UAE Residents Advised to Plan Early for Summer Visa Applications

VFS Global recommends that UAE residents begin their visa application process well in advance, especially for popular summer travel destinations like the UK and Schengen countries.

Monaz Billimoria, the UAE Regional Head of VFS Global, notes a trend of early planning among travelers, likely influenced by past experiences of visa delays and limited appointment availability. Considering the expected growth in the travel sector, early visa applications are advised to avoid potential delays.

According to the revised Schengen Visa Code, travelers can apply for a Schengen visa up to six months before their intended travel date. Monaz emphasizes the importance of planning ahead, particularly with the upcoming Eid and summer holidays, which typically see a surge in visa applications. The top destinations for 2023 included Canada, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the UK, with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the UK being consistently popular for both business and leisure travel.

Anticipating a revival in Chinese tourism, Monaz predicts a return to pre-pandemic levels of travel. The demand for UK visas remains high, prompting the establishment of temporary pop-up centers across the UAE to manage the influx of applications. These centers offer premium services, including document submission, biometric enrollment, SMS updates, and courier return service, with extended operating hours during Ramadan to accommodate visa applicants.

VFS Global has observed a 15% increase in visa applications in 2023 compared to 2022, with a significant 145% growth since borders reopened post-pandemic. Travel trends have shown a shift, with peak and off-peak seasons becoming less distinct. Monaz highlights a surprising performance during the winter months, attributing this change to factors like global warming and overcrowding in European summer destinations. This shift has led to more travelers opting for Europe and the UK during the winter season, seeking milder weather and fewer crowds.

Read also: UAE announces 3-day weekend for government employees in Umm Al Quwain

Follow Us on Follow Akhbrna News at Google News
Join Telegram channel