Category Archives: Visa

Saudi Arabia launches medical passport

In a move to take all preventive precautions to protect citizens and residents from the Coronavirus and limit its spread, the new medical passport has been launched by the Ministry of health in Saudi Arabia in the Tawakkalna App. As Saudi Arabian Government is keen to preserve the health and safety of citizens and residents within its soil from the risk of the spread of novel coronavirus; The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) developed Tawakkalna App in order to support government efforts aimed at countering Covid-19. Tawakkalna App was developed to facilitate the issuance of movement permits electronically during the curfew period for government and private sector employees, as well as individuals, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and all relevant authorities during the curfew, thus helping to reduce the spread of the pandemic in the Kingdom. Tawakkalna helps individuals, security, health and private entities, that are exempted from the curfew, to automatize all transactions between relevant parties in order to mitigate the health, economic and social impacts that may result from the implementation of policies taken to eliminate the spread of Covid-19. Although cautiously people return to normal life, Tawakkalna is helping in this phase by new services such as showing Users’ health condition and other services. And as a part of promoting social responsibility, Tawakkalna has provided many services regarding raising concern if there are violations, as well as providing the ability to notify Ministry of Health in the event of a suspected case. The Minister expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and HRH Crown Prince for their care and continuous interest …

Read More »

Golf Capital of the world offers UAE residency visa and business licence

Al Hamra in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), is offering investors an unparalleled opportunity to secure a 12-year residency visa and a business licence when they purchase a ready-to-move-in seafront or golf-course view home in Al Hamra Village or Bab Al Bahr, two award-winning master-planned communities by Al Hamra, set in the scenic emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. As part of the package, investors will enjoy exceptional incentives and benefits including a 12-year UAE residency visa, a business licence to undertake any of the hundreds of business activities as per the investor’s choice, an additional partner visa and a flexi-desk with modern amenities to conduct business seamlessly. Benoy Kurien, Group CEO of Al Hamra, said, “The UAE is among the top places to live and work in the region, in addition to being ranked as one of the world’s most-preferred tourist destinations. With its vibrant expatriate community, which makes up around 80 per cent of the population, international investors feel instantly at home in the UAE. Further, the nation’s strategic geographical location, government support programmes, policy reforms, and infrastructure offers attractive opportunities for entrepreneurship and business growth. “Ras Al Khaimah, named as the Gulf Tourism Capital for 2021 at the fifth annual meeting of tourism ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council, is now the fastest-growing tourism and investment destination in the region. The government’s institutional approach has made the Emirate an investment destination of choice for SMEs and big businesses. More than 38,000 companies from 100 countries representing over 50 industries already operate in Ras Al Khaimah. With the launch of our new package, we are offering an extraordinary opportunity for investors to buy-into Al Hamra as …

Read More »

Scattered tours to facilitate Indian passport renewal in remote locations of KSA

To ease the passport renewal process for Indian citizens residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the Embassy/ Consulate of India in KSA has unified efforts with VFS Global, to organise scattered tours to collect passport renewal applications from Indian communities residing in the remote locations of the eastern and western regions of the Kingdom.

Read More »

VFS Global offers international travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage

VFS Global has launched a travel insurance that will provide COVID-19 health-related coverage. Available through VFS Global’s online/offline distribution channels, the policy complies with EU requirements and waives the exclusion of Epidemic and Pandemic diseases in most travel medical insurance plans to give consumers confidence when travelling abroad. Travellers to countries in the Schengen area, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine require travel insurance with a COVID-19 cover ahead of applying for a visa. Exclusively designed by global insurers such as AXA, ALLIANZ and AIG, the policy offered through VFS Global caters to the requirements of client governments whilst protecting travellers against COVID-19 related issues whilst abroad. This includes emergency medical care and repatriation costs should travellers contract the virus whilst travelling and need to return home. Additionally, COVID-19 cover is also available for those travelling to other destinations worldwide, including the USA and Canada. Although not mandatory for visa applications, travellers may need insurance with a COVID-19 cover as a precaution when travelling overseas. Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO – South Asia, Middle East & North Africa, Americas said, “Many travellers want to be assured about health insurance cover in case of any unprecedented circumstances arise around COVID-19. With limited options in the marketplace for travellers seeking relevant coverage, our robust policy offering is for those who are planning to head abroad again as travel restrictions begin to lift.”

Read More »

New Cultural Visa signed between Dubai Culture and GDRFA

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) signed a partnership agreement with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), in line with the implementation of the cultural visa initiative launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to strengthen joint work and cooperation between the two parties. His Excellency added that the Authority seeks to enhance the cultural and social identity in the UAE, as well as enhance Dubai’s position as a global cultural destination, by attracting creative talents and enabling their participation in society, creating a supportive environment for them in line with UAE Vision 2021 for a competitive economy driven by knowledge and innovation. Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture, said, “The agreement also seeks to accelerate progress in Dubai at a pace that would match the aspirations of our inspiring leadership. It also supports the Authority’s endeavours to upgrade the level of services it provides to its customers, whether internal or external, in line with the corporate priorities of Dubai Culture’s updated strategic roadmap that comprises a pillar for excellence in institutional performance as well as across institutional culture and service delivery levels.” Badri added, “The agreement will also allow both parties to cooperate in issuing cultural visas and laying the foundations, standards and controls for issuing residence permits for investors, entrepreneurs and creative people in the fields of culture and arts. This is consistent with our efforts to establish an environment that encourages the attracting, retaining and empowering of global talent, strengthening the emirate’s position on the world’s cultural map.”

