Monday, May 22, 2017

Understanding the biometric enrollment process

Image result for biometric enrollment
Image source:

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports that in 2016, 3.7 billion passengers flew to various destinations, a 6.7 percent hike in international air traffic from 2015 figures. But these international passengers, whether first-time travelers or seasoned globetrotters, would not be reaching their destination if they did not have the necessary travel documents.

It is, thus, important that for those who dream of seeing the world to fully understand what they need to accomplish before booking their flights and accommodations. For new travelers, a passport, an official document issued by a government bearing the holder’s identification and citizenship and right to travel to and from foreign countries, is essential. And for some countries, a visa or an endorsement that the passport holder can stay in the territory for a particular period is also required.

Image result for biometric enrollment
Image source:

Apart from the usual documents that need to be submitted when applying for a passport or visa, almost all countries these days require applicants to enroll their biometric data. After the 9/11 attacks, governments saw the need to improve security policies, particularly those that concern international travel, to prevent similar disastrous incidents. Since then, countries started improving their passport and visa application processes, with biometrics at the forefront of their revamped initiatives.

Briefly defined, biometric identifiers are distinctive, measurable characteristics that identify an individual. These physiological characteristics include but are not limited to face recognition, fingerprint, DNA, palm print, and iris recognition.

For passport and visa applications, biometric enrollment calls for the collection of a digital photograph and electronic fingerprints. When collecting biometric data, government institutions, including diplomatic missions and their outsourced service providers, must follow the international standards for capturing and storing of information. As biometric enrollment is a mandatory requirement in passport and visa processing in most countries, applicants who refuse to provide their data will have their application denied.

Visit this website to learn more about biometric enrollment service CKGS provides to the diplomatic missions it serves worldwide.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

To-do list for first-time travelers to Japan

geisha geiko maiko kyoto japan
Image source:
It is not surprising that Japan is one of the dream holiday destinations of many. The Asian country’s allure is its uniqueness; Japan showcases the perfect fusion of ancient traditions and modern life. And this juxtaposition is seen all over the country – from its food (traditional vs. fusion) to its popular landmarks (ancient temples and shrines vs. museums and city towers) to the way its citizens dress up (kimono vs. Harajuku street fashion). Indeed, there is always something new to discover and experience in Japan.

If you plan to travel to Japan soon and you are a first-time visitor, here are some tips to help you plan your trip to the Land of the Rising Sun:

1. Fix your itinerary. There are many beautiful places to visit in Japan. First-time travelers can easily get overwhelmed by the country’s beauty. But before booking your flights and accommodations, it is essential to plan your journey. Although you can always come back to Japan (and many do return), it is best to maximize your stay and see and experience the best the country has to offer the first time around. Among the must-visit cities for first-time travelers are Tokyo (Meiji Shrine, Imperial Palace, Roppongi), Kyoto (Fushimi-Inari-Taisha, Kyoto International Manga Museum, Gion), and Osaka (Osaka Castle, Shitennoji Temple, Umeda Sky Building).

Image result for traveling to japan
Image source:

2. Embrace technology. You need a little help from today’s gizmos and gadgets to make your visit to Japan a breeze. For instance, renting a wireless router (or pocket wi-fi as it is called in Asia) helps you stay online and enables you to make calls via online phone services, download apps such as Google Translate, Tokyo Metro app, and Hyperdia, or do a quick search anytime, anywhere.

3. Secure your visa. Nationals from countries like China, the Philippines, and India would need a visa to enter Japan. It is important for travelers from these countries to ensure that they have all the necessary documents needed when they submit their visa application. Processing of application and release of passport (if approved) may take time, so it is important to take note of this when planning your trip. 

Japan visa applicants residing in territories within the jurisdiction of the Embassy of Japan, New Delhi can submit their documents to the closest CKGS Japan Visa Information & Application Center. For more information, click here.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Say cheese: Tips on taking the best biometric passport photo

Image result for taking the best biometric passport photo
Image source:

Biometric passports rely on information unique to the person. This includes not only fingerprints and iris scans but also facial features. The passport holder’s facial features would be measured against that of the photograph used in the passport to confirm their identity.

Because of the sensitivity of the software used, passport photographs must be accomplished a certain way to ensure that the correct facial features are captured. Any defects in the photographs themselves, such as distortion, can become a significant cause for delay in processing a new passport.

Image result for biometric passport photo
Image source:
Thus, guidelines exist in countries that use facial recognition biometrics to ensure that the photographs taken of each passport holders portray the face correctly. Some countries, like the United Kingdom, provide a template for photographers as a guideline to take pictures ideal for biometrics. Often, these photos should be well-lit to prevent shadow distortion and on white backgrounds to maximize the contrast of the face.

Although it is sometimes possible for individuals to take their own passport photographs, it is generally recommended that they seek professional passport photo services.

And because facial recognition software cannot always account for changes caused by the movement of facial muscles, rules must be put in place to limit facial distortion through expressions. In the United States, this meant that facial expressions must be kept neutral in passport photographs. Smiles are discouraged, and only closed-jaw smiles are permitted.

Cox & Kings Global Services provides consular and diplomatic offices with a range of services covering all aspects of visas, passports, and consular application processing. Learn more about the company’s biometric services from this page.

