As part of an initiative to expand the operational presence in Africa on behalf of the Embassy of France, VFS Global announced its newest biometric visa services in Liberia. The service, inaugurated on Tuesday, October 1, 2019, by Terence Wills, Ambassador of France to Liberia, is expected to ease the burdens of Liberia residents who want to travel to France but, until now, have had to travel to neighboring Abidjan, la Cote d’Ivoire, at their own expense, to get a Schengen visa for France.
VFS Global is a company contracted by the French government to officially commence the visa services in the city of Monrovia, Liberia. Liberia is VFS Global’s 148th country of operation.
According to Ambassador Wills, the France Mobile Biometric Visa Center can be accessed by applicants as of September 30, 2019. “Applicants are connected twice a week at the Royal Grand Hotel, located on 15th Street from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Amb. Wills told reporters in Monrovia.
Cutting the ribbon to inaugurate the biometric visa service along with Hugues Nagy, deputy Head of Mission in the presence of Vivek Anandh, manager of VFS Global and Wael Hariz, general manager of Royal Grand Hotel, Amb. Wills said the opening of the service demonstrates not only friendship between the diplomats but the relationships between the peoples of Liberia and France.
According to him, it was very difficult for applicants in Liberia to get a visa because they have to travel to la Côte d’Ivoire in order to get a visa to visit France.
“This took us a few months to get a solution because France is not receiving the public for the applications. And this has led to us outsourcing to receive the public. Now, we will receive the public in Liberia and do the biometric,” Amb. WILLS said.
According to him, the most difficult things were that only 600 applicants applying for visa from Liberia in Cote d’Ivoire in a year. According to him, “this is not a big number for France.”
Now, Amb. Wills said “VFS Global has come to cover the cost and to make a small profit. Additionally, we have asked all of our partners to lower the cost as low as possible for their many customers. We have asked Air Cote d’Voire to lower the cost as well. We have asked the hotel manager to give us a fair fee for the renting of the space/hotel for business.”
Commenting on the new service, Jiten Vyas, regional group Chief Operating Officer, VFS Global, said “we are privileged to extend our association with the Embassy of France by extending our services to a new country of operation — Liberia.”
He said the launch stands as a testament to the confidence bestowed on our service capabilities by the Embassy of France, considering our long-standing relationship since 2004, which has gone from strength to strength. “By extending our world class service standards to applicants who seek a visa to visit this popular destination, I am confident that this new mobile biometric center would effectively cater to the growing demand from Liberia,” he said.
According to available literature, VFS Global has been a trusted partner to the Embassy to France for visa processing services since 2004. Prior to this launch, the company serviced visa processing requirements on behalf of its client government across 22 countries through an extensive network of 71 visa application centers.
VFS Global is the world’s largest outsourcing technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. VFS Global has Swiss percentage and is a portfolio company of EQT, a leading global private equity firm, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.
With 3325 application centers, operations in 147 countries across five continents and over 211 million applications processed as on 31 August 2019, VFS Global is the trusted partner of 62 client governments.