Disclaimer and Privacy Policy

Disclaimer and Terms and Conditions for SMS service

  • The Short Messaging Service (‘SMS’) provided to Visa & Permit Applicants is to update on current status to the applicant with regards to Visa Application Process. The information provided by SMS is based on the information provided by Department of Home Affairs in South Africa. While VFS ensures that information is made available to the Visa & Permit Applicant promptly and accurately, the Applicant shall at all times be responsible for providing and maintaining an SMS text compatible mobile phone number where VFS can send text messages regarding the status of the Visa & Permit Application to the Visa & Permit Applicant. The Visa & Permit Applicant is responsible for ensuring connection to a mobile network capable of receiving the SMS Services. The Visa & Permit Applicant understands that if The Visa & Permit Applicant ‘s mobile phone is switched off, disconnected for any reasons or is out of coverage for a period of 24 hours or more, The Visa & Permit Applicant’s mobile network provider may delete any SMS messages to be received by the Applicant.
  • The time to deliver the SMS is dependent on several factors such as upon the traffic on the mobile network and whether The Visa & Permit Applicant mobile phone is within reach and switched on and cannot therefore be guaranteed by VFS. VFS is not a mobile network operator and does not guarantee the delivery of SMS text messages.
  • The Visa & Permit Applicant confirms that the Visa & Permit Applicant has provided the accurate mobile number for receiving SMS and that the Visa & Permit Applicant is the owner or its legitimate user, or that the Visa & Permit Applicant has the consent of the owner or legitimate user, of the mobile phone using for the Services. The Visa & Permit Applicant acknowledges that using another person's mobile phone/providing inaccurate mobile phone number/unauthorized use of mobile phone number for receiving the SMS may entail disclosure of Visa & Permit Applicant ‘s confidential information which disclosure shall be at the sole risk of the Visa & Permit Applicant
  • The Services, once purchased, will be available to the Visa & Permit Applicant from the time of application till complete processing of the application or such other period as VFS may advise via our website located at www.vfsglobal.com/dha/southafrica. VFS reserves the right to withdraw this service at any time and without notice.
  • The Visa & Permit Applicant must not use (or permit any third party to use) the SMS Service to send any message or communication which is Spam, illegal, offensive, abusive, indecent, obscene or menacing or causes annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety or infringes the rights of third parties. VFS reserves the right to withdraw the SMS service to such Visa & Permit Applicant if The Visa & Permit Applicant is in breach of this paragraph 4. VFS may also withdraw the Services if VFS in its sole discretion apprehends that the SMS service is being used for such purposes.
  • For operational reasons VFS may vary the technical specification of the Services with or with-out notice. In the event of any change to the Service these Terms and Conditions is to be treated as varied accordingly.
  • The Visa & Permit Applicant acknowledges that the SMS Services may, at any time, be adversely affected by problems with The Visa & Permit Applicant mobile phone network, force majeure events including, without limitation, interference to the network coverage. VFS is not responsible or liable to The Visa & Permit Applicant for any loss, damage or expenses incurred directly or indirectly by The Visa & Permit Applicant as a result of any difficulties experienced by the Visa & Permit Applicant‘s mobile phone service provider. Subject to the constraints described within this paragraph 7, VFS shall carry out the services with reasonable care and skill
  • If The Visa & Permit Applicant does not receive SMS relating to these Services. the Visa & Permit Applicant should inform VFS through email or Helpline numbers.
  • The SMS service delivers the Visa Application Status based on the information received by VFS from Department of Home Affairs.
  • To use the Services, The Visa & Permit Applicant should refer to the instructions available on www.vfsglobal.com/dha/southafrica website. The Visa & Permit Applicant agrees to comply with all instructions we may give concerning the Services, including any security instructions. We will be entitled to treat any failure by Visa & Permit Applicant themselves to comply with these instructions as a breach of these Terms and Conditions, which will entitle us to deny Visa & Permit Applicant access to the Services.
  • The Visa & Permit Applicant is responsible for paying charges for the message origination. Charges once paid for SMS service will not be refunded under any circumstances.
  • The Visa & Permit Applicant shall at its sole risk be responsible for taking all reasonable steps to prevent unauthorized persons gaining access to the Services.
  • While VFS takes every precaution transmission of information to transmit information. VFS shall not be responsible or liable for any unforeseen events and circumstances beyond the reasonable control of VFS.
  • VFS may in its sole discretion temporarily suspend the provision of the Services if such provision could materially affect the quality of any telecommunications service, including the Services, provided by VFS.
  • VFS specifically excludes all liability of any kind (including negligence) in respect of any third party information or other material made available on, or which can be accessed using SMS text services.
  • This Terms and Conditions is governed by the law of South Africa and both parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts in South Africa.

