Category Archives: Visa

VFS Global launches Italy visa center in Kuwait

VFS Italy in Kuwait (640x427)

In a move to ease the visa issuance process for the residents of Kuwait, the Embassy of Italy in collaboration with VFS Global launched a new visa application center, located at Level 54 of Arraya Tower at Al Shuhada Street. The centre was recently inaugurated by H.E. Mr. Giuseppe Scognamiglio, Ambassador of the Embassy of Italy to the State of Kuwait. Among the many services provided for greater convenience to applicants, is the option to submit their applications in the comfort of a Premium Lounge for a more personalised experience. In addition to efficient visa application processing services, applicants will also have access to a dedicated tourism space, which will offer tourism information on a range of hand-picked tours in Italy. Kuwait is the fifth country in the Middle East from where VFS Global will serve the Embassy of Italy. Worldwide, VFS Global has served the Government of Italy since 2004, and currently manages visa processing operations for the client government in 28 countries from 66 visa application centres.

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Finland visa centre opens in UAE

Finland visa center opening image

Two new Finland Visa Application Centres have been launched in Abu Dhabi and Dubai by the Embassy of Finland in Abu Dhabi, enabling applicants to submit visa applications and enrol for biometrics. The Abu Dhabi centre, centrally located at Shining Tower on Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, was inaugurated by H E Riitta Swan, Ambassador of Finland to the United Arab Emirates on November 16. The centre in Dubai is located at the Wafi Mall. Services at the new centres are designed to facilitate quicker and more streamlined visa application submission processes. For added convenience to applicants, the centres will also provide travellers to Finland with a range of optional services ranging from Premium Lounge services to doorstep courier return-delivery of their processed passports.

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VFS Global hosts iConnect innovation workshop in Dubai

iConnect 1

The world’s largest outsourcing and technology services, VFS Global specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, conducted the 4th global edition of its annual innovation workshop ‘iConnect’ for the outsourced government services industry in Dubai. The event brought together 129 delegates from 55 countries to discuss the most significant technology trends and cutting-edge solutions offered by VFS Global in visa, consular and citizen services. The delegates were predominantly senior officials from the central government ministries and from various embassies and consulates in the UAE. At the workshop, governments and private stakeholders discussed the importance of cyber-security in in the context of the recent escalation in cyber-attacks worldwide. Guest speakers, domain experts and global leaders in cyber security, highlighted potential risks and discussed measures to mitigate the risks. The speakers at iConnect spoke about how customers today wanted easy access to information and convenient service fulfillment. The growing relevance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transform customer experience was also a topic of discussion, with technology now making inroads into various sectors from assisting in travel across airlines to enhancing the customer experience.

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Malaysian visa centres opens in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

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The Embassy of Malaysia in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of Malaysia in Dubai launched two new One Stop Centres (OSC), providing Malaysia visa services in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from November 1. Both centres are managed by VFS Global in partnership with S5 Systems and Megan Gayabina. The Abu Dhabi centre is located at Shining Tower on Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street and the Dubai centre is located at Wafi Mall. An inauguration ceremony was held in Dubai on November 6 in the presence of Dato’ Yubazlan Bin Haji Yusof, Consul General of Malaysia in Dubai and Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global, along with other senior officials. Dato’ Yubazlan Bin Haji Yusof, Consul General of Malaysia in Dubai, said, “Well coordinated models such as the OSC seeks to ensure consistency in the application to provide a streamlined and efficient visa service. The OSC also flexed its visa submission time to allow more applications to be submitted as part of the new customer friendly initiative.” Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global, said, “It is an honour to launch two new OSCs that will provide travellers to Malaysia from the UAE’s professionally managed visa processing services.”

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VFS Global to handle Italian visa application in Kuwait

VFS signs in Kuwait image

With an aim to bring greater efficiency in visa processing services for residents of Kuwait, the Embassy of Italy in the State of Kuwait has signed a contract with VFS Global to launch a proficiently managed and modern Italy Visa Application Centre in the city. VFS Global recently won the four-year contract after participating in an official tender published by the Embassy of Italy, Kuwait earlier this year. The contract was officially signed by H. E. Mr. Giuseppe Scognamiglio, Ambassador of Italy to the State of Kuwait, and Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global, at a signing ceremony held at the Embassy of Italy in Kuwait, on September 6, 2017. Also present at the signing was Patrizio Dell’Arte, Head of the Consular Office of Italy in the State of Kuwait and Marita Bachhav, Head of Operations – GCC, Lebanon, Jordan & Iraq, VFS Global. The new centre, scheduled to launch in November 2017 will be located at Level 54, Arraya Tower, Al Shuhada Street, Sharq, Kuwait, and will allow travellers to Italy from Kuwait submit visa applications and enrol biometrics in a comfortable, convenient and professionally managed environment. At the centre, in addition to their visa application process, applicants will also have access to a dedicated tourism space, which will offer tourism information on a range of hand-picked tours in Italy.

