visa offices tags

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visa offices tags

Warin
Hi,

Node: Visalink Germany (4362535595) is tagged as an embassy.

It is a commercial firm that arranges applications to the German
Embassy/Consulate for a visa, see

https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

I think tags could be office=visa, country=DE, website=https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

but not amenity=embassy, diplomatic=visa ...

There are some 13 with the tag diplomatic=visa that may fall under this same cloud.


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Re: visa offices tags

Allan Mustard

Definitely not an embassy, and not a consulate, either!  More like a specialized travel agency that focuses only on visa applications.


On 11/3/2018 6:22 AM, Warin wrote:
Hi,

Node: Visalink Germany (4362535595) is tagged as an embassy.

It is a commercial firm that arranges applications to the German Embassy/Consulate for a visa, see

https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

I think tags could be office=visa, country=DE, website=https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

but not amenity=embassy, diplomatic=visa ...

There are some 13 with the tag diplomatic=visa that may fall under this same cloud.


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Re: visa offices tags

John Willis
Amenity=immigration 

They handle visas and passports and other paperwork needs of legal residents. 

This is not something for guests/tourists, but people (like me) who need to handle paperwork to continue to live in the country. 

It is the inverse of an embassy. 

Javbw

On Nov 3, 2018, at 12:24 PM, Allan Mustard <[hidden email]> wrote:

Definitely not an embassy, and not a consulate, either!  More like a specialized travel agency that focuses only on visa applications.


On 11/3/2018 6:22 AM, Warin wrote:
Hi,

Node: Visalink Germany (4362535595) is tagged as an embassy.

It is a commercial firm that arranges applications to the German Embassy/Consulate for a visa, see

https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

I think tags could be office=visa, country=DE, website=https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

but not amenity=embassy, diplomatic=visa ...

There are some 13 with the tag diplomatic=visa that may fall under this same cloud.


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Re: visa offices tags

Warin
Lots of people apply for tourist visas. They are not immigrants, so immigration does not fit all.


I don't know if that particular office only does immigration visas, tourist visas or does any type of visa.
I would prefer a tag suitable for an office that could do any type of visa, rather than having to find out which particular thing they do.


On 06/11/18 12:37, John Willis wrote:
Amenity=immigration 

They handle visas and passports and other paperwork needs of legal residents. 

This is not something for guests/tourists, but people (like me) who need to handle paperwork to continue to live in the country. 

It is the inverse of an embassy. 

Javbw

On Nov 3, 2018, at 12:24 PM, Allan Mustard <[hidden email]> wrote:

Definitely not an embassy, and not a consulate, either!  More like a specialized travel agency that focuses only on visa applications.


On 11/3/2018 6:22 AM, Warin wrote:
Hi,

Node: Visalink Germany (4362535595) is tagged as an embassy.

It is a commercial firm that arranges applications to the German Embassy/Consulate for a visa, see

https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

I think tags could be office=visa, country=DE, website=https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

but not amenity=embassy, diplomatic=visa ...

There are some 13 with the tag diplomatic=visa that may fall under this same cloud.


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Re: visa offices tags

Allan Mustard
The office=government, government=migration tags already handle this, no?

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 6, 2018, at 7:06 AM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:

Lots of people apply for tourist visas. They are not immigrants, so immigration does not fit all.


I don't know if that particular office only does immigration visas, tourist visas or does any type of visa.
I would prefer a tag suitable for an office that could do any type of visa, rather than having to find out which particular thing they do.


On 06/11/18 12:37, John Willis wrote:
Amenity=immigration 

They handle visas and passports and other paperwork needs of legal residents. 

This is not something for guests/tourists, but people (like me) who need to handle paperwork to continue to live in the country. 

It is the inverse of an embassy. 

Javbw

On Nov 3, 2018, at 12:24 PM, Allan Mustard <[hidden email]> wrote:

Definitely not an embassy, and not a consulate, either!  More like a specialized travel agency that focuses only on visa applications.


On 11/3/2018 6:22 AM, Warin wrote:
Hi,

Node: Visalink Germany (4362535595) is tagged as an embassy.

It is a commercial firm that arranges applications to the German Embassy/Consulate for a visa, see

https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

I think tags could be office=visa, country=DE, website=https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

but not amenity=embassy, diplomatic=visa ...

There are some 13 with the tag diplomatic=visa that may fall under this same cloud.