Some tips on interacting with visa officers

Securing a visa is an activity that essentially requires an applicant to be at the top of their game. It is also a social interaction, one that will see an interesting exchange between two personas. This is a very human reality. Here are a few helpful tips on interacting with visa officers.

Image result for tips for visa interview
Image source:
1. Come earlier than schedule.

Of course, the real objective here is to be on time, but going earlier is a way to get around the unpredictable delays. This is a fair standard because tardiness can be grounds for visa disapproval.

2. Always be polite.

You simply cannot play the arrogance card here, and you would be wrong to act condescendingly. Diplomatic officers are educated people, and they are very likely smarter than you. Treat them accordingly.

3. Don’t make up stories.

Visa officers are very perceptive people. While they talk to you, their attention toward you is focused on a different number of areas on your person. These people are trained to read body language, and they can say whether or not you’re telling the truth.

4. Dress appropriately.

You can’t enter an embassy looking uncivilized. There is a certain message of respect that emanates from an applicant whenever they wear the right clothes as they speak with an officer in a formal venue. However, you can’t attend to your visa appointment in your prom clothes either. Be at the same level of fashion as the person you’ll be meeting.

Image result for got a visa
Image source:

Take your meeting seriously and act with your best manners. Visa officers are professional, and if you qualify, they would even be the ones to welcome you in warmly.

Cox and Kings Global Services is a specialist business process outsource agency that serves consular sections of diplomatic missions. For visa application advice, visit this website.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Connected: Tourists provided with free SIM card in India

For the longest time, foreign tourists have found it especially difficult to get an Indian phone number. The lengthy, bureaucratic process involves submitting various documents as proof of identity and address, a photocopy of the passport that contains an official visa stamp, a supply of passport photos, and the contact details of a local reference.

Image source:
Even after all the requirements have been provided, tourists would still have to wait a couple more days for the activation of the number.

This has provided a difficult time for foreigners. For instance, when the Indian government suddenly demonetized the high-value currency, tourists found themselves stranded with essentially no cash and limited means to communicate with people who could help them.

When Indian tourism minister Dr. Mahesh Sharma visited Sri Lanka one time, he was given a SIM card. He decided to adopt the measure in his home country to guarantee the safety of foreign tourists.

Image source:
Starting February 2017, upon arrival at airports, tourists will just need to show their passport and a copy of their e-visa to receive a pre-activated SIM card that is already loaded with 50 megabytes of data and 50 Indian rupees and will expire after one month. Through the SIM card, the user is also given access to a 24-hour government helpline that provides information in 12 different languages.

Cox & Kings Global Services is specialist business process outsource agency that provides consular sections of diplomatic missions with administrative support and management services for non-judgmental tasks related to the lifecycle of a visa, passport, and consular application process. Visit this website for more information about the company.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The astounding architectural heritage of India

The architectural wonders of India go beyond the Taj Mahal and date far back in history. In fact, many of today's modern structures may have taken inspiration from the great ruins and monuments some of which have existed since the 6th century B.C. This is a look at some of India's oldest but very influential structures from bygone eras.

Khajuraho temples. Considered one of the ingenious masterpieces of Indian Art, the Khajuraho temples were built during the Chandella Dynasty between 900 and 1130 A.D. It is believed to be inspired by the Tantric school of thought with the portrayal of the sensual and non-sensual union of male and female images. These simply assert that one cannot exist without the other.

Image source:
Sun Temple, Konark. A tribute to the Sun God, the Konark Temple is an exemplary work of art from the 13th century. The intricate mammoth sculptural work is built to resemble the god's chariot, which has 24 stone-carved wheels and is drawn by seven stone horses.

Image source:
Ajanta and Ellora caves. The caves are replete with stone-carved sculptures and paintings that feature Buddhist symbols and images. These were built by many Buddhist monks over a long period and may have begun in 200 B.C.

Cox & Kings Global Services is a BPO agency focused on the administration and management of tasks pertaining to visas, passports and consular applications. For more articles about tourism in India, follow this blog.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Places to visit and reasons to get that Indian visa now

Everyone knows about the Taj Mahal. It’s far and away the most popular tourist attraction in India. But what many people don’t know, however, is that India is filled with captivating places that visitors will never forget. Here are some of them.


The capital of Rajasthan is also called the Pink City. It’s famous as a tourist city and as an education hub. The history in Jaipur is deep, with dozens of forts and monuments that show remnants of the colorful and dramatic past of India. It also has a lot of magnificent hotels for tourists.


The beaches in Goa are nothing short of breathtaking. Nine out of 10 tourists who visit Goa do so for the beach experience. A lot of residents in Goa are foreigners who stayed because of the relaxing ambiance of the place. Life is easy here.

Image source:

What was once upon a time one of the most beautiful places on the planet has been tarnished by terrorism. Kashmir was aptly named “Heaven on Earth” because it was home to the Himalayan mountain ranges.


There are very few places in India that rival Kanyakumari when it comes to the horizon come dusk or dawn. The sunrise and sunset here are sublime since three bodies of water – the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal – frame Kanyakumari. This mystical place can even afford visitors the chance to see both the moon rise and the sunset at the same time – on different horizons!

Image source:

Cox and Kings Global Services is a BPO agency that provides administrative support for consular sections of diplomatic missions worldwide. It also aids in the acquisition of Indian visas for Americans. Learn more by subscribing to this Twitter page.