[Tagging] visa offices tags

Allan Mustard allan at mustard.net
Sat Nov 10 16:18:54 UTC 2018


This is a contractor, so it is not a government office.  The U.S.
government does this also in high-volume consular districts. 
Application is made through a contractor, though the interview takes
place in the consulate.  Office=visa_application would be more accurate,
since visa adjudication still takes place in the consulate.


On 11/8/2018 12:37 PM, Johnparis wrote:
> I tagged one of these office=visa the other day.
>
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/4374770543
>
> The offices I'm thinking of are private companies that have government
> contracts to provide services that the government itself would
> normally provide. In many cases they are indistinguishable from a
> government office, so the question of verifiability enters my mind.
>
> For instance, the UK visa office in Paris has big signs outside and
> inside reading "Welcome to Great Britain". I'm frankly not sure if the
> space is rented by the UK or by TLS Contact, which holds the contract.
>
> https://corp.tlscontact.com
>
> Their staff members gather the information for your application,
> including fingerprints, photos, etc., as well as your passport. They
> then seal this in a clear plastic container. After it is sealed, you
> cannot add or remove anything. The fee is set by the UK and paid to
> TLS Contact.
>
> The dossier then goes to London, where a decision is made on your visa
> and the entire dossier is returned to Paris. You pick it up next door
> to the original office from someone behind bulletproof glass. (You
> don't learn the nature of the decision till you look at your
> passport.) This is the only way to get a UK visa in Paris. If you go
> to the UK Embassy or Consulate, they will direct you to the visa office.
>
> Is this an "office=government"? It certainly is quasi-governmental. Do
> they provide visa services? Surely yes, in my mind. In fact, they are
> the only place in Paris that provide visa services for the UK. If you
> want to get any kind of visa -- long term (expat), tourist, transit --
> that's where you go.
>
> So (agreeing with John Willis) I'd say office=visa for these.
>
> John
>
> On Thu, Nov 8, 2018 at 6:16 AM John Willis <johnw at mac.com
> <mailto:johnw at mac.com>> wrote:
>
>     Is the office full of people who you pay to help you apply? Or are
>     they contracted to be the front-otfice of the agency (acceptance &
>     distribution)? В 
>
>     It seems to be the latter.В 
>
>     Think of taxes.В 
>
>     The office where you submit taxes, and an office where a
>     professional helps you prepare the forms are two different places.В 
>
>     Office=tax_preparation and office=tax are different.В 
>
>
>     If this is some office (public or private) with an official
>     mandate to accept applications and distribute visas (whether
>     approved onsite immidately or approved elsewhere and mailed to the
>     office for distribution), that does sound like office=visa.В 
>
>     If it is some private business who you pay to help you prepare the
>     form, and you mail it to the government and get your visa
>     directly, it sounds like office=visa_preperation or
>     office=immigration_lawyer.В 
>
>     I am unfamiliar with the situation you described - so please
>     choose the best tag that suits your needs.В 
>
>     Javbw
>
>     On Nov 8, 2018, at 11:37 AM, Eugene Alvin Villar <seav80 at gmail.com
>     <mailto:seav80 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>
>>     On Thu, Nov 8, 2018 at 9:29 AM Warin <61sundowner at gmail.com
>>     <mailto:61sundowner at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>
>>>         On Nov 7, 2018, at 7:12 AM, Warin <61sundowner at gmail.com
>>>         <mailto:61sundowner at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>>         1) this is a commercial firm - not a government
>>>>         authority/branch/department/etc
>>>>         2) it 'assist' people to obtain a visa
>>>>         3) it is not at an airport/seaport/boarder
>>>>         4) the visa is obtained before travel commences.
>>
>>         It is an office you go to. You present documents, they ask
>>         questions, you answer, you pay a fee,
>>         the office fills out forms using that information provided
>>         (and they then send it off to an embassy/consulate)
>>         and then some time later you get a visa back from the office
>>         (but the visa itself is actually from the embassy/consulate).
>>
>>         In the above situation, what is wrong with office=visa ? You
>>         apply to the office, they (usually) get you a visa.
>>
>>
>>     Here, the Japanese consulate never accepts direct visa
>>     application and instructs people to only submit visa applications
>>     through accredited travel agencies.
>>
>>     On the other hand, many European consulates here contract a
>>     3rd-party visa processing company such as the aforementioned VFS
>>     Global to handle all visa applications. These companies even have
>>     equipment to collect biometric data such as photographs and
>>     fingerprints that will be forwarded to the consulates together
>>     with the visa applications.
>>
>>     I would think that the first case should be tagged like other
>>     travel agencies because visa handling is just one of their
>>     services (they also arrange tours and purchase airline tickets).
>>     For the second case, they do nothing else besides processing visa
>>     applications on behalf of the contracting consulates. So they are
>>     not travel agencies. I think they should indeed be tagged with
>>     something like office=visa or better yet office=visa_processing
>>     so it is clearer.
>>
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