Category Archives: Visa

Egypt adds 28 new nationalities to growing tourist e-visa list

Egypt has added 28 new countries to its list of nationalities able to obtain a tourism visa electronically as part of the country’s efforts to drive more visitors to the country. The country now permits 74 nationalities to obtain tourism e-visas. Ghada Shalaby, Vice Minister for Tourism and Antiquities for Tourism Affairs, said that the latest update will contribute to encouraging many tourists of different nationalities to visit Egypt. She explains that the online e-visa portal supports 8 languages. The portal also answers many tourist inquiries and features secure electronic payment. An Egyptian tourist e-visa costs US$25 for one entry or US$60 for multiple entries. The visa is issued in a maximum of 7 days. The Vice Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for Tourism Affairs said that the new additions to the list are expected to have a positive impact on increasing tourist numbers in Egypt.

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VFS Global signs MoU with Jazan Chamber of Commerce and Industry for exclusive visa services

VFS Global has announced that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with the Jazan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Jazan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to provide end-to-end visa and passport concierge services. Moving forward, the Chamber’s members will benefit from the availability of these services on its premises, providing ease, convenience and ensuring they do not have to visit a Visa Application Centre. Ahmad M. Abo Hadi, Chairman of Jazan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mohammed Shahid Alam, Consul General of India in Jeddah inaugurated the office on 8 June 2021 in the presence of Mr Sumanth Kapoor, Regional Head – KSA, Bahrain and Oman, VFS Global. During the inauguration ceremony, Ahmad M. Abo Hadi, Chairman of Jazan Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, “We are happy that we can rely on VFS Global to ensure our members receive safe and secure passport and visa services they need all within the premises.” “The opening of VFS Global concierge at Jazan Chamber of Commerce is a momentous step and would go a long way in delivering fast and efficient consular services at the doorsteps of our India nationals especially during the period of pandemic. “said Mohammed Shahid Alam, Consul General of India. “This announcement represents our latest contribution towards the Kingdom’s sustainability agenda, and the presence of VFS Global’s concierge service in the Jazan Chamber will enable its members to further concentrate their efforts towards economic and social development contributions. We are delighted to be working alongside the Chambers and look forward to assisting its members with the services we provide,” added Sumanth Kapoor, Regional Head – KSA & Bahrain, VFS Global.

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ePassport renewal for Filipino citizens opens in KSA

To provide efficient passport renewal services to a vast population of Filipino nationals living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), The Republic of the Philippines has extended their collaboration with VFS Global for five years by signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on 7 May 2021 in an official ceremony that was held in Manila, Philippines. KSA is one of the countries in the Middle East with the highest concentration of Filipino workers. To enhance customer experience and provide greater accessibility to customers in the KSA, the DFA outsourced the administrative and non-discretionary task of the passport renewal process to VFS Global in 2019. Subsequently, three Philippine ePassport Renewal Centres were launched in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar in October 2020. Prior to the launch of ePassport Renewal Centres, Philippine residents in the Kingdom had to visit the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh or the Consulate in Jeddah for passport renewal. Customers now have an additional avenue to complete the process. In addition to the Centres in KSA, VFS Global also operates two ePassport Renewal Centres located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, which are also part of MoA extension. Upon signing the agreement, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido J. Dulay said, “Partnering with an established outsourcing champion like VFS Global enabled the DFA to multiply its presence in the Middle East at zero cost to the Philippine government. With the renewal, we can now look at widening and implementing similar service centres in other countries.” Attending the virtual signing ceremony, Chris Dix, Head of Business Development, VFS Global, quoted, “On behalf of VFS Global, I would like to thank the Department …

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New fast-track passport control service at Dubai airports: Al Marri

