Category Archives: Visa

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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UAE ranks among the top visitors for Spain in the first six months

In an exclusive interview with Daniel Rosado Bayón, Director – Spain Tourism Office, Tourism Counsellor GCC stated that they received almost 80% of visitors as per pre-covid time. “In the first six months of the year Spain received over 30 million international visitors which is about 80% of 2019. In respect to expenditure it was about 89% as 2019. When you take UAE, we saw a spike of around 30% from UAE as pre-covid level.” One of the key factors that matter when visiting Europe is obtaining the visa, however according to Rosado Director Spain tourism office, there is now good news to be heard very soon from the European Union. “During this summer we saw a surge in Visa requests. This goes in line with the huge come back of tourism. After two years of restrictions, this summer has become very similar to a pre-covid summer. With the spike in travelling, that some call revenge tourism, we have witnessed how different sectors, from aviation to hospitality or infrastructures, faced difficulties to cope with this sudden surge. Not long ago there was not too many people travelling, and now we have more than before, as people have realized that we only live once and that we need to do the things we like better now than before. Visa issuance is no different, the amount of request is so high that they cannot be processed all in time. Resources are limited and given the importance of controlling the borders of the countries the visa process cannot be speed up. Having said this, Visa offices have experienced a high demand but are doing a very good job on processing as much as …

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VFS Global to offer Israel visa services in the UAE

Effective 1 August 2022, residents of the UAE can apply for their Israel visas at the VFS Global Visa Application Centre in Abu Dhabi. The centre accepts applications for tourism, business, student, conference, medical, relatives and family visit categories. The contract was signed by H.E. Mr. Danny Gadot, Ambassador of Administration and Consul Affairs, Israel Embassy in the UAE, and Mr. Atul Marwah, Head – Middle East & North Africa, VFS Global, earlier this year. This is the first time the Israel Embassy in the UAE has outsourced its visa application pro-cess. Atul Marwah, Head – Middle East & North Africa, VFS Global, said, “We are excited to embark on this new partnership with the Israel Embassy in the UAE, bringing in VFS Global’s domain expertise to provide a smooth and efficient visa application journey. In February 2022, the Israel Ministry of Tourism signed a partnership with VFS Global as their tourism representation agency in the UAE. This new asso-ciation is another feather in the cap for VFS Global’s association with this beautiful country.” Applicants will benefit from a range of optional services offered by VFS Global, including passport withdrawal service, video conferencing for child applicants, form filling assistance, SMS updates, and courier return, among others. Applicants can also opt to submit their applications from VFS Global’s Premium Lounge, enjoying end-to-end personalised assistance throughout the submission process.

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VFS Global becomes the first visa services company to receive a PMM Level 5 certification

VFS Global has successfully completed the highest level of the KPMG People Maturity Model (PMM) assessment at Level 5 (Innovative), becoming the first visa services company to reach this milestone. The certification was awarded following a rigorous assessment conducted by KPMG. The PMM certification represents the organisation’s commitment to continuously improving people process maturity and practices in consonance with the organisational business objectives. KPMG’s PMM takes various elements that cover the latest trends in HR system process maturity and practices, focusing on enterprise-level improvements. VFS Global had already achieved the  People Capbility Maturity Model (PCMM)  Level 5 appraisal in 2019. In 2018, VFS Global achieved the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Service Excellence maturity level 3, reflecting the organisation’s importance on the quality of work produced. The PMM Level-5 certification is a testament to the well-established set of human capital management practices at VFS Global, ensuring we attract, develop, motivate, organise and retain the required talent, guiding and assisting them in establishing a culture of excellence. The newly achieved PMM certification further reinforces the organisation’s commitment to sustainability, backed by a strong workforce and expansive network. VFS Global employs over 8,000 people at its Visa Application Centres and offices in more than 140 countries worldwide. Globally, 116 nationalities work with VFS Global, bringing the benefit of a wide variety of world views. At VFS Global, we have also maintained our gender balance with an overall female: male ratio of 58:42 at the end of 2021. The company remains dedicated to engaging, upskilling and improving its workforce policies, practices and capabilities in alignment with its business performance and objectives. Nirbhik Goel, Chief Human Resources Officer, VFS Global, said, “Our people are …

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