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Visa applications from Phl surpass pre-pandemic level

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By Marinel Peroy

As travel boom continues, Filipinos’ ardent desire to travel abroad remains strong and VFS Global believes the need for them to respond to this unprecedented demand through innovative and personalized services and ensure that visa applicants from the Philippines will be able to experience hassle-free visa application that suits their needs.

According to VFS Global, the visa application volume across all visa categories from the Philippines in 2023 surpassed the pre-pandemic levels by 35% (2019). Kaushik Ghosh, Head of VFS Global Australasia expressed his optimism on the continuous travel momentum in 2024.

“This healthy rise in visa applications from the Philippines last year indicates that travelers’ confidence has been restored, and people are ready to explore their favorite global destinations again,” said Ghosh.

As international travel and visa applications have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, one of the trends includes the uptick of Premium services like Premium Lounge and Prime Time, providing personalized assistance and flexible application times, which have seen increased adoption, catering to evolving traveler preferences. 

Expansion of personal services for more convenience

Compared with 2022, visa application volume from the Philippines grew by 48% in 2023, marking a robust recovery in the travel industry. Some popular international destinations last year include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland.

  • Visa At Your Doorstep
  • Premium Lounge
  • Form-filling Assistance 
  • Prime Time Service 

The Visa At Your Doorstep (VAYD) has more than doubled since 2019 which proves a strong trend towards a more convenient and efficient application process for travelers. 

Mobile Visa Application Centre, on the other hand, offers enhanced customer convenience, security features, and network reach. This includes service available for 11 client government ins in Manila — Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Switzerland, and the UK. 

Customized services serve as a strong demand factor in 2023 that lead to increasing visa applications. One of these is VFS Global’s personalized service – Visa At Your Doorstep (VAYD) which empowers applicants to complete their entire visa application submission process from the comfort of their homes or any other location of their choice. Through this premium service, customers can submit applications, enroll for biometrics, and also get their passports couriered back to their own choice of location. 

Currently, VFS Global offers VAYD services for 11 countries in the Philippines — Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Switzerland, and the UK. 

Speaking to THEPHILBIZNEWS, Ghosh mentioned that there will be more countries to expect in VAYD services with countries like Australia and Saudi Arabia very soon. He also gave a sneak peek of VFS Global’s offers moving forward. “We will have a premium visa center soon… in a five-star hotel,” Ghosh said.

Furthermore, Ghosh highlighted the healthy adoption of contactless and personalized services due to post-pandemic travelers and health considerations.  “These services enhance the overall visa application experience for applicants by avoiding the need for them to stand in a queue,” Ghosh added. 

Indeed, these personal services will continue to provide enhanced customer convenience, and security features, and expand network reach.

VFS Global eyes more partner countries for visa application processing

With its current partner countries, VFS Global sees more countries will avail of their visa processing service given their track record and growing clients.

The country’s top and reliable visa processing service center caters to 29 sovereign governments in the Philippines namely Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, UAE (Dubai), Finland, Italy, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Ukraine, and USA.

The VFS Global official also said that with the upward trajectory of visa applications in the Philippines which are currently being processed in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao, the service company provider is already looking into expanding to other key provincial cities in the Philippines that will be able to process the visa applications.

When asked about how VFS Global ensures that the data of visa applicants are protected given the number of visa applicants, Ghosh said, “We have our technology in place that assures all the data of the visa applicants are protected. VFS Global’s role in the visa application process is limited to front-end administrative tasks only, which include collecting visa application forms, required documentation as per the checklist, and enrolling biometrics, if applicable.” 

“The VFS Global has no role in the decision-making process of granting or refusing a visa,” he clarified.

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