Category Archives: Visa

UK visa services resume in four countries in the Middle East from June 28, 2020

UK Visas and Immigration is beginning a phased resumption of services at Visa Application Centres in Bahrain (Manama), Kuwait (Kuwait City), Saudi Arabia (Al Khobar, Jeddah, Riyadh), and the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai). As part of health precautions, only customers with a prior appointment may visit the Centre to submit their applications and enrol biometrics. Customers who were unable to attend an earlier appointment at the Centre prior to the lockdown, will now be able to log into their account to book a new appointment. Customers who had completed their application on GOV.UK before lockdown, but didn’t previously book an appointment at the Visa Application Centre, can now also book an appointment. The following services will currently not be offered: Super Priority Visa, Priority Visa (for visit visas), Priority Visa for settlement and Walk-in service. Customers are also advised that there are new rules in place for entering the UK because of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We request you to please check the latest information before you travel. As part of VFS Global health and safety measures for the prevention of COVID-19, which are in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation and local authorities, customers visiting our Visa Application Centres may be asked to observe physical distancing, undergo temperature checks or be required to wear facemasks. Customers exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, including fever (higher than 37.3 degrees Celsius), cough or difficulty breathing will be helped to reschedule their application submission for another day and will be advised to seek medical attention at the nearest healthcare facility of their choice. Customer can also opt for Courier Return of documents (available at a nominal fee), so …

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PH Ambassador inaugurates Passport Renewal Facility in Abu Dhabi

Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Hjayceelyn M. Quintana led the inauguration of the Passport Renewal Center (PaRC) at VFS Global in the World Trade Center in Abu Dhabi city. The inauguration coincided with the commemoration of Philippine Independence Day, which falls June 12, every year. This is the second PaRC facility for Philippine passport renewal that is now operational in the United Arab Emirates. The first PaRC facility was opened in the Wafi Mall in Dubai on November 21, 2019 with the Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. leading the inauguration. The two PaRC facilities are operated by VFS Global. VFS Global is the world’s largest visa outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. The establishment of the PaRC facilities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are based on a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Foreign Affairs and VFS Global. “A befitting gift to Filipinos in the UAE on the occasion of Philippine Independence Day is the opening of the PaRC facility in Abu Dhabi. It is also very timely, given the need to reduce travel and observe strict physical distancing and other health protocols during the pandemic,” said Hjayceelyn M. Quintana, Philippine Ambassador to the UAE. Filipinos now have an alternative location to go for passport renewal aside from the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The VFS Global PaRC facility offers the convenience of weekend processing of passport renewal application because it operates on Friday and Saturday in addition to the regular working days from Sunday to Thursday. The facility is open daily from 10am to 6pm.

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VFS Global reopens Turkey Visa Application Centre in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

VFS Global has reopened its Turkey Visa Application Centre in Abu Dhabi and Dubai enforcing strict health and safety guidelines. The centres will accept visa applications for all available categories. Customers are requested to schedule an appointment prior to visiting the centre. In order to ensure a safe, productive work environment for employees, while still protecting communities to the maximum extent possible from the spread of the COVID-19, VFS Global has established standardised protective measures to be followed across the centre including specific social distancing and sanitation mandates. All customers are subjected to body temperature checks at the entrance of the centre to assess their health conditions. Any customer exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, including high fever, cough and difficulty in breathing will not be permitted to enter the centre and requested to return once the health condition improves. Additionally, all customers and VFS Global employees are required to wear a face mask within the centre.

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Canada visa application centre reopens in Dubai

VFS Global has reopened its Canada Visa Application Centre in Dubai with strict health and safety guidelines in place; under the directives received from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The centre is providing limited visa services from Sunday to Thursday between 1000 to 1800 hrs. In order to ensure a safe, productive work environment for employees, while still protecting communities to the maximum extent possible from the spread of the COVID-19, VFS Global has established standardised protective measures to be followed across the centre including specific social distancing and sanitation mandates. All customers are subjected to body temperature checks at the entrance of the centre to assess their health conditions. Any customer exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, including high fever, cough and difficulty in breathing will not be permitted to enter the centre and requested to return once the health condition improves. Additionally, all customers and VFS Global employees are required to wear a face mask within the centre.

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VFS Global reopens Philippines ePassport Renewal Centre in Dubai

VFS Global has reopened its Philippines ePassport Renewal Centre at Wafi Mall-Dubai, with strict guidelines in place. The centre will accept ePassport renewal applications from Philippines nationals between 1200 to 2000 hrs all days of the week. In order to ensure a safe, productive work environment for employees, while still protecting communities to the maximum extent possible from the spread of the COVID-19, VFS Global has established standardised protective measures to be followed across the centre including specific social distancing and sanitation mandates. All customers are subjected to body temperature checks at the entrance of the centre to assess their health conditions. Any customer exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, including high fever, cough and difficulty in breathing will not be permitted to enter the centre and requested to return once the health condition improves.To ensure social distancing norms are followed, the centre will accommodate only 10 customers at a time. Additionally, all customers and VFS Global employees are required to wear a face mask and gloves within the centre. As per the guidelines laid out by the government of Dubai, visitors above the age of 60 and children between the age of 3 – 12 years are not permitted to enter Malls, including the Wafi Mall, and hence will not be allowed inside the ePassport Renewal Centre.

