Muscat: Oman’s love affair with France has led to the French embassy outsourcing its visa handling service, adding to the cost of the permit.
From November 8 this month, the French Embassy in Oman will outsource the processing of visa applications.
To meet the growing demand for Schengen visas to France from Oman, which currently stands at 10,000 per year, the Embassy of France in Oman has decided that all applications will be received by VFS Global at its premises in Muscat Grand Mall, instead of the Embassy.
Submission of the applications will take place between 8am and 1pm, only after applicants have booked an appointment online. Passport collections will take place between 10am and 4pm without prior appointment.
The handling charges are 27 Euros, which is about OMR12 per application, over and above the visa fees. Additional optional premium services are also available at an extra cost for those who wish to avail them.
This new system will allow the Embassy of France in Oman, in collaboration with VFS Global, to continue to cater to the needs of the growing number of applicants, and at the same time assure Omani nationals that the process of their visa application will take less than 48 hours.