The year 2022 has been an exceptional year for travel, with the demand for international sojourns soaring well beyond the traditional peak seasons we see every year. With visas being your first step toward overseas travel, VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions, offers some tips for a seamless and safe visa application experience ahead of your next holiday:
1. Plan ahead
The early bird gets to go on that long-awaited international trip that we have had to put off for the last two years. But bear in mind, governments are still processing both pending and new applications. So, plan ahead and apply well in advance to avoid any inconveniences. Most countries accept visa applications up to 90 days before the date of travel. So, why wait till the last minute?
2. Check the visa turnaround times
Each country has a different timeline for its visa processing, and these timelines are clearly mentioned on their websites, providing you with the information required to apply for your visa well in advance. During peak travel seasons like the year-end holidays, visa processing can take longer than anticipated. Apply early to avoid any delays.
3. Book an appointment
Most Visa Application Centers accept applications by prior appointment only. This ensures lower wait times and physical distancing at the centers at the time of submission. It is recommended that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the appointed time to avoid missing your slot. Appointments can be booked on www.vfsglobal.com free of charge. There are a few countries that require a customer to pay VFS Global service fees online at the time of booking an appointment. Beware of third-party entities who charge a separate fee for appointments.
4. Make a list, check it twice
A checklist of the documentation required for visa applications for each country served by VFS Global is available on its website. Ensure you carry all the requisite documentation to submit along with the duly filled application form to avoid any snags in your application. Many countries require a valid passport six months beyond your return date. Check your passport’s validity while planning your travels.
5. Opt for convenience
From form filling assistance to courier return of passports, and even end-to-end guidance through the visa application submission process at the Premium Lounge, VFS Global offers a range of optional services for customers to choose from, available online or at the Visa Application Centers, for nominal fees. You can apply for your visa from the safety and comfort of your home or office. With VFS’ Visa At Your Doorstep service, you can have a trained professional visit your location of choice to accept your documents and enroll biometrics.