By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios
Photos from THEPHILBIZNEWS/MAS
Mindful of the cumbersome process of visa applying for a visa, not to mention the cost and the inevitable inconveniences that a tourist has to endure, the Embassy of Italy in the Philippines, opened up 4 visa centers in the Philippines that will provide not just comfort and convenience to visa applicants, but also efficient service, according to Italian Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Marco Clemente.
Speaking to the media, Ambassador Clemente said that with the opening of the 4 Italian visa centers in Taguig, Cebu, Batangas, and Davao, this will ensure that Filipinos need not have to experience the inconveniences of applying for visas anymore as compared to the old system the embassy had before.
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Now Italy visa applicants in the Philippines can submit their applications for all visa categories at the state-of-the-art Italy Visa Application Centres in Taguig, Cebu, Batangas, and Davao and enjoy a seamless visa application submission journey.
Surge in visa applications continues for tourists and seafarers
With the lifting of travel restrictions, Ambassador Clemente revealed that 1/3 of the visa applications from the Philippines come from Filipino seafarers, the rest from business and tourists.
“The Philippines is a key source of tourism and business market for Italy and we are taking every possible measure to ease and streamline processes for travelers. With the establishment of these new centers, it is an important step towards this strategy to further develop our bilateral relations,” the Italian envoy said.
“Before, they had to fly to Manila to apply for a visa in Italy. But now applicants in the Philippines would be able to apply in four key cities from two earlier, helping them save their time and cost of travel. These new visa application centers will help the (Italian) embassy provide high-quality service through a seamless visa application submission process. I think it is another excellent occasion to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic ties,’ he added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Antonio Gallo, Head of the Consular Chancery, Embassy of Italy in the Philippines speaking to THEPHILBIZNEWS on the sideline interview said, “The embassy is excited to work with VFS Global. We are confident that this partnership will pave the way for more faster and efficient processing of the visas of Filipinos going to Italy, whether for business, tourism, or work, like the seafarers.”
“With these four visa processing centers, we have now, we hope to double the numbers of the visas we will be processing next year. Now from 35,000 visas, it might even reach up to 100,000 as many Filipinos love to go to Italy for pilgrimage, leisure travels, or even business trips or incentives. We are ready to welcome them to Italy, the visa application process will be faster and clients have the option to avail of premium service provided by VFS Global,” Gallo added.
The role of VFS Global in the visa application process is limited to front-end administrative tasks only, which include collecting visa application forms, check required documentation, and enroll biometrics. VFS Global has no role in the decision-making process of granting or refusing a visa. Decision-making on the granting or refusal of a visa is the sole prerogative and sole responsibility of the Embassy within the Schengen coordination system.
Below are the existing Visa Application Centres of the Embassy of Italy in the Philippines
· Taguig: Ground Floor, One Campus Place, Building A, McKinley Town Center, McKinly Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Metro Manila
· Cebu: Unit 1001C & 1004B, 10th Floor, Kepwealth Center Samar Loop, cor Cardinal Rosales Ave, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu
· Batangas: Unit F01, Block J, Ground Floor, The Outlets at Lipa, LIMA Technology Center, Barangay Bugtong na Pulo and San Lucas, JP Laurel Highway, Lipa City, Batangas 4217
· Davao: FES 07, Second Floor, Alfresco Area, Felcris Centrale, Brgy., 40-D Quimpo Blvd, Davao City, 8000
Business hours: Monday to Friday, 8AM to 6PM | Saturday, 9AM to 2PM
For more information, please visit https://visa.vfsglobal.com/phl/en/ita/.