Category Archives: Visa

Saudi introduces first of its kind, a new stopover visa

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism (MT), Ministry of Interior (MOI), the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah (MOHU), Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), SAUDIA and flynas, has announced the launch of a new Stopover Visa.  The free-of-charge Stopover Visa is open to a wider number of countries than the historic tourism eVisa and is Saudi’s latest move to make the destination more accessible. In Q1 this year airline capacity into Saudi Arabia is expected to grow by over 65% compared to the same period in 2022 when four of the Top Ten busiest international routes were to or from Saudi. The Stopover Visa will allow passengers to stay in the country for up to 96 hours, enabling more visitors than ever to explore Saudi’s incomparable historical, cultural, and spiritual sites. Travelers will also be able to use the Stopover Visa to perform the spiritual Umrah ritual. Spiritual travelers can book flights through SAUDIA and flynas, but must also register for Umrah through the Nusuk platform. Even more exciting for visitors, Stopover Visa holders will be eligible for a complimentary one-night hotel stay during the stopover when booking through SAUDIA. To help visitors make the most of their stopover, custom 24, 48, 72 and 96-hour itineraries have been developed to inspire visitors to stroll through Jeddah’s Al-Balad, or visit the Al-Turaif district in Diriyah, one of Saudi’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visitors can also use the Stopover Visa to break up long-haul flights or book a bonus trip to experience Saudi’s burgeoning entertainment and seasonal events calendar or even extend a business trip on the way to their final destination. The Stopover Visa application will …

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Qatar Airways and British Airways announce new partnership with IndusInd Bank to introduce a Multi-Branded Credit Card

‎In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, British Airways Executive Club and IndusInd Bank,  announced their partnership, to introduce the unique multi-branded credit card, with two leading international airlines powered by Visa. The multi-branded credit card is slated to be launched and made available to consumers in the first quarter of the financial year 2023 – 2024. Through this proposition, members will soon be able to collect Avios, the rewards currency for British Airways Executive Club and Qatar Airways Privilege Club, by signing up and choosing their preferred loyalty programme. This credit card will be available in the Infinite variant of Visa, and will offer best-in-class rewards and benefits to elevate the travel experience of customers. Stacked with multiple attractive benefits suiting the requirements of frequent travellers, at the time of application, this credit card will give customers the flexibility to choose their preferred airline loyalty programme and select their preferred travel destination to collect maximum Avios and enjoy a host of other benefits. Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Thierry Antinori, said: “Today Qatar Airways Privilege Club takes another step forward in providing our members with the best offerings in the industry, introducing a first-of-its-kind Visa multi-branded credit card, in India with IndusInd Bank. “When adopting Avios as our rewards currency, we promised members that new and exciting opportunities would come, this collaboration with oneworld® partner British Airways is another manifestation of this. We look forward to seeing our members in India availing the extensive benefits of this new partnership, which is designed to enhance their future travels.” Oliver Currell, Head of Financial Partnerships, IAG Loyalty, said: “We are delighted to launch the new British Airways and Qatar Airways …

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VFS Global brings Estonia visa services closer to home for UAE residents

The Estonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs has mandated VFS Global to provide visa services on their behalf to the residents of the United Arab Emirates. The contract was signed on 05 December 2022 by Mr. Jonatan Vseviov, Secretary General Estonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Chris Dix, Head – Business Development, VFS Global. The Estonia Visa Application Centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which opened their doors to applicants on 19 December 2022, will accept short stay visa applications to Estonia for tourism, business, visiting family and friends, and applications by family members of EU, EEA and Swiss nationals, who exercise the Right of Free Movement. Sherif Shazly, Chief Operating Officer – Middle East & North Africa, VFS Global, said, “We are excited to be bringing Estonia visa services closer to home for UAE residents through our centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. We have been associated with the Estonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs for since 2015, and appreciate their continued faith in us.” Applicants can also choose from a range of conveniences when applying for their visa to Estonia, including completing the visa application process from home by opting for VFS Global’s Visa At Your Doorstep service, or from a plush lounge ambience at the Platinum Lounge at the centres in both Emirates. There is also a range of additional services to choose from such as Prime Time service to submit applications outside business hours, courier return of processed documents, form filling assistance, among others. VFS Global currently offers Estonia visa services in 13 countries through a network of 100+ Visa Application Centres.

