New Delhi [India], May 26: 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 Rs 30,000 to Rs 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 #DoNotFallForFraudVisa 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 firstname.lastname@example.org #ApplyinAdvanceIt 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.
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