France to cut down visa processing time to drive tourism

Published on : Thursday, July 27, 2017

FranceFrance will lessen visa delivery time to 48 hours for Russians, Indians and citizens of six more Asian countries for boosting tourism, as said by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

After a decline in 2016 following a series of terror attacks that hit Paris and Nice, tourist numbers are coming back to normal this year. France is expecting a record of around 89 million foreign tourists, up from 83 million last year, and 100 million visitors by 2020.

Visa processing time for citizens of Russia, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Indonesia from November 1 will be 48 hours, which is now 10 days or so.

This measure, which is already workable for few other countries, including Qatar, would be extended to Saudi Arabia and Vietnam next year if a change in EU visa procedures for those countries allows it. Plans are also being thought of to allocate more staff to airport passport checks to limit waiting time to 30 minutes for EU citizens and 45 minutes for non-EU citizens. Tourism generates over 7 percent of France’s gross domestic product and employs 2 million people.

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