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, General Directorate of Residency & Foreign Affairs – Dubai (GDRFA-D), said the department was able to continue its work to translate the visions of the wise leadership in developing government services and their service channels in a way that contributes to enhancing the quality of life and achieving happiness for the customer. In his welcome address at the Airport Security Forum at the Dubai Airport Show 2021, Gen Al Marri said, “Recently, we launched a new fast-track passport control service that uses face and iris-recognition technologies.  The new biometric systems deployed at 122 smart gates at arrival and departure terminals in Dubai airports enable passengers to complete passport control procedures between 5 and 9 seconds depending on the movement and steps of the passenger. This system contributed to enhancing travellers’ confidence in the emirate, as such precautionary measures in light of the pandemic formed a safety umbrella for them.” He highlighted the UAE’s efforts in protecting and security of its ports and providing an exceptional experience for the travellers. The UAE has provided a unique model to be emulated in various fields until it becomes the most wanted living, residency, and work destination, in addition to the list of competitive indicators including safety and security index. “Without the determination of the UAE’s wise leadership and its continuous endeavor to establish the country’s leadership in providing happiness and security for all, it would not have been possible. Today’s aviation sector is considered one of the most critical sectors that achieved a quantum leap over the past years, as it is considered a major engine for economic growth in the world. The country’s efforts …

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New Turkey Visa Application Centre inaugurated in Dubai’s Wafi Mall

Turkish Consulate General in Dubai, Gateway Management and VFS Global inaugurated its newly renovated Turkey Visa Application Centre on 25 April 2021 at the Wafi Mall, Level 3, Falcon Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2, Dubai, UAE. The centre is now operational and accepting visa applications for all categories from Sunday to Thursday between 9.00am to 3.00pm. The centre was officially inaugurated by H.E. Mr. Mustafa İlker Kılıç, Consul General of Turkey in Dubai, and Mr. Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO for South Asia, MENA & Americas, VFS Global, in the presence of dignitaries from the Turkish Consulate General, Gateway Management and VFS Global staff members, as well as project partners. Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO for South Asia, MENA & Americas, VFS Global said, “We are excited to take our partnership with the client Government of Turkey to the next level with the launch of a dedicated centre. The UAE has a large number of travellers to Turkey for leisure and business, and a dedicated centre will make the visa application process more seamless as well as promote Turkish tourism. Travellers applying for Turkey visa would be able to submit applications and enroll their biometrics all under one roof, thus saving time and ensuring a seamless customer experience from start to finish.“

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UAE introduce multiple-entry tourist visa for all nationalities

The UAE cabinet adopted a new remote work visa to enable employees from all over the world to live and work in the UAE for one year and approved a multiple-entry tourist visa for all nationalities. The new resolutions are among several initiatives approved by the cabinet during a meeting chaired by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to position the UAE as an ideal work and tourist destination. The meeting was held in the presence of H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted, “During a cabinet meeting I chaired, we approved a new Remote Work Visa that enables employees from all over the world to live and work remotely from the UAE even if their companies are based in another country. We also approved a multiple-entry tourist visa for all nationalities to strengthen the UAE’s status as a global economic capital.” His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum reaffirmed that the government continue developing flexible programmes and initiatives to place the UAE as one of the world’s best governments to provide services and offer the best quality of life for citizens and residents. He noted, “We are working with clear objectives to boost our economic status globally and provide the best quality of life to our citizens and residents. Our journey of development endures.”

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GDRFA launches face and iris scan at 122 smart gates in DXB

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has launched a new fast-track passport control service that uses face and iris-recognition technologies. Director-General of GDRFA-Dubai Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Deputy CEO of Dubai Airports Jamal Al Hay, Chief Operating Officer of Emirates Airline Adel Al Redha, Assistant Director General of the Airport Immigration Department at GDRFA-Dubai Colonel Talal Al Shanqeti, and several senior officials attended the launch event for the new service. New biometric systems deployed at 122 smart gates at arrival and departure terminals in Dubai airports enable passengers to complete passport control procedures in five to nine seconds depending on the movement and steps of the passenger. Pre-registration is required to avail of the service. GDRFA-Dubai organised a tour for media at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 to introduce the new smart service. Outbound passengers can avail themselves of the new fast-track service at the smart gates located at the departure terminal after obtaining their boarding pass and completing pre-registration. Using advanced artificial intelligence (AI), the new service enhances passengers’ travel experience by expediting immigration procedures. The newly developed system is part of GDRFA-Dubai’s efforts to develop innovative smart services in line with the leadership’s directives to integrate advanced technologies into all government services to enhance people’s quality of life. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri said GDRFA-Dubai is keen to launch new projects and initiatives that use state-of-the-art technologies to transform service efficiency. He said the department will continue developing its services to enhance customer experience, as part of efforts to contribute to the leadership’s vision to make Dubai one of the smartest cities in the world. Al Marri noted that GDRFA-Dubai is …

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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 …

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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 …

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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.

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