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Re: visa offices tags

Warin
There is no OSMwiki on what government=migration is about.
If you simply use the common definition of  'migration' then tourist do not fit.
migration is the movement by people from one place to another with the intentions of settling

So a place that assist visas for tourist and business people would not 'fit'.

So I'd say .. office=government, government=migration does not handle this.
Particularly when the office is a commercial firm, and I think has no government funding.


On 06/11/18 14:11, Allan Mustard wrote:
The office=government, government=migration tags already handle this, no?

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 6, 2018, at 7:06 AM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:

Lots of people apply for tourist visas. They are not immigrants, so immigration does not fit all.


I don't know if that particular office only does immigration visas, tourist visas or does any type of visa.
I would prefer a tag suitable for an office that could do any type of visa, rather than having to find out which particular thing they do.


On 06/11/18 12:37, John Willis wrote:
Amenity=immigration 

They handle visas and passports and other paperwork needs of legal residents. 

This is not something for guests/tourists, but people (like me) who need to handle paperwork to continue to live in the country. 

It is the inverse of an embassy. 

Javbw

On Nov 3, 2018, at 12:24 PM, Allan Mustard <[hidden email]> wrote:

Definitely not an embassy, and not a consulate, either!  More like a specialized travel agency that focuses only on visa applications.


On 11/3/2018 6:22 AM, Warin wrote:
Hi,

Node: Visalink Germany (4362535595) is tagged as an embassy.

It is a commercial firm that arranges applications to the German Embassy/Consulate for a visa, see

https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

I think tags could be office=visa, country=DE, website=https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

but not amenity=embassy, diplomatic=visa ...

There are some 13 with the tag diplomatic=visa that may fall under this same cloud.


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Re: visa offices tags

Allan Mustard
Migration services issue all visas in many countries, including tourist visas. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 6, 2018, at 9:34 AM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:

There is no OSMwiki on what government=migration is about.
If you simply use the common definition of  'migration' then tourist do not fit.
migration is the movement by people from one place to another with the intentions of settling

So a place that assist visas for tourist and business people would not 'fit'.

So I'd say .. office=government, government=migration does not handle this.
Particularly when the office is a commercial firm, and I think has no government funding.


On 06/11/18 14:11, Allan Mustard wrote:
The office=government, government=migration tags already handle this, no?

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 6, 2018, at 7:06 AM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:

Lots of people apply for tourist visas. They are not immigrants, so immigration does not fit all.


I don't know if that particular office only does immigration visas, tourist visas or does any type of visa.
I would prefer a tag suitable for an office that could do any type of visa, rather than having to find out which particular thing they do.


On 06/11/18 12:37, John Willis wrote:
Amenity=immigration 

They handle visas and passports and other paperwork needs of legal residents. 

This is not something for guests/tourists, but people (like me) who need to handle paperwork to continue to live in the country. 

It is the inverse of an embassy. 

Javbw

On Nov 3, 2018, at 12:24 PM, Allan Mustard <[hidden email]> wrote:

Definitely not an embassy, and not a consulate, either!  More like a specialized travel agency that focuses only on visa applications.


On 11/3/2018 6:22 AM, Warin wrote:
Hi,

Node: Visalink Germany (4362535595) is tagged as an embassy.

It is a commercial firm that arranges applications to the German Embassy/Consulate for a visa, see

https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

I think tags could be office=visa, country=DE, website=https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

but not amenity=embassy, diplomatic=visa ...

There are some 13 with the tag diplomatic=visa that may fall under this same cloud.


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Re: visa offices tags

Anton Klim
I believe the initial email was referring to a private-run visa assistance company, like VFS Global?
In the absence of a better tag I used office=company, but could see something like office=visa(_services) being suitable. 
It would need to be different for government agencies that might offer similar services in some countries. 

Ant

06.11.2018, 7:20, Allan Mustard <[hidden email]>:

Migration services issue all visas in many countries, including tourist visas. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 6, 2018, at 9:34 AM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:

There is no OSMwiki on what government=migration is about.
If you simply use the common definition of  'migration' then tourist do not fit.
migration is the movement by people from one place to another with the intentions of settling

So a place that assist visas for tourist and business people would not 'fit'.

So I'd say .. office=government, government=migration does not handle this.
Particularly when the office is a commercial firm, and I think has no government funding.


