By Stelios Orphanides
Cyprus’s embassy in London had four “visa application centres” launched by the UK-based VFS Global, tasked with accepting applications for visas from residents of the UK, which two years ago voted to leave the European Union.
“Although UK visitors do not need a visa if they are staying less than 90 days, the new service will be of use to those who stay longer, such as those with holiday homes, those who spend more time in Cyprus visiting relatives, or those on long term business trips,” the company which offers similar services to almost five dozen governments said in an emailed statement. “Foreign nationals living in the UK may need a visa for shorter periods, depending on their circumstances”.
VFS Global services are offered in four cities in the UK, London, Manchester, Edinburg and Cardiff, the company said. Cypriot High Commissioner to the UK Euripides Evriviades inaugurated the new service in the presence of VFS Global’s chief operating officer Anirudh Pratap Singh.
“For higher quality and a more personalised service, applicants can opt for the premium service at these centres that offer assistance by dedicated staff member during the submission process, including assistance in filling in the visa application and verification of documents and free access to photocopy, photo booth, SMS and courier services,” VFS Global said.
The UK is traditionally the largest source of incoming tourism for Cyprus which hosts a large community of British expats, including retired homebuyers.
“Many foreign nationals living in the UK also visit Cyprus each year,” said Singh. “We are confident that our world-class service expertise and service solutions like the premium service at our centres will ensure a pleasant experience and efficiently cater to increasing demand”.
The service includes application submission via prior appointment only, premium lounge offering personalised service, one-stop-shop for photocopy, photo-booth and printing services, passport delivery via courier service, SMS alerts on the status of an application and a website with information about visa categories, fees and more, VFS Global said.