Emirates Airlines has partnered with VFS Global- a part of Switzerland-based Kuoni Travel Group to introduce online Visa service for its passengers visiting Dubai for business or leisure, with an aim to simplify travel to the UAE. VFS Global is a specialist partner for diplomatic missions worldwide, processing over seven million (contracted) Visa applications per year. It operates the Dubai Visa Processing Centre (DVPC) in 11 countries. DVPC does not process work Visas.
According to a report in asiatraveltips.com, the service is an extension of the online flight booking process at emirates.com. In its initial phase the facility is being rolled out in 35 countries in the Far East, Indian sub-continent, Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas. In the second phase, due to roll out in the coming weeks, the service will also be offered offline in certain target markets. These comprise of countries that do not have Emirates Airlines services, but which connect to nearby gateways of the Dubai-based airline. Groups and families will benefit from this service as it accepts multiple requests of up to nine people as long as they are on the same booking.
Only 30-day and 96-hour visit Visas to Dubai, UAE are available through the new service, subject to all pre-requisites being met. The pre-requisites are defined by Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) as it takes the decision whether to grant the Visa or not. A 96-hour Visa will cost USD 44 while a 30-day Visa will cost USD 57. Service fees are applied separately. Visas are delivered via email within four international working days. Passengers can also continually track the status of their applications online at emirates.com.
Richard Vaughan, Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide, Emirates Airlines said, “Advancements in aviation are often related to simplifications in the travel process. I’m delighted Emirates Airlines is advancing travel convenience by allowing its customers to apply, purchase and track their UAE Visa online - another initiative in a series of self-service tools that offer more convenience, flexibility and control to passengers. Taking place from the comfort of one’s home, office or hotel, it requires none of the running around often associated with submitting forms, securing approvals and collecting Visas.”