New Delhi: Visa applications from the national capital nearly touched the pre-pandemic levels last year, driven by pent-up demand, the opening of international borders and eased Covid-related protocols, a report showed on Thursday.
According to VFS Global, the visa application volume from New Delhi reached close to 80 per cent of the 2019 pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and registered a 93 per cent growth when compared to 2021.
This trend of rise in visa application volume from New Delhi is in line with the overall growth registered in India, which was also close to 80 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
“We witnessed unprecedented demand from India in 2022 which led to an extended peak outbound travel season with steady volumes witnessed until December. We are confident that the momentum will further grow and hence it is advisable for applicants to apply for their visas in advance to avoid last-minute surprises,” said Prabuddha Sen, Chief Operating Officer-South Asia, VFS Global.
Premium optional services such as Visa At Your Doorstep (VAYD) which enables travellers to book the entire visa experience at a location of their choice, witnessed around 90 per cent year-on-year rise in 2022.
“Health considerations continue to be a key determining factor in the new normal. As a result, we see an increasing number of travellers opt for such services that provide a seamless visa experience and prioritise safe travel,” Sen added.
According to the revised Schengen Visa Code, one can apply for a Schengen visa up to six months before the date of travel.
“Particularly this year with higher demand and limited appointment slots available, we urge applicants to apply for their visa as early as possible,” said the company.
Visa applicants are advised to beware of fraudulent entities who charge fees from customers for scheduling appointments or providing any other services using VFS Global’s name or independently.
VFS Global operates a global network with more than 3,400 application centres in 145 countries. The company has processed over 256 million applications since its inception in 2001. VFS Global is majority-owned by funds managed by Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager.