Disclaimer and Privacy Policy

Disclaimer

VFS Visa Processing South Africa Pty. Ltd (hereinafter referred to as "VFS") is an outsource partner of the Consulate General of Portugal in South Africa. In this capacity, VFS receives supporting documents and applicable fees for visa processing; from visa applicants applying for a visa to enter Portugal. After visa applications are assessed by the Consulate General of Portugal in South Africa, VFS facilitates the return of supporting documents to visa applicants, except where the Consulate General of Portugal decides to return supporting documents directly to an applicant.

  • VFS does hereby declare that it has no role in the assessment of a visa application, which is the sole prerogative of the Consulate General of Portugal. VFS will not be liable or responsible for any delay in the processing or rejection of any visa applications, once the documents have been delivered to the Consulate General of Portugal.
  • VFS takes every precaution in handling passports and documents submitted by applicants. The handling of passports and documents are also subject to unforeseen events and circumstances outside VFS' control and cannot be attributable to any act or failure to take preventive action by VFS. Such events and circumstances will not include any industrial action occurring within VFS or any of its sub-contractors.
  • VFS offers a courier return service, for returning processed applications to visa applicants upon request and for a prescribed fee. Visa applicants who choose to use the service agree and accept that the courier acceptance and delivery service (in which documents are returned to the applicants by VFS) is operated by a third-party and is not within the control of VFS. VFS does not control or operate any courier company and disclaims all liability towards any loss or damage caused to the applicant in the event that the applicant's documents are delayed, misplaced, lost or damaged by the courier company: or if such delay, misplacement, loss or damage arises from negligence, accident or any other cause.

  • It is further clarified that in no event shall VFS or its representatives be liable for any direct, indirect, punitive, incidental, special, consequential damages or any damages due to such delay, misplacement, loss or damage of the documents, including the applicant's passport. Without prejudice to the aforesaid, VFS's and its representatives sole and exclusive liability in case of all or any loss or damage in transit of a passport only is limited to the reimbursement of the amount of fees charged by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa: for the replacement of a lost or damaged passport through normal application procedures.
  • Such reimbursement of the fee amount will be made by VFS to the applicant only on the presentation by the applicant of the payment receipt issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa. The applicant agrees that the foregoing limitation of liability is an agreed allocation of risk between the parties and this limitation of liability is and shall be an integral part of this disclaimer.
  • VFS will not be responsible or liable for any consequential loss or damage that may be caused to the applicant due to loss of passport and related documents. It is understood that when the applicant or representative of the applicant submits the passport and related documents along with the applicable visa fees; the applicant has understood the terms and conditions and details as mentioned herein. The fees once paid by the applicant are not refundable under any circumstances.
  • No employee of VFS has any right or authority to change, amend or amplify the contents mentioned herein.
  • Dispute of any nature, the jurisdiction will be in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Data Protection Notice

  • Collection of data

    The privacy and protection of personal data is very important to VFS Visa processing SA Pty Ltd, including all its other brands and affiliates (hereinafter 'VFS'). VFS complies with any mandatory data protection legislation when collecting and processing personal data. 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. Any transfers of your personal data to foreign locations are made in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
  • 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' rights.
  • Use of data

    Collected data will be processed in good faith. 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 or sent to you by email if you have given us an email address for that purpose. You can always refuse to receive such offers and information for which you may please contact us by email at info.grza@vfshelpline.com

Security Terms and Conditions

VFS reserves the right to request any person who, in the sole opinion of VFS, does not conduct himself or herself in a proper and/or reasonable manner to leave the premises of VFS immediately. The following conduct will be declared unsatisfactory to VFS which includes but is not limited to: refusing to adhere to any reasonable instructions by VFS, refusing to allow a security guard to conduct a body search in compliance with any law, if requested to do so, using abusive or foul language, and/or refusing to adhere to any notices put up by VFS.

