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Visa application volume from New Delhi sees 10% YoY growth in 2023, recovers to 82% of pre-pandemic level: VFS Global

Visa application volumes from New Delhi continued to stay strong in 2023 and closed in further to the pre-pandemic levels with restoration of travellers’ confidence to explore global destinations and easing of travel restrictions. According to VFS Global, the visa application volume from New Delhi registered a 10% year-on-year growth in 2023. When compared to the pre-pandemic numbers, visa application volumes from New Delhi reached 82% of the 2019 levels.

This trend of rise in visa application volume from New Delhi is in line with the overall growth trend registered in India, which saw a 16% year-on-year growth in 2023. When compared to the pre-pandemic numbers, visa application volumes from India reached 93% of the 2019 levels.

Vishal Jairath, Head – South Asia, VFS Global, said, “We continued to witness unprecedented demand from India and the entire South Asia region in 2023 which led to an extended peak outbound travel season with steady visa application volumes witnessed until December. We are confident that this positive travel momentum will sustain in 2024 as well. Thus, applicants who are planning to travel overseas from India are advised to apply for their visas well in advance to avoid the last-minute rush.”

A few of the popular destinations preferred by travellers from India in 2023 were Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the UK, the US (in alphabetical order).

Strong demand for personalised services continued to be a defining trend in the 2023 visa application patterns as well. VFS Global recorded a strong uptick in customised services such as the Visa At Your Doorstep (VAYD) service that 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 their applications, enroll for biometrics, and get their passport couriered back to their location of choice. VAYD bookings in 2023 in India registered around five-fold increase when compared to 2019. VFS Global offers VAYD services for 16 countries in India – Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the UK.

Similarly, the demand for Premium Lounge, an optional service which provides end-to-end personalised assistance with visa application submission from the comfort of a lounge, is rising with the rise in application volumes. Another service named Prime Time, which allows visa application submission outside of working hours and even on weekends, has seen a healthy adoption since pandemic.

“We continue to see a healthy adoption of contactless and personalised services such as VAYD and Premium Lounge by discerning travellers post the pandemic due to health considerations. These services enhance the overall experience for applicants by offering them greater comfort and convenience when submitting their visa applications. We foresee higher demand for such premium services prioritising safe travel this year as well,” added Jairath.

VFS Global is the trusted partner to 52 sovereign governments in India and provides visa services on their behalf through a network of over 560 visa application centres spread across 19 cities.


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