Foreign Ministry selects partner for reception of visa and residence permit applications

Based on predetermined criteria, the contract was awarded to VF Worldwide Holdings Ltd, which is the current provider of the outsourced application services to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

The Foreign Ministry started the tendering process by surveying the market in autumn 2023. A restricted procedure was used in the tendering process that was carried out in spring 2024. Four service providers submitted a request to participate, and three of them made their bid. They submitted their final tenders in early June, and the Ministry reached its decision on 14 June. In making the selection, the Ministry reviewed the quality of the bidders’ customer service and their financial and technical capacity to receive applications for visas and residence permits. The bidders were also asked to provide project plans for the establishment of new application centres. In these plans, the bidders were required to describe their quality assurance methods, training plans and measures to prevent misuse.

No appeals were submitted by the deadline of 28 June at 16.15. The contract negotiations are scheduled for August 2024. The contract period is 5+5 years, as indicated in the call for tenders.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs engages an external service provider for receiving visa and residence permit applications in about 30 countries and in nearly 100 locations. The external service provider receives applications, collects biometric data and application fees and forwards them to the missions. It does not make visa decisions. Visa decisions continue to be the responsibility of Foreign Ministry officials.