On 06/11/18 14:11, Allan Mustard wrote:
The office=government, government=migration tags already handle this, no?

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 6, 2018, at 7:06 AM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:

Lots of people apply for tourist visas. They are not immigrants, so immigration does not fit all.


I don't know if that particular office only does immigration visas, tourist visas or does any type of visa.
I would prefer a tag suitable for an office that could do any type of visa, rather than having to find out which particular thing they do.


On 06/11/18 12:37, John Willis wrote:
Amenity=immigration 

They handle visas and passports and other paperwork needs of legal residents. 

This is not something for guests/tourists, but people (like me) who need to handle paperwork to continue to live in the country. 

It is the inverse of an embassy. 

Javbw

On Nov 3, 2018, at 12:24 PM, Allan Mustard <[hidden email]> wrote:

Definitely not an embassy, and not a consulate, either!  More like a specialized travel agency that focuses only on visa applications.


On 11/3/2018 6:22 AM, Warin wrote:
Hi,

Node: Visalink Germany (4362535595) is tagged as an embassy.

It is a commercial firm that arranges applications to the German Embassy/Consulate for a visa, see

https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

I think tags could be office=visa, country=DE, website=https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

but not amenity=embassy, diplomatic=visa ...

There are some 13 with the tag diplomatic=visa that may fall under this same cloud.


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Re: visa offices tags

dieterdreist


sent from a phone

> On 6. Nov 2018, at 08:34, Anton Klim <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> In the absence of a better tag I used office=company, but could see something like office=visa(_services) being suitable.


just use a more specific tag, and possibly document it (e.g. as a proposal).

Cheers, Martin
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Re: visa offices tags

John Willis
In reply to this post by Warin

Tourist visas are handled by different offices - usually at airports. 

While they may all be "visas" - tourist/guest 90 day visas or an 8h transit Visa are treated very differently than any other visa that allows you to reside in the country- work, student, spouse, etc visas require office visits to an office usually called "immigration" in Japan and the US. 

Usually, there is some office or building that locals know nothing about - and foreign residents have to visit. 

Sometimes it is part of a larger building, sometimes not. 

For example, 1/2 of this building is a prison transfer building. The other half is a a branch office of the main Tokyo immigration office. 


Every few years I have to go there to get my Visa renewed, get, my new foreign resident card, and eventually submit my application for permanent residence. 

My passport issues are still handled by the US embassy in Tokyo. 

No Japanese citizen ever has to deal with that office - only immigrants. They don't handle guest/tourist visas either - only people living there. 

I assume this amenity exists in most countries, in some form or fashion. 

Javbw

On Nov 6, 2018, at 1:34 PM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:

There is no OSMwiki on what government=migration is about.
If you simply use the common definition of  'migration' then tourist do not fit.
migration is the movement by people from one place to another with the intentions of settling

So a place that assist visas for tourist and business people would not 'fit'.

So I'd say .. office=government, government=migration does not handle this.
Particularly when the office is a commercial firm, and I think has no government funding.


On 06/11/18 14:11, Allan Mustard wrote:
The office=government, government=migration tags already handle this, no?

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 6, 2018, at 7:06 AM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:

Lots of people apply for tourist visas. They are not immigrants, so immigration does not fit all.


I don't know if that particular office only does immigration visas, tourist visas or does any type of visa.
I would prefer a tag suitable for an office that could do any type of visa, rather than having to find out which particular thing they do.


On 06/11/18 12:37, John Willis wrote:
Amenity=immigration 

They handle visas and passports and other paperwork needs of legal residents. 

This is not something for guests/tourists, but people (like me) who need to handle paperwork to continue to live in the country. 

It is the inverse of an embassy. 

Javbw

On Nov 3, 2018, at 12:24 PM, Allan Mustard <[hidden email]> wrote:

Definitely not an embassy, and not a consulate, either!  More like a specialized travel agency that focuses only on visa applications.


On 11/3/2018 6:22 AM, Warin wrote:
Hi,

Node: Visalink Germany (4362535595) is tagged as an embassy.

It is a commercial firm that arranges applications to the German Embassy/Consulate for a visa, see

https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

I think tags could be office=visa, country=DE, website=https://www.visa-germany.co.za/

but not amenity=embassy, diplomatic=visa ...

There are some 13 with the tag diplomatic=visa that may fall under this same cloud.


