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Dubai: A number of countries have resumed visa services in the UAE amid COVID-19 pandemic allowing holiday makers to travel abroad during the winter holiday season.

Those planning to travel abroad now need to follow some new guidelines while applying for visas to travel abroad. As the global travel industry has cautiously come back to life after months of inactivity, many countries are now welcoming visitors with caution as flights have resumed from UAE as well. However, travelling in the post-coronavirus world will bring its share of challenges as travel policies undergo necessary alterations. You as a traveller, must understand the changing world and take adequate measures to make your trip as smooth as possible. The key to doing so is to ensure that you understand the “new normal” for the very first step of your trip — applying for a visa.

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Experts at Dubai’s VFS Global, the world’s largest visa outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, answer some of the most frequently asked questions from travellers while applying for a visa, and measures which are needed not only to contain the future spread of the virus, but also to ensure everyone’s safety.

1. Do I need to carry a COVID 19-related medical certificate when I visit the Visa Application Centre?

VFS Global does not seek any COVID-19-related medical certificates. Medical certificates may be required for visa applications for some countries as per the official checklist. It offers appointment booking service for pre-departure COVID-19 Diagnostic test in the UAE. Test samples may be submitted either at the partnered certified laboratory in Ajman, Dubai, or Sharjah, or at a location of choice using the ‘At Your Doorstep’ service. Customer can Schedule an online appointment or call the Call Centre at +971 42055906 for more information.

2. If the valid visa I had received for a country before lockdown has expired, do I need to apply again?

Yes, if your visa has expired for any country, or is due to expire soon, you may need to reapply for a new visa for that particular country. If you are already in a foreign country and your visa is due to expire, do reach out to the relevant visa or immigration authorities of that country for assistance.

3. Can I apply for my visa at my home or office to maintain physical distancing precautions?

Yes. Choose our Visa At Your Doorstep service for a convenient visa application process from the safety and comfort of your home or office. Available for select destination countries depending on your location.

4. Do I need to follow health, safety and physical distancing norms at the Visa Application Centres?

Yes. For your safety and that of our employees, it is important to adhere to the health and safety guidelines issued by local health authorities such as temperature checks, physical distancing and other safety norms.

5. Can I ask for my passport to be delivered to my address?

Yes. To ensure health & safety, you can opt for our optional Courier Service to get your passport delivered to your doorstep for any new visa applications submitted at reopened Centres.

6. Where to get the latest information about operational Visa Application Centres?

For latest updates on reopening of our Visa Application Centre and other important measures, please visit the COVID-19 Customer Advisories page on www.vfsglobal.com/customer-advisories. Visa related information for any country, you can visit the relevant page of the destination country on www.vfsglobal.com