France's New Year gift: Now, get French visa within 48 hours

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New Delhi, Nov 28: Here is a good news for those planning a holiday in France. The French Ambassador Francois Richier on Thursday announced that the French Government has decided to ease visa procedures for Indians who want to visit the country.

Speaking at soiree celebrating French wines and tourist destinations, Richier said tourist and business visas would now be processed within two days of application. He said this would begin from December1.

File photo of Eiffel Tower

"Visas will be delivered within 72 hours in these new centres, to take into account the necessary transportation of visa applications to the French consulates," said Richier.

A mobile application ‘Chalo Paris' was also launched during the event. ‘Chalo Paris' is an official travel app developed for smart-phones and tablets, custom-made for Indian tourists planning a French holiday.

Richier also announced setting up of eight new visa application centres at Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Pune, Panjim, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Hyderabad and Jaipur would also be opened from December 1. Currently there are six French visa centres in India.

These moves come even as the number of visas delivered by French consulates in India jumped by a whopping 33% in 2014 compared to 2013. A total of 80,000 visas were delivered from January to October 2014. This number is expected to touch the 90,000 mark by year-end.

From now onwards, any Indian citizen can apply for visa from any VFS centre in the country. Till now, the applicants had to go to a specific VFS centre depending on their area of residence.

Richier said the official travel app, ‘Chalo Paris' will be available from December 10, 2014 on Apple Store and Google Play. He said this app will provide information on monuments and tourist spots in Paris, inform the tourists about different restaurants in Paris.
Currently, French visas take five to 10 days.

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