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Re: visa offices tags

Warin
The case I have is;

1) this is a commercial firm - not a government
authority/branch/department/etc
2) it 'assist' people to obtain a visa
3) it is not at an airport/seaport/boarder
4) the visa is obtained before travel commences.
5) it is not within the country where the visa is used

What other thing/s have I left out?

I would like a tag that applies to;

1) a commercial firm, not governmental
2) 'assist' with any visa types - so not limited to one type of visa
3) any location - not necessarily at an entry point.
4) any country or group of countries

To me that looks like
office=visa
country=* - possibly visa:country=* ?
or
office=company
company=visa ?
country=* - possibly visa:country=* ?

It is defiantly not
office=government
nor
amenity=embassy

On 07/11/18 08:17, John Willis wrote:
>
> Tourist visas are handled by different offices - usually at airports.

Not what I  want to tag, these would be governmental .. so
office=government would apply as a primary tag.


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Re: visa offices tags

Anton Klim
Yep, that's the use case I was describing with VFS, I think people here might be conflating/confusing it with an immigration office, where you'd usually go when you already have a visa.

I'm not sure about adding a lower-level company= key, but all for office=visa/visa_services.

Ant

06.11.2018, 22:12, Warin <[hidden email]>:

> The case I have is;
>
> 1) this is a commercial firm - not a government authority/branch/department/etc
> 2) it 'assist' people to obtain a visa
> 3) it is not at an airport/seaport/boarder
> 4) the visa is obtained before travel commences.
> 5) it is not within the country where the visa is used
>
> What other thing/s have I left out?
>
> I would like a tag that applies to;
>
> 1) a commercial firm, not governmental
> 2) 'assist' with any visa types - so not limited to one type of visa
> 3) any location - not necessarily at an entry point.
> 4) any country or group of countries
>
> To me that looks like
> office=visa
> country=* - possibly visa:country=* ?
> or
> office=company
> company=visa ?
> country=* - possibly visa:country=* ?
>
> It is defiantly not
> office=government
> nor
> amenity=embassy
>
> On 07/11/18 08:17, John Willis wrote:
>>
>> Tourist visas are handled by different offices - usually at airports.
>
> Not what I  want to tag, these would be governmental .. so office=government would apply as a primary tag.
>
>
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Re: visa offices tags

Warin
In reply to this post by Warin
On 03/11/18 12:22, Warin wrote:
> Hi,
>
>
>
> There are some 13 with the tag diplomatic=visa that may fall under
> this same cloud.
>
>
I have confirmed that these commercial firms., mostly VFS.global. None
of these are governmental.


I have re tagged them as

office=company

company=visa


and where applicable

visa:country=* from country=*


I might do wiki edit to somewhat document the values in use as shown by
taginfo, and include visa.


Oh .. look company=visa_centre has 13 uses .. which do you think better
visa_centre or visa?





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Re: visa offices tags

Graeme Fitzpatrick



On Wed, 7 Nov 2018 at 09:59, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:

and where applicable

visa:country=* from country=*

Just to clarify the country tags thanks Warin?

Maybe a bad example but you're travelling from Australia to UK so it would be visa:country=UK from country=Australia, or vice versa?

Oh .. look company=visa_centre has 13 uses .. which do you think better
visa_centre or visa?

I think company=visa sounds better (as well as getting away from the centre / center dilemma!)

Thanks

Graeme

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Re: visa offices tags

Warin
On 07/11/18 12:20, Graeme Fitzpatrick wrote:



On Wed, 7 Nov 2018 at 09:59, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:

and where applicable

visa:country=* from country=*

Just to clarify the country tags thanks Warin?

Maybe a bad example but you're travelling from Australia to UK so it would be visa:country=UK from country=Australia, or vice versa?

The country where the visa is obtained can be determined by what country it is in. Specifying this is redundant information.
The country where the visa applies cannot be found within OSM except by tagging it.

So I would tag the country/ies where the visa/s applies.

For the above example visa:country=GB  (not UK :) )

For country codes see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1_alpha-2


My wording could have been better...

visa:country=* (derived from the tag country=* where it exists)


Oh .. look company=visa_centre has 13 uses .. which do you think better
visa_centre or visa?

I think company=visa sounds better (as well as getting away from the centre / center dilemma!)





