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How Travel Visas Are Changing In The Post Pandemic World

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It is now inevitable that travelling in the post-coronavirus world will bring its fair share of challenges, and we as responsible travellers must understand this and adopt appropriate measures. These should not be only limited to contain the future spread of the virus, but to ensure that our journey is made smooth as possible as well. The key to this exercise, the new normal, will begin on the very first stage of your trip when you apply for a visa.

The pandemic has evoked a loss of trust, so the tourism industry must strive hard to regain it from the traveller, by taking measures that will ensure them that their safety will not be compromised. This innovative step will rapidly transform the travel sector over the next couple of years, from slow-moving into quick action.

First of all, to make services contactless across the world of travel, e-visas will play a vital role. As restrictions ease and traffic picks up, which is bound to happen sooner than later, airports will come up with creative ideas to induct no-contact setups. Governments will have to adopt social distancing norms if they want to provide a high level of service. This is why e-visas can play the role of a game-changer.

Expert sources have revealed that there will be a big shift in the way some countries grant permission to travel, after the pandemic. While the gravity of restrictions may differ from country to country, one thing is sure the highly popular ‘visa on arrival’ system will be shelved, at least for the time being. As countries become more stringent, the e-visa will lead the forefront to bring confidence back in the system.

In the post-pandemic era, e-visas will save cost on infrastructure, reduce manpower, enable social distancing (especially beneficial in high traffic zones) and boost the economy due to an increase in tourist arrivals, by way of creation of extra jobs. Prior verification of the e-visas also helps in reducing the load at border controls. An e-visa makes the immigration process fast as it does away with physical verification, handling of photographs, documents or currency, which is deemed avoidable because of the pandemic. From the traveller’s point of view, there are already services available, such as Byevisa.com, that assist passengers with the e-visa application process before travel.

Even though e-visas have been the norm in most countries much before the pandemic, this facility should be made totally online everywhere, so that people can download all documents from the comfort of their homes, in cases where biometrics are not required for the destination. This will, in turn, greatly reduce the risk of exposure, between both the traveller and airport personnel.

An e-visa greatly simplifies the entire visa obtaining process, right from application payment to tracking online, all in one seamless experience. Machine learning ensures that all the data from the document of the applicant is reviewed for correctness in an accurate manner.

In the coming years, even personal biometrics will be dispensed with by embedding facial recognition in various devices for a totally optimized digital travel experience. At leading airports around the world, digital biometrics will become the norm rather than the exception with the installation of mobile technology and automation for outbound passengers at most airports. Passengers will only need to show their face, instead of a boarding pass, and the whole stretch from taxi to aircraft will be fluid and seamless.

What everybody is talking about is not what is likely to happen now, but in the long-term, once international skies open up. In the foreseeable future, a Covid-19 test will become mandatory to gain entry to most countries. With vaccines against the coronavirus available in several countries, a health app will become an indispensable tool for the traveller.

This travel health app, which will act as a digital passport, will allow the user to share health information to comply with the necessary requirements for entry into a country. This will easily confirm if the traveller has been vaccinated or not against the virus. One such initiative is the IATA Travel Pass, which is being trialled by over a dozen airlines, including Air New Zealand, Emirates, Qatar, and Singapore Airlines. The woes for the travel industry across the globe may not end with coronavirus, but one positive outcome of the outbreak will be opening up the world. Despite increasing visa restrictions, current globalization will not end with the pandemic but will instead quick-start a new responsible mobility movement.