5 tips for a smooth visa application ahead of the summer holidays

5 tips for a smooth visa application ahead of the summer holidays

Although numerous residents are making arrangements to travel to their home countries within the next three months, a considerable number are choosing to embark on vacations abroad.

With vacation time approaching in less than a month for UAE residents, the upcoming period holds great promise for travel opportunities. This year, the Islamic festival Eid Al Adha will offer a six-day break, followed by the two-month summer holidays for schools. This extended duration opens up more possibilities for much-desired travel experiences.

While a significant number of residents are making plans to visit their home countries during the next three months, many are also considering vacations abroad. Research suggests that destinations with visa-free access or minimal documentation requirements are particularly popular among UAE residents. By engaging in careful planning, it is possible to fulfill the dream of reaching your desired destination.

Atul Marwah, the Chief Operating Officer of VFS Global's Mena division, which specializes in outsourcing and technology services for governments and diplomatic missions, shared his perspective in an opinion piece. Marwah highlighted that the year 2023 has presented unique opportunities for travelers who are enthusiastic about exploring new destinations and experiencing different cultures. He emphasized the significance of obtaining a visa as an essential component of international travel. Ahead of the summer holidays, Marwah provided five valuable tips to ensure a seamless visa application process.

Submit visa applications well in advance:

The official websites of embassies/consulates provide clear timelines for visa processing. This information is crucial for your preparation. However, it's important to keep in mind that during peak travel periods like summer holidays or extended weekends, visa processing times may be longer than expected. To avoid any potential delays or last-minute stress, it is highly advisable to apply for your visa well ahead of time. For instance, Schengen countries accept applications up to six months before the intended travel date. By doing so, you will have ample time to gather all the required documents and ensure that your application is complete and accurate.

Ensure you are aware of the visa requirements:

Take the initiative to familiarize yourself with the visa prerequisites for your intended destination country, as well as the timelines involved in the visa processing procedure.

Verify passport validity:

Numerous countries have a requirement for passports to remain valid for a minimum of six months beyond the return date. Therefore, it is essential to check the expiration date of your passport prior to your travel plans.

Plan in advance:

Initiate your travel preparations by conducting thorough research on the visa requirements for your intended destination country well ahead of your trip. Ensure that you have all the essential documents and information readily available before submitting your visa application. Additionally, it is wise to secure your flight bookings and accommodations in advance to prevent any last-minute price increases or unavailability. Stay informed about the latest travel advisories and guidelines issued by both your home country and the destination country. By engaging in meticulous planning and preparation, you can transform your long-awaited international trip into a reality without any inconveniences or complications.

Schedule an appointment:

VFS visa application centers mandate that applicants book appointments in advance. It is advisable to arrange your appointment well ahead of your planned travel date, considering that availability and processing times may vary based on application volume.

Marwah cautioned against fraudulent third-party entities claiming to offer expedited or priority appointment booking services for an additional fee. It is important to report such entities immediately to VFS Global and the relevant Embassy/Consulate for appropriate action. Marwah also clarified that VFS Global does not charge any fees for appointment bookings.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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