Visa application services: Q1 restart status update

The last quarter has witnessed intermittent activity for the international travel community, with borders opening sporadically in step with vaccination drives in various regions. We at VFS Global, the world’s leading visa services organisation, would like to keep you apprised of the re-openings of Visa Application Centres in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and other efforts currently undertaken according to the regulations set by our client governments. Below is a consolidation of the latest ‘restart’ updates in visa application operations in the UAE. 

At present, the visa application process (in various categories) for over 33 governments has resumed at select Visa Application Centres across UAE.

Information about visa operations listed in the below table is as of 15 April 2021. As this information is fluid and being updated regularly, please visit the country-specific website on www.vfsglobal.com for the most updated information. Real time updates are also posted on our social media channels and the COVID-19 Customer Advisories page.

Our Visa Application Centres across UAE remain open as of 22 April 2021, though timings and days of working may vary, during the month of Ramadan and according to pandemic-related regulations.

Exceptional Cases*** – Applications accepted only as per approval and instructions from the Client Government.

Country Visa Categories Cities Ramadan Timing
Australia Biometric submission for all categories Abu Dhabi | Dubai Monday & Tuesday (9am – 1pm)
Austria Exceptional Cases*** & Consular Services Abu Dhabi | Dubai Monday & Thursday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
Belgium Visa category: C & D (limited) Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Thursday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
Canada Biometric collection for BIL holder Package Transmission Service Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday – Thursday (8am – 2pm)
China Visa category: Exceptional cases*** Dubai Monday & Wednesday (9am – 3pm)
Croatia Visa category: C & D (limited) Dubai Sunday to Thursday (9am – 3pm)
Cyprus BAU (Business as usual) Abu Dhabi | Dubai Monday & Thursday (9am – 3pm)
Czech Republic Exceptional Cases*** Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday & Tuesday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
Denmark Visa category: D Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Thursday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
Finland Exceptional Cases*** Abu Dhabi | Dubai Tuesday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
France Visa category: C & D (limited) Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Thursday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
Germany Counsellor services & passport collection & Exceptional Cases*** Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Thursday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
Greece Exceptional Cases*** Abu Dhabi | Dubai Tuesday & Thursday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
Ireland Category D** (Limited categories) (Passport Services) Abu Dhabi | Dubai Abu Dhabi Monday & Thursday (9am – 2pm) Dubai Sunday & Wednesday (9am – 2pm)
Italy Visa category: D (emergency cases) Dubai Sunday to Thursday (Dubai: 9am – 1pm)
KSA Visa categories: all Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Thursday (09:00 AM – 3:00 PM)
Latvia Visa category: C (emergency cases) Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Thursday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
Lithuania Visa category: C & D (limited) Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Thursday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
Malta Limited visa category: D Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Thursday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
Malaysia visa category: Limited Dubai Sunday to Thursday (9am – 1pm)
Nigeria National Identification Number Enrollment Dubai Sunday to Thursday (9am – 3pm)
Norway Visa category: C (emergency cases) & D Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Thursday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
New Zealand Visa categories: Limited Dubai Sunday – Thursday (9am – 2pm)
Portugal Visa category: D, E & C (Exceptional Cases) Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Thursday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
Philippines Passport renewal Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Saturday (Abu Dhabi: 8am – 5pm/ Dubai: 8am – 8pm)
Sweden Visa category: Embassy approved cases Abu Dhabi | Dubai Ad hoc exceptional cases as per Embassy instructions
Singapore Visa categories: Limited Dubai Sunday to Thursday (9am – 3pm)
South Africa Visa categories: Limited Dubai Sunday to Thursday (9am – 3pm)
Switzerland Category C & Exceptional Cases*** Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday & Tuesday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
Turkey Visa categories: all Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Thursday (9am – 3pm)
The Netherlands Visa category: C (Exceptional cases) Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Thursday (Abu Dhabi: 9am – 1pm/ Dubai: 9am – 3pm)
Ukraine Visa categories: all Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday to Thursday (9am – 3pm)
United Kingdom Visa categories: all Abu Dhabi | Dubai Sunday – Thursday (9am – 2pm)

Please note: Airtravel on all routes is subject to government advisories and permissions for air travel may be independent of the visa process.

Restart of other visa application processes

Please note that VFS Global Visa Application Centres can open only when the concerned Embassy / Consulate provides approval and directs it to do so. It does not decide on re-opening of any Centre on its own.

Some countries may have limited slots opened for appointments at present and only in certain cities. Customers are advised not to fall prey to touts or fraudsters who offer false promises of appointments / visas / job / immigration in exchange for payment.

Health and safety precautions at the Centres

As an extra layer of caution to ensure the health and safety of customers and employees alike, VFS Global has established standardised protective measures to be followed across centres, including physical distancing and sanitisation, body temperature checks, use of masks and sanitizers, disinfecting high-contact surfaces, etc. Customers exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, including high fever, cough and difficulty in breathing will not be permitted to enter the centre.

‘Visa At Your Doorstep’ service

As an optional service to customers wanting to complete their entire visa application submission process from the comfort of their home or office, VFS Global continues to provide the “Visa At Your Doorstep” service whereby a customer can submit the application, enrol biometrics, and get the passport couriered back to their his/her location of choice.

COVID-19 test booking and health insurance services

Anticipating customer needs further, VFS Global introduced online booking of COVID-testing facilities in September 2020. Being ahead of the curve with their operational excellence, the company has ensured the utmost comfort to customers by allowing them to avail this facility at their doorstep as well.  For greater convenience, health and travel insurances are also readily available for purchase for customers visiting VFS Global Visa Application Centres.

Courier service

As a precautionary measure, customers may also opt for our courier servicesto get their passports delivered to their preferred address, after adjudication by the concerned diplomatic mission. This service may also be made mandatory by certain countries.

About VFS Global

VFS Global is the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. With 3490 Application Centres, operations in 144 countries across five continents and over 228 million applications processed (since inception in 2001) as on 31 March 2021, VFS Global is the trusted partner of 63 client governments. The company manages non-judgmental and administrative tasks related to applications for visa, passport and consular services for its client governments, enabling them to focus entirely on the critical task of assessment.

VFS Global is majority owned by the global investment organisation EQT. The Swiss-based Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation holds a minority stake in VFS Global.  EQT is a global investment organisation with offices in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific and with a 25-year track-record of consistent investment performance across multiple geographies, sectors, and strategies. EQT AB Group is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm stock exchange. EQT manages and advises a range of specialized investment funds and other investment vehicles that invest across the world with the mission to generate attractive returns and future-proof companies. EQT funds’ investors do not influence portfolio companies’ decision making or strategies. Nor do they have access to private and confidential business assets or client and customer data.

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