Wednesday, December 9, 2015

French Embassy opens new visa center amid rising Pinoy travelers to France

The French Embassy in Manila has opened a new and bigger visa center to accomodate an increasing number of Filipino visitors to France.
On December 7, French Ambassador Thierry Mathou led the inauguration of the French Visa Application Center in Makati, which is expected to efficiently process the significant rise in the number of Schengen visa applications from Filipinos who wish to visit France.
“In recent years, France has experienced a rapid rise in the number of Schengen visa applications from the Philippines," Mathou said in his speech.
In 2015, the Embassy of France in Manila received almost 20,000 applications, "an unprecedented number reflecting a 100% increase from 2010,” the envoy noted.
“Such a significant increase in volume, which is only projected to rise even further in the coming years, demands that the embassy come up with ways to continue to remain efficient," he said.
As visa applications are seen to increase by 20 percent per year in the coming years, putting up an outsourcing center, Mathou stressed, is "not only strategic but necessary."
The Embassy of France in Manila has partnered with VFS Global to operate an outsourcing center which will ease the visa application process for those traveling for business or for leisure.
Manila’s French visa center will offer a personalized reception, assistance in the completion of applicants’ files, and provide real-time information on the status of the application and the release date of the passport of the applicant through e-mail or text.
Filipino Schengen visa applicants traveling to France may schedule an appointment date and submit their documents directly to the visa application centre at the Mezzanine Floor of the Eco Plaza Building in Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.
France is a member of the Schengen group of nations. Schengen states issue a visa that permits passport-free travel in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Beginning December 9, applicants may set an appointment with the VFS Global Centre by calling 7904903 from Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm. For more information, visit the VFS Global Centre website at — Michaela del Callar/RSJ, GMA News

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