As per its new trend report, VFS Global witnessed a 16 per cent increase in the number of visa applications processed in all countries of operation around the globe in 2018.

With 5.8 million applications, South Asia has emerged as the top destination for visa applications processed last year. The Middle East and China processed 4.47 and 4.46 million applications respectively.

In India, VFS Global processed around 5.28 million applications last year. There has been an overall increase of 13 per cent in visa applications since 2017.

Another trend noticed is that Tier II cities in India are seeing a growth in foreign travel. A steep year-on-year growth was recorded in Tier II cities such as Jalandhar( 66 per cent), Chandigarh( 54 per cent), Pondicherry (43 per cent), and Goa (45 per cent) respectively.

Commenting on this new trend, Vinay Malhotra, regional group chief operating officer of Middle East, South Asia, and China, VFS Global said, “With the year-on-year increase in visa applications from India, it is evident that foreign travel is no longer the domain of a privileged few. A large part of this growth comes from the smaller cities – more Indians from these cities are travelling abroad than ever before, and are keen to explore even off-beat destinations.”

Aneri Shroff