Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia represented by Archil Dzuliashvili, Ambassador of Georgia; Chris Dix, Head of Business Development, VFS Global; and Alok Singhal, Regional Head- North & East India, VFS Global, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
The objective of the MoU is to provide easier access to Georgia for travellers who intend to visit for tourism and business while improving the integrity of the visa and admission process; to ensure that foreign students travelling to Georgia on study visas have the right credentials, academic ability, financial capability and intent; to help Georgian Educational Institutions improve the quality of their foreign students and to make Georgia an attractive study destination; to increase the flow of travellers to experience the heritage of Georgia and have the opportunity to explore what Georgia has to offer.
Under the MoU, VFS Global shall work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia to; Develop and manage a digital eVisa solution to aid in the processing of eVisa/Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) applications. This service will include the option to upload the required supporting documents and make the necessary fee payments online.
Giorgi Tabatadze, Director of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia said, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with other agencies, is currently undertaking active efforts to make more effective the tourism promotion mechanism already in place. VFS Global – a reputed international company has been awarded a contract by Georgia to facilitate visa submission process for Indian citizens. As per this contract, VFS Global operates 16 Georgia visa applications centres across India. The Memorandum signed on 19 July between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and VFS Global will further simplify procedures and remove all kinds of technical barriers. Yet another important element is that pre-checks and initial validation of visa documents will be provided on the ground – in India- that will contribute to free movement of bona fide tourists and visitors across the Georgian border.”
Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO – South Asia, Middle East and China, VFS Global said, “We are honoured to have been chosen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Georgia to provide travellers from India new eVisa services in addition to the regular visa services we have offered so far. The convenience of eVisa/ETA will encourage more travellers from India to choose Georgia as their next travel destination.”
VFS Global started providing visa services for Georgia in India in 2017 through a network of 5 Visa Application Centres. This successful cooperation was further extended to Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka in early 2018. VFS Global further extended the Visa Application Centre network in India from five to 16 locations in April 2018. VFS Global processed well over 3,000 visa applications to Georgia from India in the first year of its operations.