Inauguration of the France Visa Application Centre [fr]
To cope with the increase in visa applications and reduce waiting times, the Embassy of France has outsourced the collection of visa applications to VFS GLOBAL.
The new France Visa Application Centre was inaugurated on 8 July 2019 in the presence of the Ambassador of France to Singapore, Mr. Marc Abensour, Mr. Jiten Vyas, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer at VFS Global, Ms. Sandrine Lelong-Motta, Deputy Director of Visa Policy at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Pierre Benichou, Europe Director at VFS Global. This new centre will now take all the visa applications for France.
During the opening ceremony, the Ambassador announced that the visa applications will now be processed in 48 hours. In 2018, almost 12 000 visas to France were issued in Singapore. This figure, which has increased over 80% over the past 5 years, reflects the attractiveness of France as a tourist and business destination. The Ambassador also confirmed that visa applications from Papua New Guinea and Fiji will be processed in the new center, starting this fall.
- From left to right: Mr. Jiten Vyas, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer at VFS Global, Mr. Marc Abensour, Ambassador of France to Singapore and Ms. Sandrine Lelong-Motta, Deputy Director of Visa Policy at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
France remained the world’s top destination in 2018. The total of 89.4 million visitors was a three percent jump from 2017, and France is now targeting 100 million foreign tourists for 2020.
France has also implemented new measures to simplify the application process and issuance of visas such as the French Tech Visa. Launched in 2017 and enhanced in 2019, this French scheme enables innovative enterprises to speed up recruitment of foreign employees. The "French Tech Visa" is the world’s only visa to combine a range of decisive advantages for the startups it is designed to assist: no degree or qualification conditions, free and valid for four years.
The "Etudes en France" (Studying in France) procedure offers prospective students the benefit of guidance and support at every step in the admission process, from application to enrollment. Last year, over 500 students from Singapore pursued their studies in France. France is the 4th most popular country for students in international mobility, after the US, the UK and Australia, and before Germany. France is also the 1st non-English speaking host country.