Jeddah, 04 May 2015: The Ambassador of Portugal to Saudi Arabia, Dr Manuel Carvalho, along with Mr Ajit Alexander, COO - Middle East and Africa, VFS Global, today inaugurated the Portugal Visa Application Centre at the Joint Visa Application Centre in Jeddah.
The Embassy of Portugal has outsourced its visa application process to VFS Global in Saudi Arabia. The first centre was opened in Riyadh in the beginning of April. The second centre was inaugurated today in Jeddah. The new visa application centre is part of the contract signed with VFS Global to provide visa processing services for applicants wishing to travel to Portugal from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While VFS Global will accept the visa applications, the Embassy will continue to make the assessment and decisions regarding all visas. This expansion of the services aims at delivering a convenient and accessible service. These services will be extended to AlKhobar in the coming weeks, in the month of May, to allow better service for the travellers before the summer season.
While inaugurating the centre, Ambassador Manuel Carvalho reiterated, "We have been working with VFS Global in other countries and we understand that synergies could be drawn from a partnership in KSA. Jeddah is an important city and a crucial economic and travel hub. We expect that extending this service to Jeddah will allow for much more convenient travel to Portugal for Saudi residents, be they tourists, businesspeople, investors or students. Portugal is a peaceful, welcoming, beautiful country that we hope many more Saudis will soon discover. "
Mr Ajit Alexander, COO Middle East and Africa, VFS Global commented, "It is an honour and our privilege to serve the Embassy of Portugal in the region to provide better service and shorten the handling time for Schengen visa applications. This launch of Portugal visa application process will offer a convenient visa application submission experience to the residents in the country. We are committed to delivering a professional and high-quality service to all applicants and travel agents in the KSA. VFS Global started operations for the Government of Portugal in 2008, and now serves the client in India, China, Colombia, Russia and South Africa."
HRH Prince Faisal Abdullah Al-Faisal, President of Al-Etimad Modern Business Solutions Company, expressed his delight in welcoming Portugal Mission to the recently opened Etimad Visa centre that is well suited to provide a high level of service for our customers, "We have provided a one-stop centre for customers to receive visas for all the Schengen countries in the Kingdom, and the addition of Portugal in Jeddah should immensely benefit the applicants from the Western Region," he added.
The Centre in Jeddah will accept applications for visas to Portugal from applicants and travel agents residing in the area. The service will charge a nominal service fee, payable at the Centre at the time of submitting applications. The Centre will remain open from 0900hrs to 1700hrs for enhanced convenience to applicants and travel agents.
The key features of the Application Centre include:
- Priority facilitation for disabled, senior applicants and pregnant women
- Premium Lounge for comfortable and personalised service
- Professional staff with local language capability dedicated to handle visa queries
- Automated queue governance for smooth flow of applicants, providing better crowd management
- Dedicated website for easy access to information including visa categories, requirements, check-list and applicable fees
- Dedicated call centres and email support to answer queries and status of application
- 100% secure handling of passports, documents and personal information
- SMS alerts for visa status update
- Door-step delivery of passports
- Dedicated visa enquiry desks in English and Arabic
Since 2009, VFS Global jointly with its local partner M/s Al Etimad Modern Business Solutions Co. (ETIMAD) has been successfully operating visa application services and VACs for diplomatic missions of 11 sovereign governments in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Portugal Visa Application Centres:
Jeddah - Address:
TasHeel Commercial Center, Ground Floor,
Suwaid Bin Sakher Street,
Off Jundub Bin Kaab Street (Off Prince Sultan Street),
Al Mohammadiya District 1, Jeddah.
Business Hours: 0900hrs to 1700hrs (Sunday to Thursday)
Acceptance of Applications (all applicants): 0900hrs to 1500hrs from Sunday to Thursday (Except Holidays as declared by the Embassy of Portugal, Riyadh)
Return delivery of Applications: 0900hrs to 1700hrs from Sunday to Thursday (Except Holidays as declared by the Embassy of Portugal, Riyadh)
Additional SMS/Courier/Premium Lounge charges as applicable to be borne by the applicant.
VFS Global will be responsible only for accepting and processing applications for the Embassy of Portugal, Riyadh. Timelines for turnaround of visas are as per the discretion of the authorities.
About VFS Global
VFS Global is the world's largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. With 1582 Application Centres and operations in 120 countries across five continents as at 31 March 2015, VFS Global serves the interests of 45 client governments. The company has successfully processed over 97 million applications since its inception in 2001.VFS Global's worldwide operations are certified ISO 9001:2008 for Quality Management System, ISO 27001:2005 for Information Security Management System and ISO 14001:2004 for Environmental Management System. For more information, please visit www.vfsglobal.com
© Press Release 2015