SITA’s eVisa will fast-track visa issuance
Governments can issue visa’s faster and boost global travel, if they install eVisa, the latest offering from air transport industry IT solutions provider SITA.
Launched July 28, the smartphone-compatible e-Visa and Electronic Travel Authorisation ETA system, promises to ease the pain of governments and travelers alike as they struggle to facilitate international travel amidst a rapid rebound of demand. SITA says its eVisa, product will help governments deliver efficient visa, border and immigration services.
The tech giant says the product which answers to the growing demand from governments for digital visa systems, will also stimulate national economies after COVID-19, strengthen security and improve the travel experience.
Governments globally are shifting to modern travel authorisation solutions, like electronic visas and Electronic Travel Authorisations (ETAs) says SITA. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), traditional visas – applications made via a consulate or embassy – decreased from 77pc in 2008 to 53pc in 2018.
The advantages of digital authorisation solutions include improved security, reduced administrative burden, easier travel, and increased visitor flows, promoting spending that benefits local economies and creates employment. For example, one government’s introduction of an eVisa scheme covering 40 plus countries in 2014-2015 led to a 21pc increase in international visitor arrivals and the creation of 800,000 job.
The mobile capability of SITA’s new eVisa and ETA capability allows travelers to make applications and provide their biometric information using their personal devices before they travel. For travelers, this is simpler, more convenient, and less time-consuming than applying for more complex traditional or on-arrival visas. For governments, they can biometrically verify the applicant’s identity. The mobile app also creates ICAO-compliant Digital Travel Credentials (DTCs) – a development in digital identity for travel that may replace physical passports in the future.
SITA’s eVisa and ETA solutions provide visas containing ICAO’s Visible Digital Seal (VDS), an encrypted bar code that enables visas and ETAs, paper or electronic, to be digitally verified for authenticity, offering enhanced security and fraud prevention.
Jeremy Springall, Head of SITA AT BORDERS, said: “Adopting eVisa and ETA supports national prosperity. We’ve productised our proven and robust travel authorisation systems to benefit more nations around the world as they shift to digitalise and future-proof their borders. The solutions help countries to cope with growing passenger volumes, improve security and efficiency, and deliver a more seamless travel experience that travelers demand, removing the complexities of applying for traditional visas”.
The new solutions are fully interoperable with existing border control and airline systems. And, they comply with international standards and best practices.”
The systems give authorities advance visibility into the huge influx of tourists crossing the border, helping to reduce immigration bottlenecks.
For one major government customer in Asia Pacific today, SITA’s ETA system enables over 3 million ETAs to be issued each year, 96pc of applications result in the automatic issuance of an authorization, and 99pc of all applications are successfully processed in less than 12 hours.