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Re: visa offices tags

John Willis
In reply to this post by Warin


On Nov 7, 2018, at 7:12 AM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:


1) this is a commercial firm - not a government authority/branch/department/etc
2) it 'assist' people to obtain a visa
3) it is not at an airport/seaport/boarder
4) the visa is obtained before travel commences.
5) it is not within the country where the visa is used


if they don’t issue visas, they are immigration or travel paralegals/lawyers. this sounds like people assisting tourists. An office assisting people trying to get *residence* in a country is certainly an immigration lawyer.  

This does sound like something completely different than the amenity=immigration I am thinking of. 

I am unsure of a tag - but simply office=visa should be out. office=travel assistance or visa assistance or something. 

Javbw

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Re: visa offices tags

Warin
On 08/11/18 11:05, John Willis wrote:


On Nov 7, 2018, at 7:12 AM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:


1) this is a commercial firm - not a government authority/branch/department/etc
2) it 'assist' people to obtain a visa
3) it is not at an airport/seaport/boarder
4) the visa is obtained before travel commences.
5) it is not within the country where the visa is used


if they don’t issue visas, they are immigration or travel paralegals/lawyers. this sounds like people assisting tourists. An office assisting people trying to get *residence* in a country is certainly an immigration lawyer.  

This does sound like something completely different than the amenity=immigration I am thinking of. 

I am unsure of a tag - but simply office=visa should be out. office=travel assistance or visa assistance or something.


It is an office you go to. You present documents, they ask questions, you answer, you pay a fee,
the office fills out forms using that information provided (and they then send it off to an embassy/consulate)
and then some time later you get a visa back from the office (but the visa itself is actually from the embassy/consulate).

In the above situation, what is wrong with office=visa ? You apply to the office, they (usually) get you a visa.

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Re: visa offices tags

Eugene Alvin Villar
On Thu, Nov 8, 2018 at 9:29 AM Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Nov 7, 2018, at 7:12 AM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:
1) this is a commercial firm - not a government authority/branch/department/etc
2) it 'assist' people to obtain a visa
3) it is not at an airport/seaport/boarder
4) the visa is obtained before travel commences.

It is an office you go to. You present documents, they ask questions, you answer, you pay a fee,
the office fills out forms using that information provided (and they then send it off to an embassy/consulate)
and then some time later you get a visa back from the office (but the visa itself is actually from the embassy/consulate).

In the above situation, what is wrong with office=visa ? You apply to the office, they (usually) get you a visa.

Here, the Japanese consulate never accepts direct visa application and instructs people to only submit visa applications through accredited travel agencies.

On the other hand, many European consulates here contract a 3rd-party visa processing company such as the aforementioned VFS Global to handle all visa applications. These companies even have equipment to collect biometric data such as photographs and fingerprints that will be forwarded to the consulates together with the visa applications.

I would think that the first case should be tagged like other travel agencies because visa handling is just one of their services (they also arrange tours and purchase airline tickets). For the second case, they do nothing else besides processing visa applications on behalf of the contracting consulates. So they are not travel agencies. I think they should indeed be tagged with something like office=visa or better yet office=visa_processing so it is clearer.


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Re: visa offices tags

John Willis
Is the office full of people who you pay to help you apply? Or are they contracted to be the front-otfice of the agency (acceptance & distribution)?  

It seems to be the latter. 

Think of taxes. 

The office where you submit taxes, and an office where a professional helps you prepare the forms are two different places. 

Office=tax_preparation and office=tax are different. 


If this is some office (public or private) with an official mandate to accept applications and distribute visas (whether approved onsite immidately or approved elsewhere and mailed to the office for distribution), that does sound like office=visa. 

If it is some private business who you pay to help you prepare the form, and you mail it to the government and get your visa directly, it sounds like office=visa_preperation or office=immigration_lawyer. 

I am unfamiliar with the situation you described - so please choose the best tag that suits your needs. 

Javbw

On Nov 8, 2018, at 11:37 AM, Eugene Alvin Villar <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Thu, Nov 8, 2018 at 9:29 AM Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Nov 7, 2018, at 7:12 AM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:
1) this is a commercial firm - not a government authority/branch/department/etc
2) it 'assist' people to obtain a visa
3) it is not at an airport/seaport/boarder
4) the visa is obtained before travel commences.

It is an office you go to. You present documents, they ask questions, you answer, you pay a fee,
the office fills out forms using that information provided (and they then send it off to an embassy/consulate)
and then some time later you get a visa back from the office (but the visa itself is actually from the embassy/consulate).

