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Friday, December 14

VFS adds visa centre in Vietnam

Embassies of Italy and Spain in Vietnam have partnered with London-based VFS Global, to launch a new Schengen visa application centre in Ho Chi Minh City, 2 January 2013.

The visa centre, at Resco Tower, 4th floor, 94-96 Nguyen Du, District 1, will start operations 3 January. The opening times will be 0830 to 1200 and 1300 to 1600, from Monday to Friday.

The move should encourage travel to Europe by making it easier to apply for the Schengen visa, Italian Ambassador to Vietnam Lorenzo Angeloni told a press conference last week.

It is also part of cost cutting measures as both government’s face an unprecedented financial crisis. Out-sourcing visa processes allows embassies to cut staff costs substantially.

VFS Global, a worldwide outsourcing and technology services company for diplomatic missions and governments, will be responsible for processing applications for Schengen visas from applicants residing across Vietnam, if the first port of entry in Europe is either Italy or Spain.

Lorenzo Angeloni
Lorenzo Angeloni
 VFS collects a non-refundable fee for the service in addition to the visa fee itself. It is one of most lucrative enterprises related to travel with guaranteed income and very little risk for the company.

Head of the Commercial Office of Spain in Vietnam, Antonio Bretones, said: “We’d like to make the whole process of applying for a visa to Spain easier for the citizens in Ho Chi Minh City, in order to encourage the exchanges between the two countries.”
VFS Global’s South East Asia and Pacific head, Loren Dsouza, said: “We’ve been privileged to be associated with the government of Italy in 17 countries and serve the government of Spain across 35 countries.”

He added his company had 775 visa application centers around the world.
What he omitted to explain is how the company guarantees the security of data and information it collects on visa applicants, which includes in many instances personal bank details, financials, company records and other confidential information.
TTR Weekly has often posted questions to companies handling visa processes to explain the rules they apply to information storage and at what point do they destroy supporting financial documents presented by visa applicants.
So far the responses have been circuitous and less than reassuring for security conscious travelers.

This new visa center will support incoming tourists who are interested in Vietnam Travel. Check out many exotic Vietnam tours on our website and contact us to receive instant advice from our professional tour consultants.