Visa and Passport Application Processing Services
VFS Global’s visa & passport application processing services is an end-to-end solution. This solution has evolved into a seamless process which includes information dissemination, automated application and appointment systems, helplines, collection and remittance of fees, biometric enrolment, and convenient value added services to enhance the applicant experience.
Over the years, our technology-driven innovative solutions have revolutionised the way visa & passport application services are managed since our inception in 2001.
Below is a detailed explanation of each of our service portfolio:
- Dissemination of information via printed matter, media, internet and call centre
- Distribution of application forms and printed material at designated Visa Application Centres, for a particular mission
- A dedicated website for each diplomatic mission; all relevant information can be accessed through the same, including downloading a blank visa application form
- Providing personalised guidance to applicants
- Responding to enquiries by telephone, postal mail and email
- Educating and advising travel agents, airlines and education agents
- Creating, maintaining and updating websites with visa information, thus enabling applications online and tracking the progress of applications
We design and host a dedicated website for representation of each client government. We register a domain name for operations. All relevant information and links are provided as per written scripts and directives approved by the diplomatic mission. These websites bring out the local aspects of application requirement and provide links to the diplomatic missions we serve in a specific region.
The website generally comprises the following:
- Information related to documentation requirements
- Contact details
- Hyperlinks to government and embassy websites
- Downloadable forms and checklists
- Online tracking module
- Payment facilities and modes
- Other related information
Scrutiny and Acceptance of Documents
- Accept applications across the counter, after reviewing them for completeness and validity, based on checklists supplied by the diplomatic missions
- Checklists to be signed by applicant and staff before acceptance
- Accept passports and supporting documents after required pre-scrutiny
- Counsel applicants whose applications are invalid for any reason and require further documentation
- As a policy, VFS Global would never reject an application from an applicant who insists on proceeding despite being forewarned that the application is invalid; in such a situation, VFS Global would annotate the checklist with a remark that the applicant has elected to proceed despite being made aware that his application is invalid as per the checklist
- Adherence to a checklist
- Neutral acceptance of application
- No refusal of application
Telephone and email Help Lines
- Currently support application information services for customers in 54 countries
- Help desk service handles large call volumes and emails in multiple languages
- Call centre: Uniform service levels, product offering, and operation windows across all areas
- Email services: Standardised email responses
- Customised multilingual offerings
Collection and Remittance of Fees
- All relevant payment related information updated on website
- Partner with trusted banking partners
- Unique payment confirmation to avoid fraud
- Ability to have real-time database updates on fee collection
- Multiple modes of fee collection, online, banking instruments, EFT, cash, cards, etc.
- Demonstrated ability to collect fees in 54 countries
- Have partnered with local banks in each country, to successfully transfer fees within 24 hours
- Widely accepted modes of payments are implemented as solutions, in each region
Biometrics Enrolment: Fixed and mobile solutions to suit your business
VFS Global has considerable experience of delivering turnkey biometric solutions, for a number of its clients worldwide.
We offer both fixed and mobile solutions in a variety of operational settings, all of which achieve compliance with relevant international standards. Biometric data is captured by our trained staff, encrypted and sent securely to our clients for their due consideration as part of the end-to-end application process.
We have selected our front-line biometric kit partners with the objective of ensuring a high standard of maintenance capability, maximum operational efficiency and value for money. So far, we have completed 17 million biometric enrolments.
Our Biometrics Enrolment solutions offer:
- Finger, facial, dual iris and signature capture
- Mobile capability deployed to suit operational requirements
- Compliance to all relevant international standards
- End-to-end biometric solutions and systems integration
- Easy accessibility of enrolment centres
- Solutions integrating technology, people and processes
- Identity checking and authentication capabilities
- It is a standard operating procedure for us to batch applications as per the guidelines of our client governments. All submissions are monitored carefully to ensure consistency in meeting timelines.
- As a policy, all staff members are trained to multitask. This enables us to periodically rotate the staff amongst various functions. Such rotation ensures that no employee develops a vested interest in any position.
- All transactions are carried out by a minimum of two persons, with an electronic/paper trail of input, handover and takeover. This ensures that there can be no fraudulent insertion or removal of papers, nor any data capture with intent of fraud.
- Physical and electronic entries of applications for each day are verified to ensure 100% reconciliation of funds and applications.
VFS Global has extensive experience in capturing text and photo-image data, for uploading into the systems of diplomatic missions. The data is uploaded via online file transfer, creation of data barcodes for subsequent scanning, or via floppy diskette/CD-ROM.
Submission to the Mission
VFS Global synchronises the submission of applications with the consular section to facilitate the process of scrutiny. All applications are sorted and indexed by prescribed criteria such as visa category, priority case, previous refusal, etc. They are then submitted in consolidated lots, at appointed times.
Having successfully scheduled over five million appointments for 12 diplomatic missions in 14 countries, since 2005, VFS Global offers the following services pertaining to Appointment Scheduling:
- Consular administration module
- Applicant interface view
- Single database for each country appointment system
- Mechanism to schedule emergency appointment slots
- One-to-one match of applicant to appointment
- Provide consular reports on appointments and other Management Information System (MIS) data
- Proven ability to prevent group appointments
- Visa shopping successfully disallowed
Applicants called for an interview can schedule an appointment, either by calling our call centre or by sending us an email request.
VFS Global has a proprietary ‘Appointment Scheduling System’ that can be programmed to create slot capacity by parameters of date, time-range and visa type. Our system can even allocate a queue number at the time of making an appointment. It gives complete flexibility to the visa section. The system controls duplicate appointments, by ensuring that no applicant is allowed to book multiple appointments, using the same name and passport number.
Our system allows an applicant to:
- Decide initial allocation of interview slots
- Subsequently, adjust allocations to take into account contingencies
- Allocate slots by visa class
- Allocate slots by Application Centre
- Assign utilised slots to a particular queue
Return Delivery of Passports
Having successfully handled over 31 million passport deliveries, with ‘zero loss’ in overseas visa services operations, VFS Global offers the following services relating to Return Delivery of Passport services:
- Partner with trusted local couriers
- Proven barcode techniques
- Multiple points of delivery
- Ability to track status of document delivery
- Hub-and-spoke model for widespread service delivery ,for both inter and intra-country coverage
- Ability to deliver documents without risk of loss, with a track-record of meeting the required standard, over 99.99% of the time
All applications are logged onto our electronic tracking system immediately after acceptance at an Application Centre, by assigning a barcode to each passport. The movement of the passport and related documents are tracked by barcode scans at each step of the process (i.e. counter to back office, back office to Ops Hub, Ops Hub to visa section, and so on).
The physical movement of documents is governed by the following norms:
- All documents are transported in locked containers: either metal boxes or reinforced fabric bags.
- An overnight storage in our premises is done in fireproof safes. Our offices, where overnight storage takes place, are secured with alarms, intrusion detectors and closed-circuit TV cameras.
- All handovers and takeovers are based on barcode out-scan/in-scan and written handover/takeover logs.
Processed applications are collected from the visa sections, at specified and agreed timings. These processed applications are accepted only in sealed return envelopes, provided by VFS Global. This ensures confidentiality of data. Return envelopes can be collected from the Application Centre where the application was submitted. As an option, an applicant can also get the envelope delivered by courier, for a supplementary charge.
In some territories, VFS Global operates a same-day service for priority category of applicants. The qualifying applicants, who submit their application before cut-off time, will have their documents submitted to the visa section, in a separate priority-lot. The visa section processes these applications on a priority basis and hands them to VFS Global, the same afternoon. VFS Global ensures that these applications are ready for collection, the same evening.