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Waiting time for Indian visas eased considerably to facilitate travel during Christmas: VFS – Devdiscourse

The post-pandemic travel demand spike resulting in long delays for travellers seeking Indian visas has considerably eased in time for the busy Christmas travel period, visa facilitation service VFS Global said here this week. The restoration of the electronic visa (e-visa) facility for UK travellers earlier this month is expected to further ease the pressure, which has been reduced by as much as 80 per cent since the peak of the massive visa rush a few months ago. The opening up of new visa application centres (VACs), extra visa appointment slots and the launch of a bespoke Visa At Your Doorstep (VAYD) facility have been described as delivering results. “Just in time for the festive season, it feels great to be able to report that travel to India from the UK is facing no add-on visa pressures,” said Yummi Talwar, COO – Europe & Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) for VFS Global. “The resumption of the e-visa facility this month will undoubtedly continue to have a positive impact. Overall, VFS is glad to be able to facilitate smooth processes at a particularly busy period for the Indian diaspora and others within the UK-India travel corridor,” she said. The latest update comes as the British High Commissioner in New Delhi took to Twitter recently to announce that UK visit visas for Indians are now back within the turnaround time of 15 working days. On the reverse end, travellers from the UK who had faced weeks of delay as they struggled with Indian visa appointments have also been assured of a streamlined process. The Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami, took to social media to promise a doubling of visa capacity from 20,000 to 40,000 a month within days of taking charge in September. “The e-visa system is now live and will enable friends from the UK to travel far more easily to India,” he said recently, adding that travellers can also use their valid e-visas from before the UK’s removal from the list of e-visa eligible countries over the pandemic period. VFS Global, the outsourcing and technology services provider for governments and diplomatic missions, coped with a massive rush of around 200 visa applicants a day at its brand-new VAC at Marylebone in central London when it opened last month. That rush is now said to be settling down to around 50-a-day in December, statistically the most popular month for travel from the UK to India given the Christmas and new year holiday period at schools. “Over the last few months, we have expanded our services, including opening a new Indian VAC in central London (Marylebone), which is dedicated to only providing visa services,” said Talwar. “Bespoke services like Visa At Your Doorstep were introduced across the UK to cater to the demand and customer convenience. All these measures have doubled our operational capacity at VFS Global, and resulted in reduced appointment waiting times for those visiting India,” she added. The new centre is the third India visa centre in London, with VFS Global operating a network of Indian VACs across the UK in cities such as Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester, and Manchester. The relatively new Visa At Your Doorstep facility for Indian visas has also proved quite popular with companies and families who find it easier than travelling to a visa centre.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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