Department of Home Affairs, Australia, awards global biometric collection service to VFS Global
MUMBAI, India, Oct. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Department of Home Affairs, Australia, has awarded the global biometric collection service across seven regions to VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions.
The agreement spanning Australian biometric collection centres (ABCC) at 165 locations worldwide include new geographies in addition to existing locations operated by VFS Global. Awarded regions comprise Americas, Mekong, Middle East and North Africa, North Asia, Pacific, South Asia and Southeast Asia. According to the agreement, VFS Global’s core services include Biometric Collection and Identity Verification, Digital Assistance with online visa applications submission and Online Payment Assistance on the Department’s ImmiAccount portal.
The company would also provide additional (as required services) such as remote interview hosting, document and claim checking, paper digitisation and local addressing and document delivery. The roll out would take place in two broad phases with 59 centres to be operational by the January 1, 2024 and the rest under the phase 2 in line with the department’s directives.
“Over many years the department and VFS Global have enjoyed a successful partnership, during which VFS Global have continued to demonstrate flexibility as the department’s needs have evolved over time. We look forward to the continued growth of this partnership and roll out of the biometrics collection program under the new agreement,” said Anthony Phillips, Director of In-Person Services and Support, Department of Home Affairs.
“This global award is another testament of our business excellence and trusted partnership with the Department of Home Affairs, Australia. We have been working with the department since 2004 and we will continue to elevate the experience of travellers across the world bound to Australia,” said Jiten Vyas, Chief Commercial Officer VFS Global.
The agreement also marks the maiden opening of Australian biometric collection centres (ABCC) by VFS Global in the Americas region.
Recently, VFS Global also renewed its global visa contract for Sweden. As part of this, Sweden visa applications will be accepted across eight VFS Global visa application centres (VACs) in India including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune. The two recent wins demonstrate the company’s commitment to providing best-in-class visa solutions and elevating consumer experience, amid a strong travel resurgence.
About VFS Global
VFS Global is the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions. VFS Global is the trusted partner of 70 client governments, operating a global network with more than 3,300 Application Centres in 147 countries. The company has processed over 268 million applications since its inception in 2001. The company manages non-judgmental and administrative tasks related to applications for visa, passport, and consular services for its client governments, enabling them to focus entirely on the critical assessment task. VFS Global has its headquarters in Zurich/Switzerland and Dubai/United Arab Emirates.
VFS Global is majority-owned by funds managed by Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager. Blackstone seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for their investors, the companies in which they invest, and the communities in which they work. Blackstone’s USD 991 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, infrastructure, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets, and secondary funds, all on a global basis.
The Swiss-based Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation and EQT, a global investment organisation, headquartered in Stockholm/Sweden, hold minority stakes in VFS Global.