Thursday, June 20, 2024

With revenge travel in full swing, visa application volume in PH up 44% in 2022

Visa processing center VFS Global said in a briefing on Tuesday, April 18, that visa applications from the Philippines nearly touched the pre-pandemic levels in 2022 driven by pent-up demand, opening of international borders, and eased Covid-related protocols.

According to VFS Global, the visa application volume from the Philippines reached 91% of the 2019 pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

The major destinations for visa applicants from the Philippines include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom (in alphabetical order).

To address the booming demand, VFS said it has introduced innovations in its visa application process to make it easier, convenient, and bespoke for its clients from the Philippines.

“We saw a healthy demand from the Philippines in 2022 with steady volumes witnessed until December. We are confident that the travel momentum will grow even further in 2023 and hence it is advisable for applicants including students, to apply for their visas in advance to avoid last-minute surprises,” said Kaushik Ghosh of VFS Global in a press briefing on Tuesday, April 18.

Following the pandemic, VFS Global has added more personal services to ensure safety and security to clients from beginning to the end of their visa application.

One of their most in-demand services is the Visa at Your Doorstep (VAYD) which allows customers to have a more personalized service by booking their entire visa experience at a location and time of their choice.

This premium service is being offered in the Philippines to 10 client governments which includes Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Malta, Switzerland, and the UK.

Other personal services of VAYD comes in another form of home visit which is called Mobile Service, which is essentially VFS Global visiting clients through a mobile van to provide visa services for families and group applications as well as for busy executives who travel for work.

For people who have unreliable time constraints and cannot get to VFS Global or even home visits, VFS Global also provides a Prime Time service which allows visa processing beyond outside the normal work hours.

Additionally, the company provides optional value-added services such as Premium Lounge Service for a more personalized visa application. A Form-filling assistance is also available to assist clients in completing applications via phone or at a visa application center.

The visa processing center also offer SMS alerts with additional tracking via their website and a courier service to deliver the documents safely and conveniently. The company assured that all information provided to them is safely handled according to data privacy regulations.

“Health considerations continue to be a key determining factor in the new normal, with a large and growing section of travellers becoming conscious about health and safety. As a result, we see an increasing number of travellers opt of such services that provide a seamless visa experience and prioritise safe travel,” added Ghosh.

VFS Global advises travellers to arrange a visa appointment once they have booked their flights and accommodation. The ideal time frame, however, is three months before the flight for most countries, although visitors to Schengen countries can apply for the visa up to six months in advance.

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