If you need assistance with your visa application, there are many resources you can use. One of them is Visa Application Centres.
What is a Visa Application Centre (VAC)?
VACs assist visa applicants with certain administrative support services and biometric collection services. They are authorized third party providers under the Global VAC Contract with the Canadian government.
The VAC network is vast. As of March 1, 2019, there are 153 VAC locations in 104 countries. 96-98% of applicants will have a VAC in the country where they reside. Find a VAC here.
New VAC Contract
Since 2012, VAC services have been provided under the terms of a “Global VAC Contract”. As the 2012 VAC Contract expires, terms of a new VAC Contract come into effect in two waves:
- Asia and the Americas: November 2018
- Europe, Africa and the Middle-East: November 2019
The VAC contractor will remain VFS Global for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The VAC contractor for the Americas has changed to TTS Visa Services, though presently TTS has subcontracted their operations to VFS Global.
Services under the new VAC Contract
VACs continue to give only administrative support services to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) applicants. They only accept temporary resident applications (ie. Temporary resident visas, Study permits, and Work permits) and applications for Travel documents for permanent residents abroad.
- Collect biometric enrolments for temporary and permanent resident applicants
- Accept passports for transmission to and from IRCC offices (including for TR e-applications and PR applications)
The Applicant pays the Biometric Collection (Core Service) fee to the Government of Canada
These services are the main function of the VAC, since Applicants must use the Core Services in order to submit their Biometrics.
Value Added Services
- Assisted service for paper applications
- Self-service workstations
- Courier services
- Premium lounges
Applicant pays fee directly to the VAC
These additional services are offered for the Applicant’s convenience. Applicants are not required to use these services.
Benefits of VACs
Visa Application Centres make it easier to apply for visas by providing biometrics collection, application assistance, and assistance in local language, by phone, email, in person and web-chat.
VACs are great if you need help with Temporary resident visas, Study permits, Work permits, and applications for Travel documents for permanent residents abroad. For other and more complicated applications, contact David Aujla, your immigration lawyer.