VFS Global organized a media round table to touch upon key Visa trends in 2022: VFS Global, also known as “Visa Facilitation Services Global,” is an outsourcing and technology services company for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide.
The company manages visa and passport issuance-related administrative and non-discretionary tasks for its client governments.
The company began as a “side project” at a luxury Swiss travel group Kuoni in 2001 by chief executive Zubin Karkaria.
Formerly based in India, the company is now headquartered in Dubai with offices in 147 countries. In 2018, VFS processed more than 25 million visa applications, often containing passport details and financial histories, on behalf of the British Home Office and 61 other governments.
VFS Global’s role in the visa process
We manage non-judgmental and administrative tasks related to applications for visa, passport and consular, identity and citizen services for governments part of our client portfolio.
This allows diplomatic missions (i.e., embassies/consulates) to effectively manage their time and resources and focus on the critical task of assessing visa applications and making decisions on whether to grant a visa or not.
You need Schengen airport transit visa
Yes, Schengen airport transit visa is mandatory for travellers with a stopover in France, Spain, Germany, and the Czech Republic. This requirement has been in place for many years.
Apply early for Visa before travel dates
When planning your travels, you always book flights and hotels in advance. Do the same for visas.
Most countries accept visa applications up to 90 days (3 months) before your date of travel. According to the revised Schengen Visa Code, effective 02 February 2020, you can apply for a Schengen visa up to 6 months before your date of travel. Particularly this year with higher demand and limited appointment slots available, we urge applicants to apply for their visa as early as possible.
VFS Global forwards applications as per the agreed service level agreements with the embassy/consulate.
Typical turnaround timelines for visas
Each country has a different timeline for its visa processing, and these timelines are clearly mentioned on their websites, providing you the information required to apply for your visa well in advance. Be aware that during peak season visa processing can take longer than anticipated, hence apply early.
Appointment allotment process at VFS Global
Appointment slots are offered online based on volume of demand or forecast, and in conjunction with the embassy’s own internal capacity planning.Once scheduled, we highly recommend being at the centre 15 minutes prior the appointed time to avoid missing your slot. Appointments are free, beware of fraudulent parties selling appointments in exchange of money. We urge applicants not to pay for any appointments being offered.
Checklist of the documentation required for visa applications for each country served by VFS Global
A checklist of the documentation required for visa applications for each country served by VFS Global is available on our website. Be sure to carry all the requisite documentation, including a printout of the checklist, to submit along with the duly filled application form. Check your passport’s validity. Many countries require a valid passport six months beyond your return date.
Track the status of application
Once your application is submitted, you can opt for the SMS service, and receive timely updates on your application’s progress through VFS Global’s online tracking service.
The status will be updated as and when your passport is ready for collection/delivery.
Be aware that VFS Global cannot track your application during the assessment process within an embassy or consulate.
VFS Global does not offer advice and guidance on visa categories and vaccination
VFS Global is strictly not authorised to provide advice or guidance on visa category or any other visa requirement that the customer may need.
VFS Global manages the administrative and non-judgmental aspects of the visa process only, such as visa application submission and biometric enrolment.
VFS Global does not comment on vaccine requirements. All travellers are requested to check the destination / transit country guidelines for the same.
Availing any of the value-added services does not guarantee a faster visa outcome
The time taken for visa processing differs with each mission. Please check the turnaround timelines before applying.
Opting for any optional, value-added services (such as Prime Time Services or Form-filling, or any other service) does not guarantee a quicker or more positive decision by the concerned embassy/consulate.
Optional and value-added services are available for select client governments only, as per agreed service level agreements with those governments.