Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami inaugurated a new India Visa Application Centre (IVAC) at Marylebone in London this week, a welcome addition amid the soaring demand for Indian visas by UK travellers.
VFS Global, the outsourcing and technology services provider for governments and diplomatic missions, will operate the new centre alongside a streamlined process for group tourism or those travelling as a group, typically via a travel agency to the same destination using the same flights.
Tourists travelling to India from the UK now also have the option of a Visa at Your Doorstep (VAYD) service, at a cost.
Doraiswami said: “Your papers can be collected at your home and will be brought to you after it is processed.
“To help with that, the service provider will also offer a special service to get your documents checked online for a small cost. We are also starting a form-filling service, which will be offered by our service provider VFS Global.”
The new centre is the third India visa centre in London, with VFS Global operating a network of 10 IVACs across the UK – in Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, central London, Hounslow, Leicester, and Manchester.
Aditya Arora, COO of VFS Global, said: “The new VAC will increase the visa application capacity in London by providing additional appointment slots. This along with the recently opened visa centre in Glasgow will double the capacity of visas handled by VFS Global.
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“We are always looking at finding practical solutions to address customer experience challenges. As a responsible service provider that manages non-judgmental and administrative tasks related to visa applications for the governments we work with, we have taken measures along with the High Commissioner of India in London to help visa applicants with a seamless visa application experience.”
The visa firm said it has been able to release more appointments as London and Birmingham started receiving applications on Saturdays and weekday afternoons. Since March this year, VFS Global has also partnered with the High Commission of India in London and its Consulates around the UK to set up weekend consular camps across the UK.