New visa application centres in the Caribbean and details on visa application centre service changes in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in November 2019

Ottawa, October 7, 2019 – Visa application centres (VACs) have contracts with the Government of Canada to give you visa application support services and biometrics collection services.

New VACs will open in October 2019 and some VACs will update their services in November 2019.

New VACs in the Caribbean

New VACs are opening in the following locations:

  • Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, on October 9, 2019
  • Castries, Saint Lucia, on October 10, 2019

Days of operation:

Upcoming changes to VACs in Europe, Africa and the Middle East

Current contracts with the VACs in Europe, Africa and the Middle East will be expiring on November 1, 2019.

Starting November 2, 2019, new contracts will result in changes to:

Visit our page regularly for updates before you go to a VAC.

Service and fee changes

Before November 2, 2019, you can get the following services as a package at VACs in Europe, Africa and the Middle East:

  • submitting your paper application
  • transferring your documents (such as passport) to and from the visa office
  • collecting your biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) by appointment or on a walk-in basis

Starting November 2, 2019, VACs in Europe, Africa and the Middle East will:

  • charge a separate fee to submit your application and send your documents
  • collect biometrics by appointment only
  • introduce other services and fees

Location changes

New VACs will open and some VACs will close permanently.

New VACs scheduled to open on November 2, 2019

New VACs are scheduled to open in the following locations on November 2, 2019:

  • Manama, Bahrain
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
  • The Hague, Netherlands
  • Novosibirsk, Russia
  • Rostov-on-Don, Russia
  • Yekaterinburg, Russia

Visit our VAC page at end of the month for more information.

VACs closing permanently on November 29, 2019

  • Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Podgorica, Montenegro

Important dates for Sofia and Podgorica VACs:

  • The last day they’ll accept applications and collect biometrics is November 1, 2019.
  • You’ll get the services you’ve paid for until November 29, 2019.
  • You can pick up your documents from November 4 to 29, 2019 (they’ll let you know when the documents are ready).
  • After November 29, 2019, the visa office will return your documents to you directly.

All VACs in Europe, Africa and the Middle East will keep their existing service provider.

VAC website changes

By the end of the month:

  • The VAC service provider will launch new websites for all VACs in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
  • We’ll add the new websites to our VAC page.
  • You’ll be able book an appointment to give your biometrics on and after November 2, 2019, using the new websites.
  • The old websites will be available until November 1, 2019.

How this will affect you

If you plan to go to the VAC before or on November 1, 2019:

  • Visit the old website for your location.
  • You can book an appointment to provide your biometrics up to and including November 1, 2019.
If you plan to go to the VAC on or after November 2, 2019:
  • Visit the new website for your location.
  • Biometrics appointments are mandatory.
  • You can book an appointment in advance to provide your biometrics on or after November 2, 2019.

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