Data Protection Notice

Collection of data

The privacy and protection of personal data is very important to VFS, including all its other brands and affiliates (hereinafter). VFS complies with any mandatory data protection legislation when collecting and processing personal data. Whenever you are in the process of applying for SMS Service through a visa application centre we may collect and store (subject to Embassy guidelines), as the case may be, the following information: Your Full Name, Your Mobile Number & Email id, Your Language Preference of SMS, and the country for which you have applied for a VISA for the purposes of processing your visa application.

Disclosure to third parties

In accordance with all mandatory data protection legislation your data may be disclosed to third parties processing data on behalf of VFS. In this context your data may also be transferred abroad. Your data may be disclosed within VFS to other than the collecting entity. Data may be used by these other VFS entities to the same extent as the collecting VFS entity is entitled to use it. Your data is treated as confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties, save for the purpose of VFS fulfilling its contractual obligations vis-à-vis you, or if required under mandatory law, particularly if requested by the competent authorities or for the purpose of enforcing VFS’s rights.

Use of data

Collected data will be processed in good faith and will be used in order to transmit your Visa Application status via SMS & Email. We do not intend to use your information for any other purpose, except that if you have given consent, we may use your information for the purposes of sending you related marketing information (such as airline advertisements), which is normally included by us when we return your passport to you and/or sent to you by e-mail if you have given us an e-mail address for that purpose. You can always refuse to receive such offers and information for which you may please contact +27124253000. Your information is held by us in the computer server(s) located in UK, London and India, Mumbai. It will also be accessed and held by our affiliates currently based in India

Preface

VFS Global shall not transfer any personal information of any Applicant to any party, other than the relevant Diplomatic Mission/Government and/or Visa Office in respect of which the Applicant consents by virtue of their submission of their Application to VFS Global, which transfer of personal information is necessary in terms of the scope of VFS Global’s services.

The Applicant is specifically advised that all said personal information transferred to any such Diplomatic Mission/Government and/or Visa Office will then be subject to the relevant privacy laws of said country, which lies outside of the control of VFS Global.

The Applicant is further advised to read the Privacy Policy as set out below before providing any personal information to VFS Global.

Privacy Policy

SCOPE

VFS GLOBAL (hereinafter referred to as “VFS GLOBAL”) is an outsourced partner of various Diplomatic Missions across the globe, and is authorized to receive applications for various categories of visa, permit and travel document and perform administrative and non-judgmental tasks/functions related to the same, as per the mandate of the concerned Diplomatic Missions.

By virtue of processing these applications, VFS GLOBAL acts as a data processor and the respective Diplomatic Mission/s are the data controller. This Privacy Policy describes how VFS GLOBAL collects, uses, discloses, transfers and manages personal information related to individuals (hereinafter referred to as the “Applicant”) applying for visas and permits, and makes available to the relevant authorities for the purpose detailed below.

PURPOSE OF COLLECTION, USE, DISCLOSURE, TRANSFER ETC. OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

Applicants may be required to provide certain information pertaining to them, such as name, photograph, address, date of birth, telephone number, passport information, birth certificate, income, citizenship status, marital status, employment details, criminal and educational background information etc. This information is collected as per the requirement mandated by the concerned Diplomatic Missions / Governments and/ or Visa Offices.

Such personal information may be collected, used or disclosed in order to facilitate the processing of visa application(s) and/or request(s) including but not limited to for the following purposes:

  • Process applications received for requests for various categories of visa, permit and travel documents etc. and perform various tasks/functions related thereto;
  • Respond to various inquiries on the visa application submission process in general.
  • Respond to various inquiries regarding status of application made with VFS GLOBAL;
  • Provide/offer any other services as per requirements of the respective Governments/Diplomatic Missions.

All such personal information shall be held by VFS Global with the express knowledge and authorization of the Applicant, and shall be treated as confidential, and shall only be transferred to the relevant Diplomatic Missions/Governments and/or Visa Offices for the purpose as disclosed herein.

