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Staff shortage, high backlog lead to increased visa processing time for travelers

travel | Jun 10, 2022 9:10 PM IST

Staff shortage, high backlog lead to increased visa processing time for travelers

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The outbound international traffic is seeing a massive jump currently as people look to travel abroad after being limited to either their homes or some domestic destinations. Currently the outbound international traffic is hovering around 85 percent of the pre-COVID level with Singapore, Dubai, Maldives still being the popular destinations primarily on account of ease in the entry process.

The outbound international traffic is seeing a massive jump currently as people look to travel abroad after being limited to either their homes or some domestic destinations.

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Currently the outbound international traffic is hovering around 85 percent of the pre-COVID level with Singapore, Dubai, Maldives still being the popular destinations primarily on account of ease in the entry process.
This is not the case for other destinations such as Europe, US, Canada, Australia, among others where there is a massive surge in demand but then there is also an insufficient supply of visas.
The outbound travel is on the rise to Europe and other far-flung destinations as countries lift the COVID restrictions but the Schengen visa which is a short stay visa that permits a person to travel to any Schengen area member state for stays of up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes is seeing huge backlog as embassies face staff shortage to cater to the spike in visa applications, appointment dates are also not available at several embassies for at least one to two months.
Visa processing for travel to Greece, Netherlands and Germany is particularly getting delayed while the process has also stretched for US, Canada and the UK.
Visa services company VFS Global said that it is experiencing high volumes of visa applications, limited appointment availability and stretched visa processing timelines. The agency is witnessing skyrocketing demand for outbound travel by receiving around 20,000 applications from India on a daily basis which is close to the pre- COVID level.
So amidst the ongoing peak travel season for outbound tourists the visa processing time is unlikely to see major decline in the near term.
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