Opening of international borders, relaxation of travel restrictions, resumption of international flights, widespread vaccination, and resumption of in-campus classes by overseas universities are the major contributors to the increase in outbound traffic from Ghana this year.
Visa delay queries by Ghanaian applicants addressed
Visa applications via VFS Global in Ghana between January to April 2022 have more than doubled in comparison to the same period last year.
Locations such as South Africa, Canada and Schengen regions are witnessing positive trends in application volumes for outbound travel in the year so far.
VFS Global, the world’s largest visa outsourcing and technology service specialist for governments & their diplomatic missions worldwide, services 17 client governments in Ghana through the Application Centres across four locations.
Elaborating on this important point of applying in advance to beat the peak, Mr. Hariprasad Viswanathan, Head – Sub Saharan Africa at VFS Global, noted that with most countries accepting visa applications up to 90 days (3 months) before the date of travel, applicants need to apply for their visa’s way in advance, especially during this period when outbound travel demand is increasing.
According to the revised Schengen Visa Code, effective February 2, 2020, you can apply for a Schengen visa up to 6 months before your date of travel.
“When planning your travels, people always book flights and hotels in advance. Do the same for visas. Seeing the surge in demand for outbound travel this year and with limited appointment slots available, we urge applicants to apply for their visas as early as possible. Be sure to carry all the requisite documentation, including a printout of the checklist, to submit along with the duly filled application form. A checklist of the documentation required for visa applications for each country served by VFS Global is available on our website,” he said.
Just like applying for a visa in advance, he recommends that applicants must check their passport’s validity before planning an international trip. Many countries require a valid passport six months beyond your return date.
Common queries from visa applicants in Ghana
VFS Global manages non-judgmental and administrative tasks related to applications for visas, passport and consular, identity and citizen services for governments part of their client portfolio. This allows diplomatic missions to effectively manage their time and resources and focus on the critical task of assessing visa applications and making decisions on whether to grant a visa or not.
Applicants wishing to travel to locations managed by VFS Global must submit their documentation correctly and on-time. VFS Global forwards applications as per the agreed service level agreements with the embassy/consulate
Given that each country has a different timeline for its visa processing, these timelines are clearly mentioned on their websites and applicants are recommended to check the turnaround timelines before applying.
Mr. Viswanathan notes that in this period of increased outbound travel demand, visa processing can take longer than anticipated, hence VFS Global recommends that applicants must apply early.
Visa appointment slots are offered online based on the volume of demand or forecast, and in conjunction with the Embassy’s own internal capacity planning. “Once scheduled, we highly recommend being at the centre 15 minutes prior the appointed time to avoid missing your slot,” he said. He also cautions applicants to be careful of touts and fraudulent parties who falsely promise early appointment bookings in exchange for payment.
Once an application is submitted, the applicant can opt for the SMS service, and receive timely updates on your application’s progress through VFS Global’s online tracking service. The status will be updated as and when the applicant’s passport is ready for collection/delivery.
VFS Global is the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions. VFS Global is the trusted partner of 64 client governments, operating a global network with more than 3,500 Application Centres in 141 countries. The company has processed over 241 million applications since its inception in 2001. VFS Global has its headquarters in Zurich/Switzerland.
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