All such personal information which is transferred to the relevant Diplomatic Missions/Governments and/or Visa Offices for the purpose as disclosed herein, shall be subject to the protections afforded to such information by that specific Country.

Provision of personal information is voluntary. Please note, however, that a refusal to provide personal information may limit or affect ability of VFS GLOBAL to provide the requested services.

As mandated by the respective Diplomatic Mission, VFS GLOBAL may (by itself or through the offices of third party service providers/vendors) provide various facilities for inquiries by the Applicant related to the visa application process in general and/or the status of visa applications submitted through VFS GLOBAL such as call center, online tracking, e-mail etc, which shall include but is not limited to:

  • Inquiry about general visa application process:

    Applicant making inquiries as regards visa application process in general, need not provide any personal information.

  • Inquiry about status of submitted visa applications:

    Applicant making inquiries as regards status of visa application submitted through VFS GLOBAL can quote application reference number to receive an update on the status of their visa, permit or travel document applications.

    The Applicant may be requested to provide personal information such as given name or family name or date of birth or phone number or street address or email address or application date etc. or combination of such information for verification/ authentication purposes.

  • Applicant making inquiries as regards visa application process however should not ask for or reveal the passport number or personal information while interacting via email with VFS GLOBAL and/or its third party service providers/ vendors. Instead, use of application reference number is recommended. VFS GLOBAL shall not be obliged to respond to e-mails containing personal information. In case any personal information is disclosed, the same shall be at the sole risk of the Applicant, and VFS GLOBAL shall not be in any manner responsible for any events of misuse of any such information so disclosed by the Applicant etc.
  • For quality control purposes, all interaction with the Applicant may be recorded. In such cases, the Applicant will be informed of this practice and purpose at the start of any such interaction. Unless a different requirement is mandated by the respective Diplomatic Mission, such recordings will be purged after a period of 30 days from the date of such interaction.

    Applicant may request VFS Global to correct or delete any personal information submitted to VFS Global, and any such request shall be recorded and actioned in accordance with the prescribed procedures of the relevant Diplomatic Missions/Governments and/ or Visa Offices.

INTERVIEW SCHEDULING:

Certain Diplomatic Missions may require the Applicant to attend a personal interview. The Applicant will be required to provide their application reference number and/or certain personal information such as family name, given name, date of birth, phone number, street address, email address, application date, and passport number for purpose of scheduling the interview.

All such information, posted, furnished and submitted by the Applicant while scheduling an interview appointment is converted into such formats as may be required and communicated to the respective Diplomatic Mission having jurisdiction to receive such applications.

Certain data and information related to visa applications received by VFS GLOBAL is presently stored/hosted at data centres in the United Kingdom (London) and India (Mumbai). The data captured by VFS Global in its systems for processing of visa applications of applicants from European Union is stored within the European Union (EU) boundary. The data of applicants other than that from EU may be stored in VFS Global systems either within the EU boundary at data center in United Kingdom (London) or at data center in India (Mumbai).

This information may be used and/or disclosed by VFS GLOBAL in performing its various obligations towards respective Diplomatic Missions and will be purged within 30 (thirty) days from the date of receipt by VFS GLOBAL. No information/data containing Personal Information of the Applicant is stored at the data centres mentioned above beyond this 30 (thirty) day period.

DISCLOSURES OF PERSONAL INFORMATION:

VFS GLOBAL will not trade, rent or sell personal information of the Applicant.

VFS GLOBAL does not disclose or otherwise transfer personal information of the Applicant, except as otherwise set out herein. Personal information will be used only for the purposes of providing services and performing its various obligations.

However VFS GLOBAL may need to disclose and share personal information when it is necessary to comply with a court order, any on-going judicial proceeding, or other legal, statutory or regulatory process served on VFS GLOBAL or to exercise the legal rights or defend against legal claims, criminal investigations, judicial matters or in prevention, investigation, detection, prosecution of criminal activities or matters related to national security.

SERVICE PROVIDER ARRANGEMENTS:

VFS GLOBAL may disclose (or otherwise make available) personal information to third party service providers providing services like courier delivery, SMS, call center services. These third party service providers are provided with only the relevant information they require in order to perform their designated functions and are not authorized to use or disclose personal information for their own purposes. For example, where the Applicant has opted for courier service, VFS GLOBAL will disclose certain personal data such as name, address, phone number to the third party courier service providers. However personal information will not be shared with service providers for SMS services. Such third party service providers are also required to adhere to security & privacy requirements as outlined by VFS GLOBAL.

