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France eases visa regulations for Indian nationals

Posted on December 9, 2014
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With the number of visas issued by French consulates in India up by 33 per cent in 2014, as compared with 2013, François Richier, Ambassador of France to India, has said that the French government will drastically ease visa procedures for Indian visitors. For the same purpose, with effect from January 1, 2015, both tourist and business visas for Indians will be delivered within 48 hours (two working days). In case of applicants residing in cities apart from those where the Visa Application Centres are available, the time period required would be 72 hours. A text message will be automatically sent to the applicant, should there be an extension of deadline due to insufficient documents or inaccuracies in visa application.

Richier also informed that in addition to the six existing France Visa Application Centres by VFS in India, Centres have opened in Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Pune, Goa, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Hyderabad, and Jaipur starting from December 1, 2014. Moreover, a resident from any part of India can now apply for a visa from any VFS Centre in the country.

Over 80,000 French visas were issued to Indian nationals from January to October 2014. French consulates expect this number to reach 90,000 by end of this month. Foreseeing significant growth in tourist numbers from India to France, Richier said they are committed to strengthening connectivity between France and India at all levels, thereby removing barriers and hurdles.

Available on Apple store and Android/Google play store, the ‘Chalo Paris’ application (app) will be available to discerning Indian travellers from December 10, 2014 onwards. Offering 80 per cent offline content, it is a first-of-its-kind mobile app designed exclusively for the Indian visitor, before and after they reach Paris. “This app is a result of the queries asked by Indian travellers. We will continue to enrich and update the app. We also look forward to expanding the scope of the app by including other destinations in due course,” highlighted Richier.

Catherine Oden, Director, Atout France, India, said, “France welcomes an estimated 349,000 visitors from India annually, a number that has seen steady increase in the last few years. Out of the total number of inbound tourists welcomed by France, 0.3 per cent are from India. We aim to tap potential travellers from the market by launching India-specific tools and addressing their concerns.”

“From India, Air France flies daily from Delhi and Mumbai, and six times a week from Bengaluru to Paris. KLM offers 14 weekly flights from India, including a daily flight each from New Delhi and Mumbai to Amsterdam. From Mumbai, the flights are code-shared with Delta Airlines,” informed Yeshwant Pawar, General Manager – South Asia, Air France KLM.

“We at Accor aim to position all our brands as ‘Born in France, Made in India’ to suit the needs and palate of our Indian guests,” exclaimed Jean-Michel Cassé, Senior Vice President-Operations, Accor India.

http://www.travelbizmonitor.com/Outbound-News/france-eases-visa-regulations-for-indian-nationals-25962

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