IRNA – The French Embassy in Tehran, like its sisters, has entrusted the management of visa applications to a private company, a move that has caused frustration among Iranian visa applicants, said a recent report by Western media.
From July 2017, similar to other French consular centers in the world, the French Embassy in Tehran also tried to find a way out of the visa puzzle by privatizing the management of visa applications through outsourcing the process to VFS Global (Visa Facilitation Services), Euronews reported.
But the privatization of the French visa applications in Iran has resulted in additional costs, with the Iranian applicants complaining about other issues as well.
The first hurdle, according to applicants, is that VFS website for Iran is available in English and French only. A Persian version of the site has been removed since the opening of the center.
Second, the offices of VFS are located on the northern outskirts of Tehran, quite a remote place compared to the city center where the French embassy is located, the witness told Euronews.
Moreover, long delays to get an appointment and cancellation of appointments without notice are among other problems faced by visa applicants.
I saw people who were very worried and were crying and said that their appointment, which had been confirmed to them, had been canceled without notice, an Iranian visa applicant said, describing the atmosphere at VFS’s offices last fall.
An Indian company, VFS specializes in assisting the management of visa and passport applications, biometric data collection and border control management.
According to the figures of its website, in 2017 VFS had 2,371 centers like Tehran in 129 countries, compared to three when it was created in 2001.