Czech Republic and VFS Global extend visa service delivery to Georgia
The Government of the Czech Republic and VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for diplomatic missions and governments, commenced their visa application services for Czech Republic visas in Georgia today, with the opening of the Czech Republic Visa Application Centre. Catering to the growing demand of Czech Republic bound travellers in the region; this new initiative is aimed at offering new services, facilities and benefits to visa applicants, and boost tourism, trade and investments, and bilateral ties between Czech Republic and Georgia.
VFS Global will operate Czech Republic Visa Application Centre, located at 10 Kuchishvili street, Tbilisi, Georgia, 0179
Mr. Prabuddha Sen, Regional Head - RCIS, VFS Global said, “It is our privilege to be the trusted partner to the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Tbilisi in providing services to facilitate visa application process for travellers in Georgia. We are committed to provide professional and convenient services to all applicants applying for a Czech Republic visa in the region. VFS Global is privileged to be associated with the Government of the Czech Republic in Georgia. This extension of our association with the Czech Republic Government reflects their faith in our abilities, and we are sure this will go a long way in forging a longstanding partnership with VFS Global.”
The key features of the new centre are:
- Conveniently located and easily accessible state-of-the art Visa Application Centre
- Longer operating hours allowing applicants to visit at a time of their convenience
- Professional and responsive staff dedicated to handle visa queries and applications
- Automated queue governance for smooth flow of applicants, providing better crowd management
- Dedicated website for easy access to information including visa categories, requirements and check-list, applicable fees and application status
- Dedicated call centre and email support to answer queries and status of application
- 100% secure handling of passports, documents and personal information
- In-VAC feedback kiosks and forms, and online feedback services for applicants to share their recommendations and feedback about the services
- Tracking of application status and SMS alerts for visa status update on mobile phones
- Door-step delivery of passports
Switzerland and Georgia strengthen cooperation in the field of migration
Switzerland and Georgia are strengthening their respective efforts to tackle irregular migration. State Secretary Mario Gattiker and Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs Vakhtang Gomelauri signed a joint declaration in Tbilisi on 16 September. Since 2018 Georgia is 5th on the list of countries of origin for asylum applications in Switzerland.However, Georgian nationals have almost no chance of being granted asylum in Switzerland. To resolve the challenge related to unfounded asylum applications, Switzerland and Georgia have implemented different measures andare closely collaborating in the field of migration.
On Monday, 16 September, State Secretary Mario Gattiker and Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri signed a joint declaration aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two countries in tackling irregular migration. Since Georgian citizens are exempted from the visa requirement for the Schengen area, Switzerland has registered a sharp increase in unfounded asylum applications from Georgia (+87% in 2018 compared to 2016).
These applications have almost no chance of being accepted (refugee status recognition rate:0%). Moreover, certain persons lodging applications for asylum suffer from severe medical issues requiring urgent care, which complicates the return process.Since the visa liberalization, Switzerland has called on Georgia to take appropriate measures.On its side, Switzerland pursues a swift and consistent policy of return to the country of origin.
To address this phenomenon,Switzerland has, in collaboration with Georgia, put in place a number of measures. A process of cooperation has been established in May of this year between the State Secretariat for Migration,the Swiss embassy in Tbilisi and the Georgian Health Ministry,to enable the swift processing of asylum applications by Georgian nationals suffering from complex health issues. This cooperation process helps to swiftly identify the possibility of medical treatment in Georgia and consequently assess the person’s return. In that regard, after the talks with the Ministry of Health, Mario Gattiker visited an intensive care oncology unit at a hospital in the capital to see for himself the level of care in treating cancer patients.
Moreover, Switzerland and Georgia are committed to tightening border controls. In June, Switzerland seconded an official to the airport at Kutaisi (second largest city)for a month to support the local authorities in their tasks and to provide additional technical assistance on border controls at departure within the framework of Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.
On28 August, the Federal Council decided to add Georgia to the list of ‘safe countries’. As of 1 October 2019, Georgia will join the list of countries to which the return of asylum seekers whose applications have been denied is considered reasonable.
The State Secretary’s visit to Georgia was rounded off with talks with the Minister of Justice, Tea Tsulukiani, a further meeting is planned with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Zalkaliani.
