France to resume biometrics for visas in India
Starting from November 2, 2015, France is set to restart the process of collecting biometric data for issuing all kinds of visas. Currently, France takes a turnaround time of 48 hours for processing visa applications. This, the office of the French Embassy in India will assure won’t change with the introduction of biometrics. “France has 14 VFS Global visa application centres pan India to ensure the best possible proximity to Indian end-users. There will be no change in the timeframe for visa issuance due to the implementation of biometrics. Visa application will still be processed on the same day by VFS and transferred to the Embassy the next day for issuance in 48 hours maximum, when the VFS centre is located in a city where a French Consulate is operating. For other cases, this may take up to 3 days,” the Embassy shared this information over an email. France had suspended biometric data collection on July 1, 2013 for all types of visas.
With this development, India will join the likes of other countries like Russia, China, United Kingdom, etc. “Biometric data will be stored for a period of almost 5 years (59 months), which means that applicants will not need to come in person again within this period and may be granted a long-validity visa. Moreover, biometric data entered by France will be valid for all Schengen countries,” the Embassy stated.
Some nations widely believe that biometrics enhances the confidentiality and the security of personal applicant data to reduce fraud and identity theft. However, certain countries have seen adverse effects of the introduction of biometrics. “The objective is that there should be no adverse impact on the number of visa applications due to the implementation of biometrics. We will do our outmost to facilitate the biometrics visa issuance to Indian visitors. As the number of Indian tourists travelling abroad is increasing every year, we hope to have an increase in our visa applications next year,” the Embassy said. Visa fees, which are set at a global Schengen level, will not change with this introduction. (Source-Travel Biz Monitor)