VFS Global, in partnership with the Embassy of Japan in India, is expanding the network of Japan Visa Application Centres across the country, bringing visa application facilities to applicants in 13 additional cities in India. As part of the country-wide rollout, VFS Global today launched Visa Application Centres in the South Indian cities of Chennai, Bengaluru, Pondicherry, Hyderabad, Cochin and Trivandrum. Earlier this month, on 10 March 2017, a centrally-accessible and well-connected centre was launched in Mumbai, and on 03 March 2017, a full-fledged Visa Application Centre started operations in Kolkata. So far, New Delhi, Chandigarh, and Jalandhar were the only cities where applicants could submit Japan visa applications through VFS Global centres. Applicants from other cities in India had to submit their visa applications, either in person or through a travel agent, at the Japanese Consulates in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bengaluru or through the submission facilities arranged in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Dehradun, Agra and Guwahati.
The network expansion comes close on the heels of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan in November 2016. During this visit, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his intention to enhance the bilateral relationship with India by expanding the number of Japan Visa Application Centres for Indian nationals. Speaking about the launch, His Excellency Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India, said, “India is an important market for the tourism sector in Japan. In 2016, approximately 1, 23, 000 Indians visited Japan. I see enormous potential in the Indian market.
The opening of multiple centres across India is a major step towards enhancing people-to-people exchanges and the cultural relationship between the two countries.” Commenting on the launch, Mr. Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East and South Asia, VFS ¬Global, said, “With the opening of the Japan Visa Application Centres across India, travellers to Japan will now get their visas processed through our professionally managed services. We are confident that these centres will positively contribute to the strong ties of travel between the two countries, by maintaining best-in-class standards of service quality for applicants.”
The new centres will be a combination of full-fledged Visa Application Centres, where processing will take place at the centre itself, and submission centres, where applicants can submit their application and collect the receipt against the submission. The applications from the submission centres will then be forwarded to the respective main hubs for processing.