian market.  The opening of multiple centres across India is a major step towards enhancing people-to-people exchanges and the cultural relationship between the two countries.” Commenting on the launch, Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East and South Asia, VFS ¬Global, …

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Pune gets a Czech Republic Visa Application Centre


To make Czech visa application facilities more accessible for residents of Pune, the Embassy of the Czech Republic and VFS Global have launched a Czech Republic Visa Application Centre in the city’s Viman Nagar area. The centre is a part of the modern Joint Visa Application Centre that houses 26 diplomatic missions under one roof. The centre was inaugurated by H.E. Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to India, at a ceremony held on March 24 , 2017. The inauguration was also attended by other key members from the Embassy and VFS Global. Over the last few months, VFS Global has set up centres in 11 other cities in India to increase accessibility to visa services for applicants across the country. Earlier this month, Czech Republic Visa Application Centres were launched in Jaipur and Kochi on March 02 and March 03 respectively. Applicants earlier had to travel to either Mumbai or Delhi to apply for Czech Republic visas. The setting up of a 12th Visa Application Centre in less than a year since commencement of services for the client government in India, signifies the company’s strengthening association with the Embassy of the Czech Republic. Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer – Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global, “We are pleased to further enhance the visa services network for the Czech Republic in India, through this modern visa application facility in Pune. 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 Pune will be well-received by …

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