Netherlands has opened a visa facilitations servicing centre at Ahmedabad on Friday, 25th of April. This is owing to the rising demand of the people from Gujarat state for going to Netherlands. This visa facilitations centre already provides visas to Indians for six other Schengen countries viz. Greece, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Belgium. The number of Netherlands visas being issued to Indians has risen by 15% every year. The demand (highest to the least) for the different categories of visas of Netherlands is in the following order : business travel, tourism and student-exchange programmes, as per Alphonsus Stoelinga, Netherlands' ambassador to India. The ambassador stated this during the inauguration of the Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) centre for Netherlands.
The Ahmedabad Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) got 2,000 visa applications for the Schengen countries in the year 2013. This is expected to rise/increase to more than 3,000 with the addition of the Netherlands Facilitations Services Centre. The ambassador also stated that within three weeks of the opening of the centre, it has received more than 40 visa applications and that they were expecting to get about 40-50 applications every month. As for the whole country, the number of applications received for the Netherlands visas stood at 32,000, in 2013.
Tourism and business are two areas in which strong growth and increase are expected according to experts. As a matter of fact, Gujarat state in particular has more than 150 Dutch-based countries. And also, Vibrant Gujarat 2015 will witness Netherlands as one of the four participating and partner countries.