In response to the rise of asylum applications from Georgian nationals, Switzerland and Georgia had already taken measures in 2018, but these had limited impact. In particular, Switzerland has strengthened protection at external borders and imposed entry bans in cases where the asylum claim was clearly unfounded. For its part, Georgia has made efforts to strengthen borders controls and has conducted several information campaigns on the rights and obligations of visa-travel in the Schengen area. Finally, Georgia has tightened its criminal code to combat irregular migration.
INGO-Led Peace Summit Held in Georgia to Build International Framework for Peace
In this September, the “2019 HWPL World Peace Summit” was held in over 110 locations of 200 countries in cooperation between an international peace NGO named HWPL, government officials, and the global civil society worldwide. In Tbilisi of Georgia citizens from various social stratum gathered to call for a legislation of an international law for peace.
On September 9th, the event was also held in Tbilisi, under the theme of the “Legislate Peace (LP)" - Implementation of the DPCW for Sustainable Development”. About 20 participants including Vakhtang Bolotashvili from the Civil Movement, Elbrus Mammadov, the chairman of Human Rights Monitoring Group of National, Giorgi Jashiashili, the president of European Youth Organization. The participants joined the “Peace Letter Campaign”, as a part of the “LP” project which was held in 200 places of 110 countries and “LP” urges the head of state to support the establishment of international law for peace based on the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).
DPCW is a document that specified the roles of international society to prevent and resolve conflicts around the world and currently in the process of being introduced to the UN as a draft resolution. Around 1.5 million citizens from 195 countries have taken part in the LP project by writing support letters and collecting support signatures.
Responses from leaders including the Presidents of USA, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, and Prime Ministers of Canada and North Macedonia have shown the support for the DPCW advocated by citizens in each country
There also was a time for case presentation by Tamar Lolishvili, an English teacher from Gymnasium AIA-GESSof Peace Education which is being practiced in accordance with the 10th article of DPCW, ‘Spread a Culture of Peace’ Choosing peace education is about creative problem solving, carefully understanding the problem itself and its various dimensions, and adopting new ways of thinking, perceiving and handling situations.”“Virtual Peace Camp invites children to think about what peace means to them and where they feel peaceful. The activities encourage children to think about what they can do to build peace, helping to develop interpersonal peace. The project also encourages children to think critically about war and to explore its human cost; they will learn about how children – so often the innocent victims of war – can work together for peace.
The host organization, HWPL, is an international NGO associated with UN DGC and in consultative status with UN ECOSOC. ‘9.18 HWPL World Peace Summit’ was annually held since 2014 and is a field of opportunity where figures from politics, religions, media, youth and women gather and discuss on peace.
PACE co-rapporteurs to make monitoring visit to Georgia
Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ADLE), co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the monitoring of obligations and commitments by Georgia, will make a fact-finding visit to the country from 17 to 18 September 2019.
Discussions will mainly focus on recent political developments, the independence of the judiciary, the judicial reform, the functioning of the High Council of Justice, and the organisation of elections.
In Tbilisi, Mr Corlatean and Mr Kern are due to meet, in particular, the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Parliament, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Internal Affairs, as well as the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality. Talks are also scheduled with various parliamentary committees, the political groups represented in Parliament, and the Georgian delegation to PACE.
The co-rapporteurs will also meet the Chair of the Central Election Commission, representatives of the judicial authorities, the Public Defender, and representatives of the diplomatic community and NGOs.
Changing the Game: Visa Sets Sights on a “Cashless Japan” with One Year to Go to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Visa and its partners build a digital legacy for Japan and help to accelerate economic growth
SAN FRANCISCO and TOKYO – July 25, 2019 – With one year to go until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Visa (NYSE: V), the Worldwide Payment Technology Partner of the Olympic Games, is preparing innovative payment experiences for athletes, visitors and citizens in support of the government’s “Cashless Japan” imperative to double the total of payments made digitally to 40 percent by 2025. With the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 expected to be the most innovative Olympic and Paralympic Games yet, Visa is in a unique position to help the Games become a catalyst for delivering the best in digital payments to Japan.
“There is virtually no other market in the world today that compares to Japan – it is the world’s third largest economy and a leader across many industries, yet commerce remains predominantly cash-based,” said Stephen Karpin, Representative Director & Country Manager of Japan, Visa. “Visa embraces the Olympic Games as an opportunity to offer cutting-edge payment technologies at venues and the Olympic Village, and throughout the host country to truly enhance the fan experience. For Tokyo 2020, we are planning experiences that will leave a lasting impact on the country, with the goal of helping accelerate economic growth, while providing the Japanese community and visitors with a ‘wow’ experience on-the-ground.”