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Saudi Ministry of Tourism suspends tourism visa to seven countries at virus risk

The Ministry of Tourism, in coordination with relevant health authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has announced the following regulations: Temporary suspension on issuing tourism visas to tourists from countries with significant coronavirus risk areas: China, Italy, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Kazakhstan; Temporary suspension on processing tourism visas previously issued to the citizens from the above-mentioned countries; Temporary suspension on issuing or processing tourism visas for anyone who have visited high risk areas within the past 14 days; Continued issuing of electronic and on arrival tourist visas for citizens from other permitted countries; Tourism visa holders will not be permitted to visit Makkah and Al Madina. The Ministry of Tourism stated that such measures are taken to provide the utmost protection to citizens, residents and tourists visiting Saudi Arabia. This is in line with the recommendations of relevant health authorities concerned with applying the highest precautionary standards, and taking proactive preventive measures to avoid the entrance and spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of Tourism announced that these measures are temporary and are being constantly monitored by relevant authorities.

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VFS Global unveils packages for Expo 2020 Dubai

VFS Global, an official ticket reseller for Expo 2020 Dubai, to be held in the UAE between October 20, 2020 and April 10, 2021, has revealed the packages it will be offering visitors from March 2020, in an official ceremony held in Riyadh. Customers travelling to the UAE during Expo 2020 will be able to either visit vfsglobal.com, or head to a VFS Global Visa Application Centre in Riyadh or Jeddah, and reserve their Expo 2020 tickets from the Dubai Travel Shop on site. VFS Global will be offering the following single- and three-day passes to the expo, as well as a range of packages: Inclusions Rates (in AED) ½ Day Dubai city tour + 1 day Expo ticket 193+ 5% VAT 1 Day Abu Dhabi city tour + 1 day Expo ticket 258+ 5% VAT Desert Safari + 1 day Expo ticket 298+ 5% VAT Desert Safari (Overnight camping with Igloo tent & sleeping bag) + 1 Day Expo ticket 408 +5% VAT Dubai Canal Dhow Dinner cruise + 1 Day Expo ticket 328 +5% VAT Dubai visa + 1 day Expo ticket 462+ 5% VAT Customers who opt to submit their visa application through the Premium Lounge can also enjoy discounts on the packages they purchase. Open seven days a week for a period of 173 days and featuring over 190 country pavilions, Expo 2020 Dubai is set to be the biggest show in the UAE.

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Saudi Arabia grants visa on arrival to tourists with any one valid UK, US or Schengen visa

Holders of US, UK or Schengen visas can now obtain a visa on arrival in Saudi Arabia, it has been announced recently. The move comes in line with the Kingdom’s recent implementation of tourist visas. While holders of American, UK and Schengen visas will now be able to obtain a tourist visa on arrival, they are not eligible for the electronic visa system. However, the visitor must have already used his US, UK or Schengen visa to visit the respective countries before arriving in Saudi Arabia.

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UAE Cabinet approves multi-entry five-year tourist visas

According to the Dubai Media Center, the UAE Cabinet has approved the issuance of a five-year multi-entry tourist visa for all nationalities visiting the country. The decision was made during the Cabinet’s first meeting during 2020 the Year of Preparation, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The move comes in a bid to support the UAE’s tourism economy, and affirm the country’s position as a global tourist destination. Another key decision made during the meeting includes the introduction of a visa waiver for Mexican citizens travelling to the UAE. The two decisions will be implemented during the first quarter of 2020. During the meeting, held at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, Cabinet members reviewed the achievements of the UAE government in 2019. The meeting was held in the presence H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

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VFS Global launches Philippines ePassport Renewal Centre in Dubai

The Republic of Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs and VFS Global have signed a contract to ease the passport renewal process for Philippine nationals living in the UAE. Brigido Dulay, Undersecretary Consular & Civilian Security Concerns and Chris Dix, Head of Business Development, VFS Global signed the contract witnessed by Hon. Teodoro L. Locsin, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines and Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO, South Asia, Americas, Middle East & North Africa, VFS Global and inaugurated the first such passport renewal centre in Dubai, UAE, in a formal ceremony today. Prior to this, Philippine residents in the UAE had to visit the Philippines Consulate in Dubai or the Embassy in Abu Dhabi for passport renewal. However, with the opening of the new ePassport Renewal Centre, customers will have an additional avenue to complete the process. This is the first time The Republic of Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs has outsourced its passport renewal process. Under the contract signed, the rollout of the Dubai centre will be followed by similar centres in Abu Dhabi and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2020. Outsourcing the process to VFS Global gives the government a trusted partner, with established infrastructure and expertise in the field. VFS Global already operates 87 centres providing passport and consular Services to 5 Governments in 27 countries worldwide. Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO, South Asia, Americas, Middle East & North Africa, VFS Global said, “We would like to thank The Republic of Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs for their faith in us. Our passport and consular services have been growing to strength and we look forward to bringing those best in class services to the Philippines …

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