Τρίτη, 24 Φεβρουαρίου 2015

Διαμαρτυρία της ABTA για το νέο σύστημα visa...


...στην Ινδία!!! 

Από τις 14 Μαρτίου 2015, όλοι οι ενδιαφερόμενοι να ταξιδέψουν στην Ινδία, θα πρέπει να επισκέπτονται με προγραμματισμένο ραντεβού τα σχετικά κέντρα της ινδικής κυβέρνησης στο Λονδίνο, προκειμένου να προχωρήσει η διαδικασία έκδοσης της visa. 
Στα αξιοσημείωτα και αξιοπερίεργα των αλλαγών είναι ότι κάθε ραντεβού αφορά σε ένα πρόσωπο και ως εκ τούτου οικογένειες θα πρέπει να κλείνουν ραντεβού, ανάλογα με τον αριθμό των μελών τους (!!!). 
Σύντομα δε θα ισχύσουν οι βιομετρικές θεωρήσεις visa για όλα τα ταξίδια. 
Στο πλαίσιο αυτό η Ένωση των Βρετανών Ταξιδιωτικών Πρακτόρων (ΑΒΤΑ), προχώρησε σε διαμαρτυρία προς τον αρμόδιο ινδικό οργανισμό ( Indian High Commission ).
Διαβάστε ένα πολύ ενδισφέρον ρεπορτάζ: 
Trade takes action over India's new visa system ABTA is making an official complaint to the Indian High Commission over changes to its visa system. All visa applicants will now need to book online for an individual appointments at one of the centres, with effect from March 14, 2015. Only one person is allowed per appointment so for family applications, each member will have to book a separate appointment. The High Commission of India in London has outsourced its visa process to VFS and said that biometric data collection, including fingerprint data and facial imagery, will be a mandatory requirement for all visa applicants soon. 
ABTA confirmed a number of members had expressed concern about the changes. Head of destinations and sustainability, Nikki White, said: "We are writing to the Indian High Commission expressing our concern about the short notice given concerning this change to visa requirements, requesting that they either reconsider or delay its introduction. "We are also expressing our concerns about the requirement for individual family members to book separate appointments which could cause considerable unnecessary inconvenience and have the unintended consequence of discouraging travel to India." The High Commission stated on its website: "All Visa , Passport, OCI, Consular Services at VFS Application Centres in London (Goswell Road, Paddington and Hounslow), Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Bradford, Newcastle, Belfast, Cardiff, Bristol, Glasgow and Leicester will be granted on the basis of appointments only." It added that there will be no extra cost for the biometric testing, saying that the VFS fee would be slightly less than the current one with the actual visa fee collected by the Indian government remaining the same. 
Agents said that the new measure would severely impact India's tourism and asked for common sense to prevail. Roy Wills said: "The £100 visa fee for UK visitors to India is already a deterrent and, if clients have to travel long distances to be fingerprinted, they are just going to decide it's too much trouble. And who could blame them?" 
A spokesman for the Indian High Commission said: "Those who have not travelled but have the visas before 16 March don't have to come back to us. They can travel without their biometrics. "However, those who have made an appointment on or after 16 march will have to go to VFS in person for visas. Their biometrics may not be taken as there could be some overlapping period so that the applicants get used to the new system. "The new changes will in fact streamline the system so that the applicants will know what time they have to go the VFS centre and the waiting time is minimal. It will not be detrimental to India's tourism as we believe that the numbers will not decrease. "As for the family members visiting the centre together, while taking the appointment, there is a short window of time during which appointments of all family members can be taken. "However, the appointment system is dynamic and online and if that particular slot is taken by someone while the other applicant is online, the particular slot may not be available to a family member. "We have told VFS to accommodate such requests of family members of visa cases wherein they can be present at the centre together."

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