Supporting the Road to a ‘Cashless Japan’
Today, only about one-fifth of all payments in Japan use digital methods compared with around 90% in South Korea and roughly 60% in the U.S and 70% in China. With 40 million visitors expected to arrive in Japan next year, Visa has a range of initiatives underway to ensure the best possible commerce and payments experiences, including:
- Growing Digital Payment Acceptance: To address the current prevalence of cash, Visa is working closely with merchants in a wide range of business categories, including Quick Service Restaurants (QSR), transit and convenience stores, to upgrade and enable contactless point-of-sale (POS) and to drive adoption for digital payments prior to the start of Tokyo 2020.
- Team Visa for Cashless Japan: Since 2000, Visa has supported Team Visa, a diverse roster of global athletes who compete in a wide range of events, representing the brand on-and-off the field of competition. Team Visa athlete and Japanese Olympic hopeful in the newly added sport of surfing Kanoa Igarashi is “riding the cashless wave” in Visa’s marketing campaign, already live in Japan. Throughout the year, Visa will continue expanding the Team Visa roster, highlighting Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and promoting the use of digital payments.
- Building a Partner Ecosystem: As the world’s leader in digital payments, Visa drives innovation to its 3.4 billion accountholders through a wide group of financial services, merchant, technology and fintech partners. To further grow its network in Japan, Visa has launched Visa Fintech Fastrack to make it quicker and easier for fintechs to build and deliver new digital commerce experiences on Visa’s payments network. Visa has also recently partnered with LINE Pay Corporation, operator of digital wallet and fintech services on the LINE messaging app to encourage digital payment adoption.
- Games-time Innovations: As the exclusive payment technology sponsor, Visa is in a unique position to bring cutting-edge payment technologies to every Olympic Games, often trialing technology not yet commercially available. At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Visa offered a payment-enabled ring to its Team Visa athletes. At the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Visa commercially sold wearable products, such as gloves and lapel pins, enabled to make payments over contactless payment readers. For Tokyo 2020, Visa is exploring payment innovations ranging from biometric payment authentication and wearables to new mobile applications which will include digitally-issued cards.
- Measuring Inbound Global Travel & Spend to Japan: According to Visa’s Global Travel Intentions (GTI) Study, Japan has overtaken the United States as the most popular destination within the past two years among the international travelers surveyed. In the lead up to the Olympic Games, Visa will continue to share consumer travel and spend data and predictions on Olympic-related tourism trends, to help prepare local merchants for an influx of foreign travelers.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, visa.com/blog and @VisaNews.
 Japan National Tourism Association, annual data as of Dec 31, 2017
Visa announced the appointment of Cristina Doros as Visa Country Manager for Caucasus Region
Kyiv, Ukraine – July 4, 2019 - Visa today announced the appointment of Cristina Doros as Visa Country Manager for Caucasus region. In her new role, Cristina Doros will focus on growing the electronic payments business in Caucasus region by increasing Visa’s footprint in these markets, and enhancing value it provides to banks, merchants, and cardholders.
“We are excited to announce the appointment of Cristina Doros to the position of Country Manager of Caucasus. With proven management and leadership skills, an in-depth knowledge of payments and a strong understanding of the regional business, I am confident that Cristina will lead the business to greater heights reflecting the importance we place on the countries of Caucasus region,” said Vira Platonova, SVP, Group Country Manager for Visa CISSEE.
Cristina Doros brings more than 20 years of experience in retail banking, information technology, innovations, cards and mobile payments. Since 2016, Cristina joined Visa to lead the regional Core Products team, and has been acting Vice-President, head of Solutions, Visa CISSEE since 2019 overseeing Core products (Debit, Credit and Premium), Loyalty platform development, Digital Solutions and Push Payments, all foundational for the proliferation of electronic payments. Remarkable milestones of Cristina’s professional successes include enhancement of Premium benefits, launch of Loyalty program in Ukraine and Belarus, contribution to launching Tap to Phone SME technology, etc.
“After my fascinating experience as a head of Visa CISSEE Products team, I am thrilled to lead Visa business in the Caucasus region. This is an exciting and challenging opportunity to bring more innovations and benefits to our clients and partners and to strengthen our presence in the market, shaping the future of payments and driving innovations across the region.”- CristinaDoros said.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce.
Director, Corporate Communications
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