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Visa applications from Mumbai recovered close to the pre-pandemic levels in 2022 driven by pent-up demand, opening of international borders, and eased Covid-related protocols. According to VFS Global, the visa application volume from Mumbai reached 73 per cent of the 2019 pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and registered a 177 per cent growth when compared to 2021.

“We witnessed unprecedented demand from India in 2022 which led to an extended peak outbound travel season with steady volumes witnessed until December. We are confident that the momentum will further grow and hence it is advisable for applicants to apply for their visas in advance to avoid last-minute surprises” said Prabuddha Sen, Chief Operating Officer, (South Asia), VFS Global.

Another defining trend noticed in travellers’ behaviour was wider adoption of personalised service which began since the pandemic. Premium optional services such as Visa At Your Doorstep, (VAYD) that enables travellers to book the entire visa experience at a location of their choice witnessed a 2.5x surge in 2022. VFS Global offers VAYD for 16 client governments in India – Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Switzerland, UK.

“Health considerations continue to be a key determining factor in the new normal. As a result we see an increasing number of travellers opt of such services that provide a seamless visa experience and prioritise safe travel” added Sen.