What role does the Visa Application Centre play in granting a Schengen visa?

I recently made a visa application with VFS Global in London, for a multiple-entry Schengen visa. The interview went really well, and the person interviewing me gave me no indication that anything could be wrong with my application, and he handed me back some of my supporting documents. He then put the other documents in a folder which would be sent to the Embassy.

After I left, I looked through the documents he gave back to me, and in there were photocopies of my past visas, bank statements, payslips, etc. These are all important documents to show my peripatetic history, means of subsistence etc.

Has he already accepted my application and is it only being sent to the Embassy for final approval? If not, why would he return to me most of my supporting documents? Does this disadvantage my application? If so, what can I do about it?

  • Their primary job is to make sure you won't waste consul's time with a non-complete visa application. – Oleksandr Kravchuk Oct 30 '17 at 11:02
  • 2
    The VAC has no role in granting a visa or help in doing so. They are only there to collect the required documents and forward the complete applications to the embassy for processing. – DumbCoder Oct 30 '17 at 12:52

In general, governments contract with companies for a portion of the visa process, outsourcing the administrative tasks. Essentially, it reviews applications to ensure that they are complete, signed, include required materials, and that fees have been paid. Such centres have no decision-making authority; that rests solely with government officials.

If you feel that there has been a misstep or oversight in your case, you could ask for clarification by contacting the centre through which you applied, VHS London (see notation):


0871 376 0023
(Please note that calls are charged at 6 pence per minute in addition to your normal network charges)

What if I am not happy with the response I receive from the person on the helpline?

You can ask for the Manager on duty at any time during your enquiry if you are unhappy with the response you have received from the helpline. You may also share any feedback about the VFS Global experience (appreciation or complaint) visiting our Customer Experience page on this website

NB: The page shown has a destination country that may not be yours, as one is asked to select visiting country and from where one is applying in order to display results.

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