Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Come to France! - French Visa Application Center removes burden of travelling to Panama

Published:Wednesday | November 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Denys Wibaux (right), ambassador of France to Jamaica and Ariel Bowen (left), acting director, Consular Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, stand inside the door of the Visa Application Center shortly after the ribbon cutting during the inauguration of the Visa Application Center for France inside the DHL Express office in New Kingston yesterday.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
1
2

Jamaicans wishing to visit France for extended periods (more than 90 days), whether to work or attend school, no longer have to travel to Panama to obtain a visa, now that a French visa application centre has been established at the DHL building in New Kingston.

The centre, which was established in August but officially opened yesterday, will be managed by VFS Global, an international company that manages visa applications on behalf of more than 100 countries.

Owing to financial constraints and other issues, the visa processing services at the French Embassy in Kingston were terminated in 2015. Persons who wanted visas for short stays in France have had to apply for a Schengen visa at the Spanish Embassy. And even though the centre is now in operation, persons can still apply for visas for short visits to France at the Spanish Embassy in Kingston.

"If an applicant plays good faith, presents good documentation and can justify all the requirements, then he will get the visa," said newly installed French ambassador to Jamaica, Denys Wibaux, at the official launch yesterday at DHL. "If people come fraudulently, they will not get through. We are an open country to tourists from all over the world, and in particular, Jamaicans and business people".

He continued: "Previously, Jamaicans applying for visas to go to France could go through our consular services in the French Embassy in Kingston. A few years ago, we had, for reasons of economy and adjustment of our public finance, to close the visa section in our embassy."

Wibaux said the new facilities will process up to 12 applications daily, but indicated that special arrangements could be made in cases of emergency.

Successful applicants should receive their visas in 12-15 days.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

Visit the France visas official website at https://france-visas.gouv.fr/enUS/web/france-visas

1. Start visa process by creating an account and filling out an application form online.

2. Create an account on the VFS Global website to schedule and pay service fees http://www.vfsglobal.com/France/Jamaica/English/index.html.

3. Return to account on www.france-visa.gouv.fr to confirm you have an appointment.

4. Go in person to the new VFS Visa Application Center for France with your passport, appointment confirmation letter, proof of payment completed and a signed visa form, and all supporting documents. VFS then sends applications to the Consulate General of France in Washington, DC, for processing.

5. Track status of application.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com