US and Turkey visa row

October 9, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

ISTANBUL, 9 October 2017: The United States and Turkey on Sunday scaled back visa issuing services in each other’s countries in a deepening diplomatic row sparked by the arrest of a Turkish staffer at the American mission in Istanbul.

The American embassy in Ankara said that “recent events” forced the US government to reassess Turkey’s “commitment” to the security of US mission services and personnel in the country.

In order to minimise the number of visitors while the assessment is carried out, “effective immediately we have suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all US diplomatic facilities in Turkey,” it said. Read more

Qatar eases visa

September 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

RABAT, Morocco, 8 September 2017: Morocco has been added to a list of countries whose citizens no longer need visas to enter Qatar, official Moroccan media has said.

Qatar, hit by a land and air embargo imposed by a group of its most powerful neighbours, in early August introduced a visa-free entry programme for 80 nationalities to stimulate air transport and tourism.

Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani, who met a Moroccan delegation in Doha on Tuesday, announced that his country “had removed the obligation for Moroccan citizens to obtain a visa”, Morocco’s official MAP news agency said the same day. Read more

VFS Global acquires competitor

August 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

LONDON, 25 August 2017: VFS Global completed the acquisition of visa service provider TT Services (TTS) earlier this week a move that strengthens VFS hold on the lucrative visa processing business.

According to VFS Global, thee transaction enables it “to leverage core competences and brands and to further enhance operating performance.”

The press statement says the change in control will have no impact on the business operations of the two companies. Read more

Vietnam tourism in top gear

August 2, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HANOI, 2 August 2017: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism estimates the country welcomed 1,036,880 international visitors in July representing an increase of 21.1% over the same month last year.

China was the top supply market with 329,319 visits improving 24.8%. Other top performers were South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and the United States.

Thailand slipped off the top 10 list recording 17,960 visits representing a marginal 0.5% increase over the same month last year. Read more

Shifts in medical tourism

August 1, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand, TRENDING

BANGKOK, 1 August 2017: Kasikorn Research Centre estimates income from international patients at private hospitals will generate THB48 to THB49 billion this year, an increase of 3% to 4% year-on-year.

The bank think-tank unit said the number of patients from the Middle East has declined steadily, mainly due to a change in healthcare policies in their home countries and an improvement in quality and standards of their public health systems.

However, the drop in medical tourists from the Middle East should be compensated by international patients from other regions, in particular Asia such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Japan. Read more

Qatar eases visa process

June 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

DOHA, 26 June 2017: Qatar’s Ministry of Interior, Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority, have launched an e-visa platform to allow travellers to obtain tourist visas online.

Doha News reported that a tourist visa can now be obtained on the new e-visa platform, which is currently in a  pilot phase, at www.qatarvisaservice.com.

Previously, travellers were required to submit their applications through accredited Qatar-based entities, such as hotels and tour operators. Now, they can apply directly and track the status of their application online. Read more

Easy visas boost Vietnam’s tourism

June 12, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HANOI, 12 June 2017: Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Department of Tourism says its electronic visa (eVisa) pilot scheme has already had a positive impact on Vietnam’s tourism since it was implemented in February this year.

Local media reported that the department released data, 30 May, showing 22,000 tourists from the United States, the United Kingdom,  Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Slovakia, Japan, Switzerland and China requested e-visas through the country’s immigration portal at https://www.immigration.gov.vn.

Some 21,000 tourists received e-visas, of which 12,000 have already entered the country. Read more

Australia woos Singaporean tourists

June 5, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Singapore

SINGAPORE, 5 June 2017: Singaporeans travelling to Australia, next year will be eligible for a new visa that will allow stays of up to three months at a time, over a six-year validity period.

ChannelNewsAsia reported the new visa was “exclusive” to Singaporeans and would be effective from 1 January, 2018.

The announcement on the long-term visa was made 2 June by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during his three-day visit to Singapore. Read more

Ask and you will receive if you pay

June 1, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

BANGKOK, 1 June 2017: The UK government will slap a fee on people for just writing an email seeking advice on applying for visas.

According to the UK Mirror, People, who want a UK visa, will have to pay  £5.48  debited from their credit card, when they seek clarity or ask for information on how to apply for visa via emails.

The charge came into force today, Thursday, as part of a cost-cutting drive after UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) out-sourced the enquiry service to a private firm. Read more

Ukrainians gain EU visa-free

May 12, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

BRUSSELS, 12 May 2017: The European Union approved visa-free travel for Ukrainians on Thursday, fulfilling a key promise to cement ties with Kiev as it remains embroiled in a deadly conflict with pro-Russian insurgents.

“YES, we did it!” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wrote on Facebook after the Brussels decision, which the former Soviet republic has been trying to clinch for years.

“It feels like coming home after a long and exhausting journey,” the pro-Western leader said, adding that Ukraine was gradually “becoming part of a common European civilisation”. Read more

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