1. Why are you outsourcing?
Demand for visas to the Netherlands in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova has risen by 56% in the past 2 years. This demand is predicted to continue to rise by such levels over the next few years. It has placed great strains on our ability, under our current systems, to maintain an efficient service to applicants. This is why we decided to introduce a fundamentally different system of dealing with our visa applications. We believe outsourcing is an ideal opportunity for us to alleviate those strains and yet still maintain a quick, convenient, efficient and smooth process for the increasing number of visa applicants.
2. Is this an experiment?
No, it certainly isn’t. The outsourcing of the administrative functions of Dutch visa services has been successfully implemented in various parts of the world, for example in India and Russia. Other embassies in Kyiv, like Belgium and Germany, will also outsource the administrative function of their visa service or part thereof. It is a system that has proved successful and has enabled embassies to continue to deal with ever-increasing demand but at the same time, also maintain a quick, efficient and convenient method for obtaining a visa to the Netherlands.
3. What actually is Outsourcing?
It is a process where a private company undertakes the administrative functions of the visa issuing process on behalf of the Embassy of the Netherlands. Namely, dissemination of information as per the guidelines of the Embassy, collection of the required documents and data, and collection of the visa fee. In addition, they will also deliver the applications to our Embassy and then return passports with visas to applicants. The Outsourcer operates a Visa Application Centre (VAC). Personal callers will be requested to no longer submit their applications at our Embassy in Kyiv but at the VAC.
4. What will happen to private information given to the Outsourcer by my sponsor or me?
The information you will supply, and any information supplied by your sponsor (for example bank statements and job details) will be dealt with in the strictest confidence. We take the issue of confidentiality and data protection extremely seriously and the chosen Outsourcer will be contractually obliged to do likewise. The systems of data storage will be subject to monitoring and random checks. Furthermore, the Outsourcing contract will expressly forbid the disclosure of any details regarding a visa application to third parties. The Outsourcer cannot divulge any information about any visa application to anyone without our explicit permission or the permission of the visa applicants themselves.
5. Will there be any extra charge for outsourcing?
Yes - the Outsourcer will charge a service fee of UAH 170 including taxes. This fee will be in addition to the visa fee and is contractually agreed with the Embassy of the Netherlands. This fee cannot change without the express agreement of the Embassy. We will ensure that the service fee will remain reasonable, also in the future.
6. How can I be interviewed if I do not apply at the Embassy?
The Visa Application Centre (VAC) will inform you if you require an interview. In such a case the VAC will schedule an appointment for you at the Embassy.
7. So, if I have the right visa application form, and all the documents you want, I will get a visa?
No. Merely having the documents we request does not mean a visa will be issued automatically. It just means the Embassy can make the decision in full knowledge of all the facts. The burden is still on you, the applicant, to ensure you have provided the kind of information we require in order to make a decision. Remember that we will refuse some applications without interviewing an applicant so it is important that you submit the type of documents we require with your application.
8. Who will be called in for interview?
The Embassy decides who will be called in for an interview at the Embassy. The Visa Application Centre (VAC) works on the basis of strict guidelines provided by the Embassy. Most applicants will be told at the moment of application at the VAC whether they need an interview or not. In exceptional cases the applicant will receive a request later, based on individual merits of his application.
9. I use a travel agency for my applications now – can I still use one under Outsourcing?
The Visa Application Centre (VAC) will give advice on what application forms and documents are required and what the visa fees are. We would hope that applicants only seek advice from the VAC. The Outsourcer will charge only their agreed service fee, but we cannot control what charges a travel agency may choose to levy.
10. Do I have to make the application in person at a Visa Application Centre (VAC)?
No. As long as you have completed the application form, signed it yourself and supplied the supporting documents we require, anyone can take the application to the VAC. You cannot, however, post, fax or e-mail applications to the VAC – you or someone else acting on your behalf must submit them in person.
11. What will the Outsourcer do with the data they enter onto their computer?
The data they collect will be the same that the Embassy records know – name, date of birth, passport number etc. No more information will be required than applicants give now. The Outsourcer will be contractually obliged to store all information in a safe and secure manner and not to divulge it to third parties. We are confident that the Outsourcer will handle and store this information securely, in the same manner as our Embassy in Kyiv currently does. We take the collection, storage and security of personal data very seriously, and we will ensure that strict monitoring procedures are in place to maintain customer confidence in this area.
12. Are you doing this to make more money?
No, absolutely not. The visa fees remain unchanged and the service fee is charged only by the Outsourcer and only for their work. The service fee is fixed at one price, regardless of the visa category applied for. We believe visa applicants will continue to receive value for money.
13. Will the Outsourcer make decisions on applications too?
Absolutely not – decisions on visa applications will continue to be made, and only made, by the Embassy of the Netherlands. The Outsourcer will only give general advice at the VAC such as what visa application form and documents are required. They will not give advice on the chances of success, nor will they refuse to accept an application.
14. I have to pay another fee, so what are the benefits of this system?
The benefits are a fast, first class visa service to an increasing number of people in Ukraine and Moldova wishing to visit the Netherlands. The Visa Application Centre will over a period of time provide more value added services to make the process as much convenient to the applicants as possible.
15. How long will it take to get a visa under Outsourcing?
We are satisfied that the majority of applicants will be able to get their passport/visa back the day after they submitted it at the Visa Application Centre. For applicants living far away from Kyiv, courier services are available. For Moldovan residents a one-day service will be provided.
16. Why did you choose for this Outsourcer?
The Outsourcer is a global company called VFS. This company is an experienced and trusted outsourcing partner to diplomatic missions in about 18 countries. We are confident that the services provided by VFS will meet all requirements and expectations of our clients.
This policy is under constant review.