Visa applications for Portugal in Cape Verde with 1,600 vacancies in March

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The external company that has been processing Cape Verdean visa applications to Portugal for six months will make 1,600 vacancies available for booking in March, the Portuguese Embassy announced today, hoping to reduce waiting times.

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https://visao.sapo.pt/atualidade/economia/2023-02-27-pedidos-de-vistos-para-portugal-em-cabo-verde-com-1-600-vagas-de-agendamento-em-marco/

“Scheduling is an essential step in starting a visa application. For this purpose, there must be available places, the number of which is defined according to the response capacity of the system at any moment”, explains a note published by the Embassy.

As of August 1, 2022, visa applications to Portugal only will be handled by the external company VFS Global through the Portuguese Embassy in Cape Verde, with the aim of increasing capacity and implementing the mobility agreement of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), but the final decision on visa allocation remains with the Portuguese authorities.

The Portuguese Embassy in Praia is aware that the demand far exceeds the capacity of the services and intends to improve the quality of the services, which have been the target of several criticisms in the country, mainly because of some slowness and lack of information or vacancies for scheduling visa applications.

He adds that the Consular Section of the Portuguese Embassy in Praia and the Common Visa Center (CCV, managed by Portugal and which ensures the issuance of visas to several European countries) currently offer, every 15 days, a set of vacancies for scheduling, through the website of the company VFS Global, for national visas, and the website E-VISA, for Schengen visas.

“So, for this month of March, there will be about 1,600 vacancies for VFS Global. For the CCV – Common Visa Center, there are 1,200 vacancies. This means 2,800 appointments for the same number of people,” the memo said.

“The vacancies will be made available every two weeks. Thus, users who are unable to schedule an appointment during the first two weeks of March will have the opportunity to try again in two weeks,” it adds.

The embassy also warns that appointments will be made directly through the VFS Global and E-VISA websites, as these are “the only legitimate systems for doing so”.

“The opening of new vacancies every two weeks, which has been happening for many months in the CCV, will now also be done in VFS Global. This will allow for shorter waiting periods and also contribute to a better flow and transparency in the processing,” he emphasizes.

“Given that the demand for visas continues to increase daily, these consular services are fully committed to improving public service and quality,” the note concludes.

According to data released by the Portuguese Embassy in early February, VFS Global receives more than a thousand visa applications per month and has processed more than 7,000 cases in six months of operation.

VFS Global – Visa Facilitation Services handles the scheduling and screening of national visa applications for the Portuguese consular authorities in Praia.

“As this is a new service in Cape Verde, the VFS is aware that there are several aspects to improve in order to bring more efficiency, speed, responsiveness and convenience to the growing number of users seeking a visa to Portugal,” the embassy previously stressed, ensuring that this is one of its priorities.

In 2019, before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the consular section in Praia processed around 3,000 visa applications to Portugal, which increased to around 6,000 in 2021, despite some restrictions on travel.

According to information provided by VFS Global, the applicant is charged a “service fee” of PTE 4,440 (40 euros) “per application, in addition to the visa fees,” a “non-refundable” amount.

The Cape Verdean government has also approved amendments to the Law on Foreigners that allow the provisions of the CPLP Mobility Agreement to be incorporated into national legislation.

The changes in Cape Verde make it possible to guarantee “reciprocity” with what is approved by each of the other CPLP member countries.

In addition to Cape Verde and Portugal, the CPLP includes Brazil, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola and Mozambique.

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