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Saudi announces free visa ahead of World Cup

Saudi Tourism Authority welcomes the extension of Saudi’s multi-entry visa, available to visitors holding the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Hayya Card. For the first time ever, visitors will be able to enter and secure a visa for Saudi free of charge. To make it easier than ever for Hayya Card holders to enter Saudi, the visas will now allow for ‘Hayya with me’ (1+3) – meaning that Hayya Card holders can invite and bring three additional travel companions with them. The three companions must also hold a valid Hayya Card to enjoy free-of-charge entry to the unique, incomparable authentic home of Arabia. Visas will allow a 60-day stay in Saudi beginning 10 days before the tournament, without fees to issue the visa. Holders of the Hayya Card will be able to apply for their visas online and book a trip to the authentic home of Arabia with confidence, before, during, and after the World Cup, without having to enter Doha first. All Hayya Card holders are eligible for the Saudi visa, providing an opportunity to bring friends and family to visit Saudi with Hayya 1+3. The announcement encourages first-time and returning visitors alike to explore destinations in close proximity to the World Cup. Saudi is a short hop away making it a practical and convenient destination for World Cup attendees to visit or make a home base during the games. Saudi is expecting to welcome football fans from around the world. The Hayya Card is required for all World Cup attendees and provides entry into Qatar and the stadiums. Beyond proximity, travelers can enjoy Saudi’sauthentic Arabian culture, and adventure and round out their experience while in the region. Saudi will be hosting a dynamic program of …

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Qatar Airways Privilege Club and Visa Launch a 10-Year Exclusive Global Partnership ‎

Qatar Airways Privilege Club has signed a global strategic agreement with Visa, world’s leader in digital payments, part of a new 10-year exclusive partnership. This latest collaboration enables Privilege Club to enhance and expand its portfolio of co-branded payment initiatives with key financial partners across key markets worldwide. With the strength of Visa’s global platform and digital-first approach, the partnership will unveil new products to further augment Qatar Airways Privilege Club’s ambitions. The roll-out of the Visa co-branded payment cards means members can look forward to enjoying several new features, such as complimentary worldwide airport lounge access, travel insurance, premium concierge service and much more. Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Thierry Antinori, said: “We are excited to announce our latest partnership with Visa, a leader in the global payments industry. Visa connects our Privilege Club members to the world through their vast relationships and new opportunities for co-branded payment cards. “This strategic collaboration is the latest development in our mission to provide an unmatched loyalty programme with the greatest offerings available, complementing other recent initiatives like the adoption of Avios as the new reward currency, refreshing the digital experience and enhancements in products like Cash + Avios.” Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for GCC at Visa, said: “Visa works closely with leading airline partners to deliver innovative and rewarding co-brand products that enhance the travel experience for our cardholder passengers. We are delighted to sign an exclusive long-term agreement with Qatar Airways to create experiences that serve Qatar Airways Privilege Club members’ travel and lifestyle interests. Our cardholders will soon be able to enjoy new payment products and benefits, while enjoying convenient and secure payments …

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Japan to start visa waivers for UAE nationals

The Government of Japan announced new measures to allow UAE nationals to enter Japan without the need for a visa. The measure becomes effective from November 1, 2022 for all UAE nationals that meet the following requirements. Eligibility for the New Visa Waiver Measure: UAE Nationals in possession of valid ordinary passports of the UAE which are ICAO compliant IC Passports Outline of the New Visa Waiver Measure Purpose of visit: Short-term stay (for sightseeing, business, or visit to relatives/friends, etc.) Duration of stay: 30 days Executive Director of JNTO Dubai office, KOBAYASHI Daisuke reiterated, “We are delighted to now welcome UAE nationals visa-free to Japan, and hope many Emirati nationals take advantage of this seamless opportunity from the onset. Following a market survey we conducted last year, 44% of Emirati nationals surveyed who have visited Japan previously, answered that activities in nature were the most satisfying element of their trip. With this in mind I would especially like to suggest November and the beginning of December as the two best months to experience the natural beauty of Japan’s world-famous autumnal foliage. It is also at this time that some ski resorts start opening to the public prior to the peak ski season which is from January to March. From the ski fields of Niseko in Hokkaido in the north, to Hakuba in Nagano in central Japan, Japan is an ideal destination for ski beginners and experts alike, as well as for families with young children, and couples looking for adventure mixed with unique cultural experiences. This winter we are enticing Emirati travellers to come to Japan for the skiing and snowboarding, stay for the hospitality, indulge in our delicious …

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VFS Global rolls out first-ever Indonesia fast-track Visa on Arrival service for UAE nationals and residents from 75 eligible countries

It was announced that UAE nationals and residents from 75 eligible countries eligible for Visa on Arrival to Indonesia can now enjoy a quicker, smoother visa application journey by completing the process online, pre-departure, through VFS Global. VFS Global has entered into an exclusive agreement with TLP, the Immigration Department for Republic of Indonesia and Bank Mandiri, to provide online pre-payment of fees, fast-track access and concierge services to international passengers upon arrival in Jakarta. Nationals of the 75 eligible countries, residing in the UAE, can apply for their Indonesia Visa on Arrival through VFS Global by submitting their documents and paying the fees online at www.indonesiavoa.vfsevisa.id prior to their travel. A confirmation will be sent to their registered email ID and the visa processed in advance to be stamped upon arrival. With the payment having been made online, the on-arrival process reduces to just the stamping of the visa, which can be done at the designated fast-track Visa on Arrival immigration lanes. Mr. Jiten Vyas, Chief Commercial Officer, VFS Global said, “Indonesia is a popular destination for travellers across the globe, and we are excited to unveil a service that will make their visa application journey quicker and simpler. With tech-led Do It Yourself solutions becoming increasingly popular, this first-ever fast-track Visa on Arrival service is sure to offer applicants a more relaxed on-arrival experience.” Indonesia received over 15 million foreign tourists in 2019 before the pandemic. Between January and July 2022, the destination has welcomed around 1 million international travellers. How to use the fast-track VOA service STEP 1: Visit www.indonesiavoa.vfsevisa.id STEP 2: Submit the required documents and pay the VOA fee online STEP 3: Await the confirmation …

