FACILITATION

E-Visa emerging top choice for global travelers

More countries are adding E-Visa to the common visa channels providing quicker and hassle-free solutions for global travelers.

In Summary

•E-Visa services allow customers to submit their visa applications online, dealing away  with in-person visits.

•Kenya has been enhancing issuance for visa's on arrival to attract tourists and ease entry into the country.

The Kenyan and South African passports.Photo/COURTESY
The Kenyan and South African passports.Photo/COURTESY

Electronic Visa (E-Visa)services are becoming the preferred mode of seeking travel approval by the modern traveler, industry trends indicate, as year-on-year overseas travelers continue to grow.

According to VFS Global(Visa Facilitation Services Global), breakthroughs in technology coupled with improved internet connectivity and speed are allowing ‘armchair booking’ of visas, flight and hotels at the click of a button.

Airports have been rushing to upgrade their technological solutions to ensure biometric check-ins of travelers in the near future.

E-Visa services allow customers to submit their visa applications using just a mobile phone as it does not require a visit in person to the application centre as part of the submission process.

“The Electronic Visa is emerging as a convenient and revolutionary service in the travel domain as it now offers the customers the unmatched convenience of applying for their visa from the location of their choice,” notes VFS Global notes in its report released yesterday.

The world's largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, sees sees business and leisure tourism pushing uptake of e-Visa across 180 locations where it operates including Kenya.

“Travelers on short visits and trips will be the biggest drivers to uptake of E-Visa,” Regional Group COO Jiten Vyas said.

According to the firm, there is growing interest among governments across the world who aim to liberalise their visa regimes to make their respective countries both tourist friendly and business friendly destinations in this digital day and age.

Kenya has been enhancing issuance for visa's on arrival to attract tourists and ease entry into the country, which includes leveraging on highly secure and smart solutions.

Today, 44 countries around the world offer E-Visas or some form of electronic visa solution for travelers with more expected to follow this year.

E-visas allow the secure management of the visa application process to take place entirely in an online environment, increasing time and cost efficiencies for the end customer and the concerned government as a convenient solution for a pre-travel authorisation.

“As improving technology continues to facilitate other newer applications in the travel and tourism industry, the potential for benefit to global traveler is extensive,” Vyas notes.

Some of the reasons why eVisa services are being preferred by the modern-day travelers include applying on the go with the globally accessible and user-friendly websites,simplified payment options(mostly online) and quicker turnaround time of decision making.

There is also no paper form filling or carrying copies of documents to be submitted on arrival while time is saved from visits to consulates or Embassy in person.

Travelers can also track application status online and reduced waiting time at airports for select categories.