New Delhi, Delhi, India:
Two alert security personnel at the VFS Global visa application centre (VAC) in Delhi nabbed a group of seven applicants carrying a forged document to apply for Schengen visas. VFS Global is the world's largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions.
The incident took place at the Delhi VAC on 24 May 2023. The visa appointment letters produced by the applicants while entering the facility raised suspicion in the mind of the security personnel and on cross-checking with the applicants manifesto the documents were found to be forged. Subsequent investigations revealed that the forged letters were created by misusing the VFS Global logo and allegedly procured from two Delhi-based agents – Sharma Travels and Shiv Shanker in exchange of INR 30,000 to INR 55,000.
In line with VFS Global’s zero-tolerance policy against visa frauds, a police complaint was filed against at the IGI Airport Metro police station in Delhi.
“This incident reiterates the need to be wary of grey operators selling fake appointments and take informed decisions. VFS Global has been consistently leveraging all its customer touchpoints to caution visa applicants about this menace. Appointments are free and available online on a first-come-first-serve basis. Given the unprecedented pent-up demand for outbound travel from India, it is advisable to apply for visas as early as possible to avoid falling prey to such grey operator,” said Prabuddha Sen, Chief Operating Officer - South Asia, VFS Global.
He added that the company would continue to be vigilant against third-party fraudulent entities taking advantage of travellers and work closely with the police authorities in mitigating the menace.
Peak Season Travel Guide
Visa applicants are advised to beware of fraudulent entities who charge fees from customers for scheduling appointments or providing any other services using VFS Global’s name or independently. We do not charge any payment for scheduling appointments. For any assistance, feel free to reach out to one of our staff or send an email to [email protected]
It is recommended to apply for visas as early as booking flights and stay. Most countries accept visa applications up to 90 days (3 months) before your date of travel. According to the revised Schengen Visa Code, effective 09th February 2020, you can apply for a Schengen visa up to 6 months before your date of travel. Particularly this year with higher demand and limited appointment slots available, we urge applicants to apply for their visa as early as possible and permissible.
About VFS Global
VFS Global is the world's largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions. VFS Global is the trusted partner of 67 client governments, operating a global network with more than 3,400 Application Centres in 145 countries. The company has processed over 257 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.
VFS Global is majority-owned by funds managed by Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager. Blackstone seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for their investors, the companies in which they invest, and the communities in which they work. Blackstone’s USD 915 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, infrastructure, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets, and secondary funds, all on a global basis.
The Swiss-based Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation and EQT, a global investment organisation, headquartered in Stockholm/Sweden, hold minority stakes in VFS Global.
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