Germany visa application services will be outsourced to private firms. The obligation of delivering administrative services will be transferred to 18 companies. These firms will work on behalf of the Consulates and Embassies of Germany.
As of now Germany visa application services in 9 overseas nations are delegated to private firms through contract. This has been done to minimize public expenditures, as quoted by the Schengenvisainfo. It is also aimed to relieve the government from administrative aspects related to Germany visa application services.
A confirmation has been issued by the Federal Foreign Office. It states that private firms are already authorized to offer Schengen visa services for German visa applicants. Private firms will receive the permit to deliver application forms to applicants of Schengen visa. They will also receive passports and filled applications forms. Fingerprint data will also have to be submitted to them for administrative review.
Visa applicants will be charged extra fees for the services offered by these private firms. This will not be included in the regular fee for visa application. The private firms will not have the authority to deliver the decision on a visa application. They will also not be able to access Schengen information systems. Visa labels usage will also not be authorized to them. All these authorizations will remain with the overseas consulates and embassies of Germany.
Some sections have expressed concerns regarding the safety of private data of visa applicants. Fears of corruptive practices by overseas staff and data leaks have been expressed. Personal information and passports are also at risk of being leaked via private firms. This could happen either after or before the application is processed by the Consulate, said the sources.
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