Jiten Vyas, Regional Group COO at VFS Global. PHOTO /CORRESPONDENT


By African Times Special Correspondent

With more and more countries adding the E-

Visa route to the common visa channels, VFS

Global’s Regional Group COO Jiten Vyas

discusses how smart, quicker and hassle-free

solutions in this space is making it a preferred

choice for the global traveller

As overseas travellers continue to grow by

leaps and bounds each year, in the present

digital era, technology plays a major role in

determining the way travel is planned and

decisions are made.

We are now able to make travel decisions

faster, whether related to transport or living

arrangement or guided tours, with the help of

tools and apps available at our fingertips.

Breakthroughs in technology coupled with

improved internet connectivity and speed are

allowing ‘armchair booking’ of visas, flight,

hotels at the click of a button.

Airports are upgrading their technological

solutions to ensure biometric check-ins of

travellers in the near future.

Even in the case of visa services, E-Visa

services allow customers to submit their visa

applications using just a mobile phone as it

does not require a visit in person to the

Application Centre as part of the submission


Today, 44 countries around the world offer E-

Visas or some form of electronic visa solution

for travellers – and we expect more to follow.

E-visas allow the secure management of the

visa application process to take place entirely

in an online environment, increasing time and

cost efficiencies for the end customer and the

concerned government as a convenient solution

for a pre-travel authorisation.

As improving technology continues to facilitate

other newer applications in the travel and

tourism industry, the potential for benefit to

global traveller is extensive, i.e. he or she will

find a range of customized services tailored to

specific requirements, irrespective of country of

origin or destination, all available in smoother

and more enjoyable experience.

Some of the reasons why eVisa services are

being preferred by the modern-day travellers

while on deciding on their travel destinations


Apply on the go with the globally accessible

and user-friendly websites

Simplified payment options- mostly online in


Quicker turnaround time of decision making


No more paper form filling or carrying copies of

documents to be submitted on arrival

Time and efforts saved from not having to visit

the Consulate or Embassy in person for a visa

Track application status online

Reduced waiting time at airports for select


The Electronic Visa (E-Visa) is emerging as a

convenient and revolutionary service in the

travel domain as it now offers the customers

the unmatched convenience of applying for

their visa from the location of their choice by

leveraging on the highly secure and smart

solution developed by VFS Global.

The company is the only one with a full end-to-

end E-Visa solution for governments.

With an intuitive online application form filling

support that leverage artificial intelligence and

quality checks to ensure all details submitted

and documents uploaded are as per the

requirement of the mission, our E-Visa solutions

makes it simpler and convenient for

governments to make the decision on the visa

application in a secured (GDPR compliant

format) to deliver an end to end seamless


As a company, we have made significant

investments towards providing a seamless

online customer journey to our customers.

One of our recent initiatives was developing the

Thailand eVisa On Arrival (eVOA) solution along

with the Immigration Bureau of Thailand that

allows eligible travellers to get fast and easy

immigration clearance at select Thailand

airports, through a completely online process

that addresses over 10 million travellers to

Thailand with visa on arrival each year.

In fact, for those travellers who have even been

considering Thailand as a getaway option for

the next long weekend, this solution ensures

you get a visa easier and caters to urgent visa

requirement to travel to Thailand with options

like Express eVOA service for quicker


Since commencing this service in 2002, we now

offer innovative and highly secure online visa

solutions accessible by customers anytime,

anyplace for both locations (Thailand, Suriname

etc.) and airlines (Emirates) as the destination

or travel partner of choice.

For Emirates, we process Dubai E-Visa

applications annually across 180 locations


More and more governments are looking into a

solution that transforms the traditional offline

visa application process into a digital visa


While one part of the application process can

be fully digitised, the biometric enrolment will

still happen at a nearby visa application centre.

This is primarily because physical enrolment of

biometrics continues to be an important aspect

of border control norms today.

Yet, the interest in E-Visas will not wane for

travellers but on the contrary continue to

steadily rise globally considering its ease in

application, especially for those who seek

shorter duration stays or trips, which is very


Especially when there is a growing interest

amongst governments across the world who

aim to liberalise their visa regimes to make

their respective countries both tourist friendly

and business friendly destinations in this digital

day and age.


VFS Global is the world’s largest outsourcing

and technology services specialist for

governments and diplomatic missions worldwide.

VFS Global has Swiss parentage and is a

portfolio company of EQT, a leading global

private equity firm headquartered in Stockholm,


With 3425 Application Centres, operations in

150 countries across five continents and over

219 million applications processed as on 31

December 2019, VFS Global is the trusted

partner of 64 client governments.

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