The volume of visa applications grew more than twofold, or 233 per cent, in 2023 compared to the pre-pandemic level of 2019, a VFS spokesman told a briefing on Monday.
Visa applications from Bangladesh in 2023 rose by 195 per cent compared to 2022, while in comparison to the pre-pandemic period of 2019, visa applications last year increased by 233 per cent, according to VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions.
“We continued to witness unprecedented demand from Bangladesh and the entire South Asia region as a whole in 2022, which led to an extended peak outbound travel season with steady volumes witnessed until December. We remain committed to providing exceptional customer service through technology-led, seamless, highly secure, and reliable solutions,” said Santanu Bhattacharya, head of Bangladesh at VFS Global.
Bhattacharya added that applicants must be wary of fake websites/social media pages impersonating VFS Global and selling appointments in exchange for money. “Appointments are free and available only on http://www.vfsglobal.com on a first-come, first-served basis. As a responsible service provider, we will continue to create awareness against the menace and urge applicants to plan their travel early.”
Another trend noticed in travellers’ behaviour was the wider adoption of personlised services which began during the pandemic. Bookings for premium optional services, such as Visa At Your Doorstep (VAYD), enabling travellers to book the entire visa experience at a location, recorded a 195 per cent increase in 2023 in comparison to 2022, according to VFS Global.
Premium Lounge, another optional service that enables personalised assistance at the visa application centre, also registered 134 per cent growth. The company caters to 16 client governments in Bangladesh, with visa application centres in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet, it added.