In the span of one year, the demand for doorstep delivery of visa services grew by 144 per cent (average y-o-y growth) in 2018. The on-demand service provided by VFS Global allows enrolment of biometrics and document submission at the applicant’s doorstep, instead of visiting the visa application centers.
The service started in 2016, witnessed over 100 per cent y-o-y growth from cities of Goa, Lucknow, Shillong, Nagpur, Bhubaneshwar, Mangalore and Gurgaon. 2018 not only saw an increase in applicants from India’s metros, but also first time demand for doorstep visa services from the cities of Allahabad, Amravati, Trivandrum, Erode, Surat, Nagercoil, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Tiruppur, Muzzafarpur, Indore, Palakkad, Guwhati, Jodhpur and Chattarpur.
The highest number of applications processed was in Nagpur, followed by Indore. In Shillong, the doorstep visa application grew from two applications in 2017, to 150 in 2018.
Beyond the metros, there was a multifold increase in applications from the tier II cities which are already availing these services, and a significant increase in the ones that availed the same for the first time. With emerging trends around consumers wanting to seek convenience, even at an additional cost, indicates the potential for growth of personalization and customization in government-to-citizen services.
Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO – Middle East, South Asia and China, VFS Global said, “To say that the Visa At Your Doorstep service, first introduced in India by VFS Global in 2016, has revolutionised the visa application process may not be an understatement. While VFS Global has an extensive physical network of Visa Application Centres in 17 cities across India, this service exponentially increases the reach of visa services to every corner of the country. It is significant to note that there was high growth in doorstep application numbers even in cities where there are physical centres present. Flexibility and superior customer experience are top priorities of customers in any sector, and the visa industry is no different. Applicants have appreciated the customised nature of the service, and the overall enhanced experience in submitting application, documents and enrolling biometrics, all from the comfort of their home or office.”
Smaller states like Mizoram, Telangana and Chattisgarh, along with countries such as Bhutan and Sri Lanka, entered the demand circle. Corporates, large groups of travellers, film crews, celebrities, travel agencies and high net worth individuals were among the majority of those who availed these services.
VFS Global has Visa Application Centres in 17 cities in India while offering the doorstep delivery of visa services across the length and breadth of the country. Today, VFS Global offers this service for 12 client governments, namely the UK and the 11 Schengen governments and this service is available across the globe where VFS Global manages visa services.