In the above situation, what is wrong with office=visa ? You apply to the office, they (usually) get you a visa.

Here, the Japanese consulate never accepts direct visa application and instructs people to only submit visa applications through accredited travel agencies.

On the other hand, many European consulates here contract a 3rd-party visa processing company such as the aforementioned VFS Global to handle all visa applications. These companies even have equipment to collect biometric data such as photographs and fingerprints that will be forwarded to the consulates together with the visa applications.

I would think that the first case should be tagged like other travel agencies because visa handling is just one of their services (they also arrange tours and purchase airline tickets). For the second case, they do nothing else besides processing visa applications on behalf of the contracting consulates. So they are not travel agencies. I think they should indeed be tagged with something like office=visa or better yet office=visa_processing so it is clearer.

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Re: visa offices tags

Johnparis
I tagged one of these office=visa the other day.


The offices I'm thinking of are private companies that have government contracts to provide services that the government itself would normally provide. In many cases they are indistinguishable from a government office, so the question of verifiability enters my mind.

For instance, the UK visa office in Paris has big signs outside and inside reading "Welcome to Great Britain". I'm frankly not sure if the space is rented by the UK or by TLS Contact, which holds the contract.


Their staff members gather the information for your application, including fingerprints, photos, etc., as well as your passport. They then seal this in a clear plastic container. After it is sealed, you cannot add or remove anything. The fee is set by the UK and paid to TLS Contact.

The dossier then goes to London, where a decision is made on your visa and the entire dossier is returned to Paris. You pick it up next door to the original office from someone behind bulletproof glass. (You don't learn the nature of the decision till you look at your passport.) This is the only way to get a UK visa in Paris. If you go to the UK Embassy or Consulate, they will direct you to the visa office.

Is this an "office=government"? It certainly is quasi-governmental. Do they provide visa services? Surely yes, in my mind. In fact, they are the only place in Paris that provide visa services for the UK. If you want to get any kind of visa -- long term (expat), tourist, transit -- that's where you go.

So (agreeing with John Willis) I'd say office=visa for these.

John

On Thu, Nov 8, 2018 at 6:16 AM John Willis <[hidden email]> wrote:
Is the office full of people who you pay to help you apply? Or are they contracted to be the front-otfice of the agency (acceptance & distribution)?  

It seems to be the latter. 

Think of taxes. 

The office where you submit taxes, and an office where a professional helps you prepare the forms are two different places. 

Office=tax_preparation and office=tax are different. 


If this is some office (public or private) with an official mandate to accept applications and distribute visas (whether approved onsite immidately or approved elsewhere and mailed to the office for distribution), that does sound like office=visa. 

If it is some private business who you pay to help you prepare the form, and you mail it to the government and get your visa directly, it sounds like office=visa_preperation or office=immigration_lawyer. 

I am unfamiliar with the situation you described - so please choose the best tag that suits your needs. 

Javbw

On Nov 8, 2018, at 11:37 AM, Eugene Alvin Villar <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Thu, Nov 8, 2018 at 9:29 AM Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Nov 7, 2018, at 7:12 AM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:
1) this is a commercial firm - not a government authority/branch/department/etc
2) it 'assist' people to obtain a visa
3) it is not at an airport/seaport/boarder
4) the visa is obtained before travel commences.

It is an office you go to. You present documents, they ask questions, you answer, you pay a fee,
the office fills out forms using that information provided (and they then send it off to an embassy/consulate)
and then some time later you get a visa back from the office (but the visa itself is actually from the embassy/consulate).

In the above situation, what is wrong with office=visa ? You apply to the office, they (usually) get you a visa.

Here, the Japanese consulate never accepts direct visa application and instructs people to only submit visa applications through accredited travel agencies.

On the other hand, many European consulates here contract a 3rd-party visa processing company such as the aforementioned VFS Global to handle all visa applications. These companies even have equipment to collect biometric data such as photographs and fingerprints that will be forwarded to the consulates together with the visa applications.

I would think that the first case should be tagged like other travel agencies because visa handling is just one of their services (they also arrange tours and purchase airline tickets). For the second case, they do nothing else besides processing visa applications on behalf of the contracting consulates. So they are not travel agencies. I think they should indeed be tagged with something like office=visa or better yet office=visa_processing so it is clearer.

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