Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, has introduced visa facilitation services (VFS) for Austria and the Netherlands, starting from Monday. This development comes five months after the city established a VFS centre, providing greater convenience to residents of Lucknow and other parts of the state.
Previously, individuals had to travel to Delhi, the nearest VFS centre, to apply for visas. The VFS Global Joint Visa Applications Centre in Lucknow was officially inaugurated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on February 4.
Situated on the first floor of the Alambagh Interstate Bus Terminal, the centre accepts visa applications from Monday to Friday, between 9 am and 4 pm. Prior appointments, which can be booked through the VFS Global website, are mandatory for visa applicants.
VFS Global South Asia’s Chief Operating Officer, Prabuddha Sen, expressed delight over the introduction of Austria and Netherlands visa services in Lucknow. This move is expected to greatly benefit residents of Uttar Pradesh who previously had to travel to cities like Delhi to submit their visa applications. Sen stated that the newly opened Visa Application Centres in Lucknow will provide applicants with a convenient and seamless visa application process.
In addition to the standard services, the centre also offers optional services such as the Premium Lounge. This facility allows individuals to submit their applications without having to wait in queues. For an additional fee, applicants can also take advantage of services such as form-filling assistance, courier service, courier assurance, photo service, printing and photocopying, as well as SMS alerts.
VFS Global provides Austrian visa services in 15 cities and Netherlands visa services in nine cities across India. The VFS Centre in Lucknow not only offers visa services for Austria and the Netherlands but also for Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Switzerland and Estonia were the first countries to launch visa services from Lucknow. With a spacious area spanning 24,000 square feet, the centre has the capacity to process approximately 1.2 lakh applications annually.
VFS Global is an outsourcing and technology services company that specialises in providing visa processing services on behalf of various governments and diplomatic missions around the world. They operate visa application centres known as “VFS Global Joints” or “VFS Global Visa Application Centers.”
These centres serve as intermediaries between visa applicants and the respective diplomatic missions or consulates. They offer a range of services related to the visa application process, including accepting visa applications, collecting biometrics data (such as fingerprints and photographs), and returning passports to applicants.
VFS Global Joints are typically located in various cities and countries, providing convenient access to applicants who need to apply for visas to travel, work, study, or settle in a different country. They are authorised by governments to facilitate and streamline the visa application process, helping to manage the administrative tasks involved in visa processing.
It’s important to note that VFS Global is a private company and not a governmental entity. They work in partnership with governments to provide visa application services but do not have the authority to make decisions on visa approvals or denials. The ultimate decision on granting or denying a visa rests with the respective diplomatic missions or consulates.