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Czech Republic forays into Middle East market

Czech Republic in ME (640x481)

Monika Palatková, Managing Director, Czech Tourism, has announced a partnership with VFS Global in order to enter the GCC market. She says, “We have been working closely with VFS Global in India since the end of 2016 and it has proven to be successful in establishing the Czech Republic as a tourist destination in India. I am pleased to announce the expansion of our cooperation into another strategic region, the Middle East. Today, we have entered into a contractual partnership, based on which VFS Global will implement several promotional activities focused on the leisure and MICE segments in the Middle East.” She added, “Prague, the beautiful capital city of the Czech Republic, is extremely popular with tourists but there is so much more this wonderful country has to offer the discerning Indian travellers. The central promotional theme of Czech Tourism in 2017 has been Baroque. The year 2018 will be a period of celebration for the Czech Republic because it marks 100 years from the establishment of the independent country; the main focus will be monuments, places and traditions related to this period.”

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VFS launches Chinese VAC in Dubai

China VAC

A new Chinese Visa Application Center in the Middle East was inaugurated at Wafi mall in Dubai under the patronage of the Consul General of the people’s republic of China Her Excellency Li Lingbing. Among those present during the inaugration were: Chen Xiongfeng, Deputy Director General, Department of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of foreign affairs China; Wei Xiaodong, Deputy Director General, Department of services for the foreign ministry home and overseas offices; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China; Mona Hassan Al Khumairi, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Dubai; Zubin Karkaria, Chief Executive Officer, VFS Global Group and  Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global. In her address, Li Lingbing, Consul General of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai, said, “The new Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Dubai will ensure visa applicants enjoy a service with higher quality, faster processing, and more convenience. The opening of this centre will be another boost for further uplift our people-to-people exchange, cultural communication and practical cooperation between China and the UAE.” Zubin Karkaria, Chief Executive Officer, VFS Global Group, said, “It is a privilege to launch the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Dubai in partnership with the Government of the People’s Republic of China. With the advancement of trade and tourism ties between the UAE and P.R. China, we are confident this new center will be effective in meeting the rising demand of China visas for UAE travellers. For greater convenience to applicants, the new center will provide services during longer operating hours and offer applicants the option of Premium Lounge services …

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Azerbaijan expedites online visa to 3 hours

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has simplified its visa process by granting it online for citizens of 93 countries. Travellers will now be able to obtain visas to Azerbaijan within three hours, be it a weekend or a holiday. “This resolution will increase the tourists flow to the country not only for the beautiful autumn season but also for the rest of the year.” Rashid AL Noori, Chairman, Representative Office of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan in GCC Chairman said. He noted that the influx of tourists to Azerbaijan increased by 15 -20 percent this summer, compared to the same period of last year. Arab tourists take the first position among tourists visiting Azerbaijan, followed by travelers from Russia. In July only, 330,000 people visited the country, and we anticipate that the figure will go up significantly, considering we have direct flights from Kuwait, Qatar and Dubai and we expect to inaugurate direct flights from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Baku soon.” The decision comes as a positive gift to the visitors in GCC who love the country for its proximity and wish to visit more often on different purposes beyond its exquisite nature and Culture.

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Oman launches eVisa

oman

In an aim to encourage more and more international tourists to visit the country, the Sultanate of Oman has made the visa application process easier by launching eVisa service. Tourists planning to visit Oman can now apply online for visas at https://evisa.rop.gov.om/. They would only need to fill up a form online, attach the necessary documents and then pay the application fee by a credit card, through a Global Payment Gateway that is officially certified by Oman. The applicants would then be notified about the developments on their application through emails. The first stage comprises non-sponsored tourist visas for people from 67 countries and GCC residents employed in 116 professions. The eVisa system will allow Oman to receive more tourists from key markets such as China, Russia and the US, and drive the demand for experiential travel to the Sultanate. “The Sultanate’s announcement of the eVisa system will ensure continuous growth of Oman’s tourism sector in the coming years as this provides not only tourists but also investors, businessmen, researchers and students easier access to visa processing,” said Salim Adi Al Mamari, Director General of Tourism Promotion, Ministry of Tourism, Oman.

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tajawal launches Visa Checkout in KSA

tajawal

After its successful attempt at integrating the Visa Checkout facility with its tajawal.ae domain in January 2017, the Dubai-based travel-booking website has further collaborated with Visa to provide Visa Checkout to its customers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. tajawal is now rolling out the service across multiple markets to provide its users in the region with the most convenient booking process possible. Visa Checkout offers cardholders a simple and secure digital payment method that allows for registered users to complete their purchase at the click of a button. By logging into their Visa Checkout account, payment and billing information are automatically populated, eliminating the step to manually enter the information with every purchase. Ahmed Gaber, Visa’s General Manager for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, said, “Innovations like Visa Checkout help to remove friction from the e-commerce payment process, bringing significant benefits to both the customer and the merchant. With Visa Checkout integrated into its systems, tajawal can now offer its customers an online payment experience that is as easy, convenient, and seamless as swiping a Visa card in a traditional retail setting.” To promote Visa Checkout as a payment option on tajawal.sa, a special offer has been introduced on all flight and hotel bookings that can be availed by registered users who choose to pay with Visa Checkout on tajawal.sa until August 18, 2017.

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