Read More »

Philippine ePassport renewal centres launched in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar in the KSA

In a bid to ease the passport renewal process for Philippine nationals living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), The Republic of the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs and VFS Global have signed a contract to provide Passport Renewal services in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar. All three centres have started to accept passport renewal requests from Saturday to Thursday between 08:00 AM to 08:00 PM. This is the first time The Republic of the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs has outsourced its passport renewal process in KSA. Prior to this, Philippine residents in the KSA had to visit the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah or the Embassy in Riyadh for passport renewal. With the opening of the new ePassport Renewal Centres, customers will have an additional avenue to complete the process. Chris Dix, Head of Business Development, VFS Global, said, “We would like to thank The Republic of the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs for their faith in us. Our Passport and Consular services have been growing from strength to strength, and we look forward to bringing those best in class services to the Philippines nationals here in the Kingdom.”

Read More »

New Italy visa application centre opens in Dubai

Residents of Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can apply for visas to Italy at the new Visa Application Centre jointly launched by the Consulate General of Italy in the UAE, and VFS Global, the world’s largest visa outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. The centre was officially inaugurated on 27 September 2020 by Ms. Valentina Setta, Consul General of Italy in Dubai, and Mr. ZubinKarkaria, Chief Executive Officer, VFS Global, in the presence of dignitaries from the Italian Consulate and VFS Global staff members. Commenting at the inauguration ceremony, Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer – South Asia, Middle East & North Africa, Americas, VFS Global said, “With the launch of the new centre in Dubai, and our new relationship with the Consulate General of Italy in the UAE, VFS Global reinforces its partnership with the Italian Ministry. VFS Global has a long association with Italy, providing visa services on behalf of the country since 2004. With the growing demand for Italy as a destination, we look forward to welcoming customers to our new centre and offering them our best-in-class services.” 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 novel coronavirus, VFS Global has established standardised protective measures to be followed across the centre including specific social distancing and sanitation mandates. All customers are subject to body temperature checks before entering the centre, to assess their health condition. Any customer exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, including high fever, cough and breathing difficulties will not be permitted to …

Read More »

New Portugal passport collection centres open in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Portugal Passport Collection Centres jointly launched by the Embassy of Portugal in the UAE and VFS Global for citizens of Portugal living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Officially launched on August 16, 2020, VFS Global’s Portugal Passport Collection Centres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will ensure the safe and secure delivery of newly issued passports to customers, while the Embassy of Portugal in Abu Dhabi will continue to accept applications for issuance and renewal of passports. The centres are operational from Sunday to Thursday, from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM. Chris Dix, Head of Business Development, VFS Global said, “With the launch of the new centres, we further enhance our relationship with the Embassy of Portugal in the UAE. Outsourcing the passport collection process to VFS Global gives the Embassy a trusted partner with established infrastructure and expertise in handling sensitive documents. We are delighted to provide a convenient and secure passport collection platform to Portuguese nationals in the UAE. In order to ensure a safe environment for employees and customers, VFS Global has established standardised protective measures to be followed across the centres including specific social distancing and sanitation mandates. All customers are subjected to body temperature checks at the entrance 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 their health condition improves. Additionally, all customers and VFS Global employees are required to wear a face mask and gloves within the centre.

Read More »

VFS Global launches PCR and Antibody testing service in the UAE

VFS LOGO

VFS Global has announced the launch of a COVID-19 Diagnostic PCR and Antibody testing service starting from August 3, 2020 in the UAE. The service is offered in partnership with UAE Ministry of Health approved and certified testing laboratories. While VFS Global provides a seamless online appointment booking system, tests are conducted by trained medical professionals from approved and certified testing laboratories. The test reports are directly sent by the partnered laboratory to the registered email address of the individual within 24 hours, ensuring confidentiality. Customers can have their test sample collected either at the partnered certified laboratory in Ajman, Dubai, or Sharjah, or at a location of choice within the UAE using the ‘At Your Doorstep’ service. An exclusive fast track service and a dedicated help desk is provided for VFS Global customers to reduce the waiting time. Speaking on the launch of the service, Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO – South Asia, Middle East & North Africa, Americas, said, “We believe a convenient and reliable pre-departure COVID-19 testing solution can become a catalyst in the recovery process of international travel by providing an assurance to destination countries, airlines and travellers and by becoming a major risk-mitigator. Countries might even consider making this mandatory for all incoming travellers to ease the pressure of testing upon arrival.”

Read More »

GDRFA meets with Dubai Tourism companies for tourist visas

His Excellency Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) met with representatives of tourism companies in Dubai to discuss the mechanism for granting tourist visas as part of promoting and revitalising tourism in the post-COVID-19 phase. The meeting was also attended by HE Major General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, Deputy Director General of GDRFA Dubai, Colonel Dr. Omar Al Shamsi, Assistant Director General for Entry and Residence Permits Sector, and other officials. “Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and tourism companies are major partners of the GDRFA in the effort to realise Dubai’s vision to become the world’s leading tourism destination and commercial hub,” Al Marri added. His Excellency said he expects tourism to emerge stronger from the crisis with the removal of air travel restrictions and the resumption of all vital sectors in the country. He emphasised that the UAE has proven its ability to overcome the crisis by creating a robust framework for managing the impact of the pandemic and implementing comprehensive precautionary measures. Following the resumption of air travel, international tourism flows have been increasing, he noted. Al Marri further said the GDRFA is geared to contribute to the revitalisation of tourism in Dubai. The department is working constantly with its partners to facilitate the procedures for issuing visas and receiving travellers, while ensuring compliance with the UAE government’s measures to protect everyone’s health and safety. He stressed on the need to adhere to the UAE government’s air travel protocols.

Read More »