COOKIES:

Cookies are files or pieces of information that may be stored on system or internet enabled devices of the Applicant, when the Applicant visits the website/s of VFS GLOBAL. VFS GLOBAL uses cookies to make the website/s simpler to use. VFS GLOBAL cannot identify the Applicant personally from this information.

  • The VFS GLOBAL website offers certain features that are only available through the use of cookies.
  • The cookies help the Applicant maintain their signed-in status on the VFS GLOBA’s website.
  • Most cookies are "session cookies," meaning that they are automatically deleted from website Applicant hard drive at the end of a session when the Applicant exits the website. However “Persistent cookies” remain in place across multiple visits to our websites.
  • Applicant may encounter cookies from any links of third parties on certain pages of the website that VFS GLOBAL does not control.

    Once an Applicant accesses the website of VFS GLOBAL, the Applicant consents to the use of cookies by VFS GLOBAL. If the Applicant does not agree to use of cookies, the Applicant should not use the website/s of VFS GLOBAL. If the cookies are disabled, it may impact the Applicant’s experience on the website/s of VFS GLOBAL.

SPAM:

  • VFS GLOBAL does not tolerate spam.
  • VFS GLOBAL website/s or communication tools shall not be used to send spam or otherwise send content that would violate the terms and conditions of VFS GLOBAL Applicant agreement.
  • VFS GLOBAL filters and automatically scans messages for viruses and other illegal or prohibited content before they are sent.
  • To report any issues related to spam or spoof emails to VFS GLOBAL, please address e-mails to communications@vfsglobal.com.
  • VFS GLOBAL does not permanently store email messages sent to or by it through various formats. VFS GLOBAL does not rent or sell any email addresses to third parties.
  • Applicants are not licensed, permitted, expected to add, modify, deface, hack, misuse or abuse VFS GLOBAL’ website or the contents therein.

SECURITY:

VFS GLOBAL has implemented all reasonable measures designed to help protect personal information in its custody and control. These include measures to identify all reasonably forseeable internal and/or external risks, and the implementation of appropriate safeguards against such identified risks, which are regularly verified and updated in response to any new risks or deficiencies.

VFS GLOBAL maintains reasonable administrative, technical, physical and organizational safeguards in an effort to protect personal information in its custody and control.

However VFS GLOBAL shall not be liable for unlawful access, use, modification, destruction, destruction or interceptions by unauthorized persons.

NOTIFICATION OF SECURITY COMPROMISES:

Where there is any breach of VSF Global’s safeguards to protect the personal information of any Applicant, such Applicant shall be immediately notified thereof, where appropriate, in order to allow the Applicant to take any precautionary measures to protect against the potential consequences of any such security compromise.

RETENTION & DESTRUCTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION:

Application packages collected from Applicants will not be copied or retained by VFS GLOBAL. Unless otherwise mandated by the concerned Diplomatic Mission, any other paper, hard copies, forms or other records containing personal information will be destroyed by a secure shredding process within thirty (30) days of a passport’s return to an applicant.

For the purposes of assisting the Applicant should they contact VFS GLOBAL with follow-up queries, the Applicant’s personal information may be retained in electronic form, after the passport and/or documents have been returned to the Applicants, for a maximum period of thirty (30) days or for such period as specified by the respective Governments/ Diplomatic Missions.

VFS GLOBAL performs secure disposal or destruction of personal information on the equipment or devices used for storing personal information. When disposing of equipment or devices used for storing personal information (such as filing cabinets, computers, diskettes, and audio tapes), VFS GLOBAL takes appropriate measures such as to removal or deletion of any stored information to prevent access by unauthorized parties.

LEGAL:

VFS GLOBAL and its third party service providers/ vendors may provide personal information in response to a search warrant or other legally valid inquiry pursuant to contravention of law/order or to an investigative body or as otherwise required or permitted by applicable law VFS GLOBAL may also disclose personal information where necessary for the establishment, exercise or a defense of legal claims, or as otherwise permitted by law.

THIRD PARTY LINKS:

VFS GLOBAL website may contain links to other/ third party sites promoting various products and/or services that VFS GLOBAL does not own or operate. These links to websites are in the nature of paid advertising, and are not verified by VFS GLOBAL. These links are provided for convenient access to these links, which is voluntary and does not indicate that VFS GLOBAL endorses or is associated with any of these other third party websites. Applicants are requested to use their own discretion when dealing with these websites and neither VFS GLOBAL nor its officers, employees, agents shall have any responsibility or liability of any nature whatsoever for these other third party websites or any information contained in them.

These linked websites have their own separate and independent privacy statements, notices and terms of use, which Applicants are recommended to carefully review. VFS GLOBAL does not have any control over such third party websites, and therefore shall have no liability or responsibility their personal information practices.

TO PERSONAL INFORMATION:

Please note that disclosure of personal information is voluntary. The Applicants disclosing personal information shall be deemed to have read and understood this Privacy Policy, and consents to the use and disclosure of the personal information as provided in terms of this Privacy Policy. The Applicant has the right to withdraw their consent prior to further disclosure of the personal information by VFS GLOBAL to the Diplomatic Missions / Governments and/ or relevant Visa Offices or other third parties.

Applicant has the right to their personal information provided by them. The Applicant may request access to their personal information by writing an email to the email address provided on the “Contact Us” page, with the subject line “Subject Access Request”. This request will be forwarded to the respective Governments/ Diplomatic Missions since they are the data controllers and further action will be taken by VFS GLOBAL based on the directions received by the respective Governments/ Diplomatic Missions.

VFS GLOBAL shall not be responsible to ascertain authenticity or accuracy of the information provided by the Applicant. It shall be the duty of the Applicant to ensure that the information provided to VFS GLOBAL is accurate, complete and upto date.

CHANGES TO THIS PRIVACY POLICY:

Please be advised that the Privacy Policy may be updated from time to time and the Applicant is advised to regularly visit VFS GLOBAL website to access the latest policy statement.

CONTACT US:

For any questions about this Privacy Policy or the practices described herein, please write to vfsprivacy@vfsglobal.com for more information.

INQUIRIES:

For inquiries as regards Privacy Policy please send e-mail to vfsglobalprivacyofficer@vfsglobal.com

Beware of fraudulent job offers

Fraudulent Recruitment / Employment Offers

It has come to VFS Global’s attention that, individuals misrepresenting themselves as VFS Global’ agents or representatives have approached people to offer fraudulent/fictitious employment opportunities, with the intent to steal personal information or solicit money from people. We encourage you to exercise caution and common sense when receiving any such employment offer, which requires payment of any fees/money, or promises a work visa in exchange for money. The said offers are completely fake and not valid. VFS Global is not a Recruitment agency and does not offer recruitment services. Scammers operate primarily via the internet, email, phone etc. We warn people to beware of such scams.

Please be advised that, VFS Global is a visa processing company and we work only with government and diplomatic missions to fulfil their administrative requirements of visa application processing. Neither VFS Global nor its representatives will ask for money from individuals under any circumstances to lure them with employment opportunities either in VFS Global or outside. If you receive any offer that purports to be from VFS Global, which ask for money, these types of offers are fraudulent.

Warning signs of recruitment fraud

The following are some examples of recruitment fraud which are in violation of VFS Global’s processes and ethical practices:

  • The email is not sent from an official VFS Global e-mail address but from a free e-mail service such as: Hotmail, Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc. It is also possible that, the email is sent from a fake email address.
  • You are asked to disclose private or confidential information.
  • You are asked to be interviewed over the phone or via an instant-messenger type program.
  • You are requested to pay fees/money.
  • You are requested to complete bogus recruitment documentations such as an application or employment visa forms, (the VFS Global name and logo could be forged/fabricated and featured on the documentation without authority).
  • Insistence on urgency.
  • Money will be requested for processing Work Permits, Visa applications or the like.

Such actions are presumably intended to defraud or obtain personal information from the victims.

The activities of these individuals involve criminal and civil liabilities. While VFS Global takes such matter seriously and reserves its right to contact competent law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute such illegal activities, it is often difficult to locate and prosecute these individuals.

Therefore, if you receive a request, either in writing or verbally, for an interview or a job offer that you believe is or might be fraudulent or suspicious, please disregard them. You may also verify the same with VFS Global at communications@vfsglobal.com

If you come to know that a fraud is being perpetrated, we encourage to forthwith contact your local police and/or any competent authorities and also to keep us informed by reporting the fraud at acco@vfsglobal.com

Under no circumstances will VFS Global be liable or responsible for any loss, damages, expenses or inconvenience resulting from these unauthorized persons and/or activities.