No weapons policy:

  • It is the aim of VFS to create a safe environment at their premises for their employees, clients and any person who is lawfully entitled to enter our premises;
  • No person, including any person who owns a lawful license, may be permitted to enter the premises of VFS who knowingly possesses, has under the person's control, or conveys a firearm or other dangerous weapon howsoever arising;
  • Carrying a firearm onto the premises of VFS shall be in violation of our policy and shall be considered to be an act of criminal trespass and will be grounds for immediate removal by VFS and may furthermore result in prosecution;
  • This policy applies to all of VFS's directors, their employees, contractors and temporary employees, clients and any other person that enters into the premises of VFS, regardless of whether they are licensed to carry a firearm. The only exceptions to this policy visiting VFS premises on official duty and not as applicants or prospective applicants.
  • VFS reserves the right to conduct a search on any person, vehicle or object that enters the premises of VFS;
  • This policy shall not be construed as to create any duty or obligation on the part of VFS to take any actions beyond those required by VFS in accordance with their rights in law;
  • Failure to abide by the terms and conditions of this weapons policy may result in a person being requested to leave the premises of VFS immediately or any other rights that VFS shall be entitled to in law.

PRIVACY POLICY

Scope

VFS GLOBAL (hereinafter referred to as ‘VFS GLOBAL’) is an outsourced partner of Diplomatic Missions across 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 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 and manages personal information related to individuals (hereinafter referred to as “Applicant/s”) applying for visas and permits, and makes available to relevant authorities for the purpose detailed below.

Purpose of collection, use, disclosure 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 relevant 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.

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 Diplomatic Mission/s, VFS GLOBAL may (by itself of through third party service providers/ vendors) provide various facilities for inquiries related visa application process in general and/ or status of visa applications submitted through VFS GLOBAL such as call center, online tracking, e-mail etc.

  • Inquiry about general visa application process:
    Users making inquiries as regards visa application process in general, need not provide any personal information.

  • Inquiry about status of submitted visa application/s:
    Users 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 users 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.
  • Users making inquiries as regards visa application process however should not ask 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 Users/ applicants and VFS GLOBAL will not be in any manner responsible for any events of misuse etc.

For the quality control purposes the interaction/s with user/s may be recorded. In such cases the user/s 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/s, such recordings will be purged after a period of 30 days from the date of such interaction/s.

Interview Scheduling:

Certain Diplomatic Missions may require the Applicant’s to attend for personal interview. Applicants 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 interviews.
All such information, posted, furnished and submitted by the Applicants 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 application/s.

Certain data and information related to visa applications received by VFS GLOBAL is presently stored/ hosted at data centre/s in UK (London) and Bangalore (India). 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 UK (London).
This information may be used, disclosed by VFS GLOBAL for performing its various obligations towards respective Diplomatic Missions and will be purged within 30 (thirty) days from the date of receipt by VFS GLOBAL. However no information/ data containing Personal Information of the Applicant/s is stored at the data centre/s mentioned above.

Disclosures of Personal Information:

VFS GLOBAL will not trade, rent or sell personal information of the Applicants. VFS GLOBAL does disclose or otherwise transfer Personal Information of the Applicants, 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 such information they need to perform their designated functions and are not authorized to use or disclose personal information for their own purposes. For example, where the visa 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 provider/s for SMS service/s.  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 User, when the User visits the website/s of VFS GLOBAL. VFS GLOBAL uses cookies to make the website/s simpler to use. VFS GLOBAL cannot identify the User personally from this information.

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

Once a User accesses the website/s of VFS GLOBAL, User consents to use of cookies by VFS GLOBAL. If User does not agree to use of cookies, User should not use website/s of VFS GLOBAL. If the cookies are disabled, it may impact the User experience on 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 user 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.
  • A user/users is/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 measures designed to help protect personal information in its custody and control. 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.

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 Applicants should they contact VFS GLOBAL with follow-up queries, Applicant personal information may be retained in electronic form, after passport and/or documents have been returned to the Applicants, for a maximum 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 nature of paid advertising are not verified by VFS GLOBAL. These links are provided for convenience access to these links is voluntary and does not indicate that VFS GLOBAL endorses or is associated with any of these other third party websites. Users are requested to use their own discretion which 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 Users are recommended to carefully review the same. 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 / Users disclosing personal information shall be deemed to have read and understood this Privacy Policy and consents to use and disclosure of the personal information as provided in this Privacy Policy. The Applicants / Users have 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/s have right to their personal information provided by them. Users may request access to their  personal information by writing an email to the Info email ID mentioned on the “Contact Us” page with subject line as “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 Users/ Applicants 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 vfsglobal privacyofficer@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.