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Qatar announces approved hayya card mandatory  from 1st Nov 2022 to 23rd January 2023

According to the latest news shared by Visit Qatar, it stated that “there will be no standard visas issued for the period between 1 November 2022 and 23 January 2023. Instead you must have an approved Hayya Card to enter Qatar, which you will also need to present at the stadium along with your match ticket. Apply for your Hayya Card as soon as possible. Apart from having an approved Hayya Card, you will also need it to enter the stadiums for matches and for access to free public transport from 10 November to 23 December 2022. The Ehteraz app is a Covid-19 notification app that is mandatory when you prepare for your immigration at the airport. Your host just needs to register your stay with the Hayya portal website,” states Visit Qatar, Visit the Hayya portal for more information. TravTalk ME spoke to Ayman Al Qudwa Manager Falcon Travel Qatar for further information. He shared, “Visa requirements and Visa Procedures are a major challenge for any passenger as well as the Travel Service Provider. In Qatar we are proud that we are more modest, and we are conservative. And that’s how we respect and welcome all Fans to enjoy watching FIFA World Cup 2022, understanding, and respecting the culture in Qatar is the most important subject. Therefore, the rules and process are very systematic and simple, it is only 3 simple steps for Regional and International FANs: Buy Your Ticket Match from FIFA Official Website, buy your accommodation during your stay in Qatar, complete your Hayya Fan Card Registration and then you can finalize your travel arrangements and come to Qatar.” He further reiterated about the UAE and KSA’s …

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Saudi set to welcome millions of visitors with evisa for GCC residents and visa on arrival for US,UK, and EU residents

Saudi Tourism Authority welcomes the Ministry of Tourism’s decision to allow residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to apply for an electronic tourist visa (eVisa) to enter Saudi. Further extension of the new regulations will additionally enable residents of the UK, US, and EU to apply for a Visa on Arrival. Visitors will be able to enjoy and explore Saudi’s many unique tourist destinations, its stunning diversity of landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and the unparalleled hospitality of the Saudi people. The new eVisa announcement, and the extension of the visa on arrival is a solid step forward in making it even easier for tourists from all over the world to visit Saudi. With an extensive variety of packages and full calendar of events taking place throughout the year, Saudi is creating exciting opportunities for travelers to experience the authentic home of Arabia. Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Member of the Board at Saudi Tourism Authority, commented: “The facilitation of a tourist visa for millions of GCC residents and the visa on arrival extension supports our ambition to welcome 100 million visitors a year by 2030, to the world’s biggest new leisure tourism destination. This is not just an announcement; it is an invitation and we are making it easier than ever for visitors to explore thousands of years of history and culture, unmatched natural landscapes, and a thriving entertainment sector. We welcome our neighbors, and the world, to experience the authentic home of Arabia.” UK, US and EU residents who hold an eligible passport can now get their visa on arrival, while GCC residents are required to apply for an eVisa on the official website ‘Visit Saudi’ and view …

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Saudi Ministry of foreign affairs introduces a new multi-entry visa for World Cup fans

It was shared by the Saudi Tourism Authority that it welcomes the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduction of a new multi-entry visa to Saudi, available to visitors holding the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Hayya Card. The Hayya Card is required for all World Cup attendees and provides entry into Qatar and the stadiums. Saudi is a gateway to the World Cup and home to destinations waiting to be explored. Holders of the Hayya Card will be able to apply for the new visa online and book a trip to the authentic home of Arabia with confidence, before, during and after the World Cup. Visas will allow a 60-day stay in Saudi beginning 10 days before the tournament. The announcement encourages first time and returning visitors alike to explore destinations in close proximity to the World Cup. Saudi is a short hop away making it a practical and convenient destination for World Cup attendees to visit or make a home base during the games. Saudi is expecting to welcome football fans from around the world. Beyond proximity, travelers are looking to visit Saudi for authentic Arabian culture, adventure and to round out their experience while in the region. Saudi will be hosting a dynamic programme of entertainment events including MDLBeast, Red Sea Film Festival, Riyadh Season and Winter at Tantoura in AlUla, all of which take place during the World Cup. To increase air connectivity, Saudia will be operating 40 shuttle flights daily to Doha from both Jeddah and Riyadh, increased to 60 daily flights on the Saudi team’s match days. Doha is only a 90-minute flight from Riyadh. The Salwa Border Crossing between Saudi and Qatar will also …

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