As countries around the world are beginning to end restrictions on foreign travelers, India is also gearing up to slowly end the nationwide lockdown by re-opening some of the Visa Facilities Services (VFS) centers, which were shut down to avoid the rapid spread of deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The request to resume visa processing services was made by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to diplomatic missions in India in view of lifting the COVID-19 lockdown. Jan Thompson, Deputy High Commissioner to India officially confirmed the Visa Application Centres’ resumed in India.

"Pleased to confirm some Visa Application Centres in India will reopen from 6 July. Customers will need an appointment and to comply with health measures," she wrote on Twitter.

According to the VFS company website, the resumption of services and the Visa Application Centres for UK Visas and Immigration in India will be re-opened from July 6.

Ahmedabad, Bengaluru (Global Tech Park), Chandigarh, Chennai, Kochin, Hyderabad, Jalandhar, Kolkata, Mumbai (South), New Delhi, and Pune are among the cities resuming the services. The remaining Visa Application centers will remain shut for the time being.

The website further stated that the priority will be given to the customers who were unable to attend an earlier appointment due to the nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus. 

These customers will be able to log into their account to book a new appointment. "Customers who have completed their application on the GOV.UK website but didn’t previously book an appointment, can do so now," they added.

As for customers who wish to visit Chennai Visa Application Centre, they might have to wait till the local lockdown is lifted.

Customers who booked appointments before lockdown will be given priority

The website further added, "We will be contacting customers who had previously booked appointments at these centers to arrange for you to complete your application at a different location."

"Your safety is our priority, so customers visiting our Visa Application Centres may be asked to observe physical distancing, undergo temperature checks, or be required to wear facemasks, subject to local authority guidelines. Please note; customers must have an appointment to visit the Visa Application Centre," they added.

The news of the resumption of the visa centers and facilities has brought a sigh of relief to many people. Netizens are praising and thanking the government for the decision.

Prior to this, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), had Friday also permitted the international flights to resume From July 15 on selected routes depending upon the number of coronavirus cases.

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma