German embassy in Qatar outsources Schengen visa processing

May 9, 2011

The German embassy in Doha has outsourced the initial Schengen visa processing to a private company in a bid to improve services and reduce waiting time, a local daily said.

“From Sunday, visa applicants will enjoy an improved service for their visa requests at the new Schengen Visa Application Centre in Doha,” the embassy said.

“To this effect, the German embassy has entered into co-operation with the global service provider Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) which will operate this new Visa Application Centre,” the embassy said.

Applicants planning to travel to Germany, Finland, Norway, Slovenia and Austria with a Schengen visa will now submit their applications there, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported.

Visa Application Centre

The Visa Application Centre will, for an extra service fee of QR99, check all documents and help verify that the application documents are complete and ready for submission to the German embassy for visa processing.

The centre will also handle an appointment system for the German embassy to facilitate an orderly interview process and avoid unnecessary waiting times at the visa section.

Additional services that include passport photographs, photocopying, SMS notifications and the issuing of travel health insurance will also be available for an additional fee.

Applicants can also enjoy a premium service for another extra fee. According to the daily, the centre will also provide an on-line appointment system for applicants to book an appointment.

However, national long-term visa applications to gain a residence permit must be submitted directly at the German embassy.

Several countries have been outsourcing visa formalities to private companies. Last year, the Daily Mail reported that “millions of visas allowing foreigners to enter Britain are being issued by an American company and a High Street travel agent rather than British diplomats.”

Under the system, the two private firms are responsible for dealing with about 80 per cent of the 2.75 million visa applications every year, two million of which are successful, the British daily said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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