visa offices tags

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Re: visa offices tags

Allan Mustard

This is a contractor, so it is not a government office.  The U.S. government does this also in high-volume consular districts.  Application is made through a contractor, though the interview takes place in the consulate.  Office=visa_application would be more accurate, since visa adjudication still takes place in the consulate.


On 11/8/2018 12:37 PM, Johnparis wrote:
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)? В 

It seems to be the latter.В 

Think of taxes.В 

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

Office=tax_preparation and office=tax are different.В 


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.В 

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.В 

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

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

Allan Mustard
In reply to this post by John Willis

John and Warin are correct.  These are not government offices.  They are either contractors (private firms with a government contract) or lawyers/paralegals offering visa application assistance.

When I was posted to Istanbul three decades ago, before computers took over, some enterprising fellows with typewriters set up folding tables and chairs on the sidewalk across the street from the American Consulate General in Tepebashi.  For a fee they would type up visa applications in English for Turks who spoke no English and had no access to a typewriter.  They were certainly not U.S. government employees but they provided visa application services.  A photo studio around the corner specialized in visa photos that met U.S. requirements.  The offices you want to tag are rather similar in terms of the services offered and rendered.  They just have real offices, digital cameras, dactylographic scanners, and desktop computers connected to the Internet these days.

On 11/8/2018 5:05 AM, 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. 

Javbw


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