VFS Global, one of the world’s largest travel facilitation companies, has come a long way since its inception in 2001. The company was founded by Zubin Karkaria, an Indian-born entrepreneur, who had a vision to make visa applications simple and convenient for travelers across the world. With a team of dedicated professionals and a passion for excellence, Karkaria built VFS Global from the ground up to become the leading visa processing company it is today
VFS Global is the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions. VFS Global is the trusted partner of 66 client governments, operating a global network with more than 3,300 Application Centres in 144 countries. The company has processed over 248 million applications since its inception in 2001. 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 assessment task. VFS Global has its headquarters in Zurich/Switzerland and Dubai/United Arab Emirates.
Karkaria’s vision of creating a company that prioritizes customer satisfaction and efficiency has paid off, as VFS Global has become the go-to choice for millions of travelers around the world. The company’s success has not gone unnoticed, and it has received numerous accolades and awards for its outstanding performance and commitment to customer service.
The company’s growth and success can be attributed to Karkaria’s innovative approach and his determination to bring about positive change in the visa application process. He has always believed that technology and customer-centric solutions are key to making the visa application process simple and seamless. He has invested heavily in technology and has introduced several cutting-edge solutions that have revolutionized the way visas are processed.
“We launched in July 2001, and then 9/11 happened. But, despite difficulties, we opened centers in Pune and Ahmedabad two days before Christmas because we had promised the US Embassy that we would be live in three major cities of western India,” recalls Sonia Dhayagude, Head Americas, VFS Global.
Karkaria’s leadership and entrepreneurial spirit have not only made VFS Global a global leader in the travel facilitation industry but have also made it a valuable partner for governments around the world. The company’s work has been instrumental in boosting tourism and economic growth in many countries, and it continues to expand its reach and services to meet the growing demand for travel facilitation services
According to Dhayagude, VFS provides passport and visa services for multiple countries in addition to E-visa, biometric, document verification, digital application assistance, global entry program, and fee collection services on behalf of Consulates and Embassies.
VFS has recently launched the visa-at-your-doorstep program, which is gaining a lot of momentum. About the program, she said, “We carry the mobile kits to capture biometrics of individuals in their homes. We also go to companies, corporates, and universities where students are a huge market for us,” adding that it makes more sense for large groups to utilize this program instead of making multiple in-person appointments at VFS centers.
For India related processes, she said, the Indian Government has not yet mandated biometrics in the US, but authorized VFS to provide services including passports and visas, overseas citizen of India, police clearance certificates, global entry program, passport renunciation, and collecting fees on behalf of Indian Embassy in Washington DC, and Consulates in other cities.
VFS’s global experience has been very positive so far, although there are challenges in the diversity of nuances and customization requirements when dealing with different countries. Dhayagude said the most common mistake applicants make is they don’t furnish proper documentation. As such, she requested that they verify their documents against the checklist on the website. The checklist is prepared based on requirements of local Consulates and Embassies, and therefore VFS does not have the authority to overlook any document, she stressed.
Whether it is creating websites or call centers to suit different languages to phone filling service in countries with low literacy, VFS has learned to effectively deliver. In U.S post the pandemic, VFS Global has been facilitating Consular Camps for the Indian Consulates across the U.S VFS has conducted 26 consular camps so far in coordination with the Indian Embassy, Consulates, and the Federation of Indian Americans in different cities.