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UAE Travellers Warned of Scammers Offering ‘Faster Schengen Visa’ for a Fee

UAE Travellers Warned of Scammers Offering 'Faster Schengen Visa' for a Fee

As summer vacation plans begin to take shape, UAE travelers are being warned about fraudulent schemes targeting individuals seeking Schengen and UK visas. Passport and visa outsource company VFS Global has raised alarms over the prevalence of unscrupulous agents exploiting travelers by promising expedited visa appointments for a fee.

One such traveler, an entertainment professional referred to as R.S., nearly fell victim to a scam when he sought a Schengen visa for a festival performance in Portugal. Desperate for a quick appointment, he considered paying a dubious agent Dh500 for their services. Fortunately, the intervention of friends prevented him from succumbing to the scam.

VFS Global has strongly cautioned against engaging with agents who charge fees for securing visa appointments, emphasizing that such practices are fraudulent. Monaz Billimoria, UAE Regional Head of VFS Global, reiterated that the company does not impose any charges for booking appointments through its official website.

In response to the growing demand for UK visas, VFS Global has established special premium centers across the UAE. However, with appointment slots filling up rapidly, travelers are advised to plan their vacations well in advance to avoid any last-minute complications.

The warning comes amidst reports of lengthy wait times for visa appointments, with travelers facing delays of up to three months for Schengen visas in June of the previous year. This backlog has led many individuals to turn to unauthorized agents, resulting in financial losses for unsuspecting victims.

As travelers gear up for summer holidays, VFS Global urges caution and vigilance when navigating the visa application process. By remaining vigilant and utilizing official channels, travelers can safeguard themselves against potential scams and ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

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