What is the change? French consulates around the world are in the process of implementing a new appointment system.

What does the change mean? Depending on the consulate, applicants may temporarily be unable to book an appointment. The new system is expected to be implemented at all consulates this month or next month.

  • Implementation time frame: Between now and June.
  • Visas/permits affect: Any permit or visa that requires an appointment at a French consulate.
  • Impact on processing times: End-to-end processing times could be prolonged if applicants face difficulty booking an appointment.
  • Business impact: Businesses may need to adjust timelines and start dates if they have employees who are affected by delays.

Background: The new appointment systems will be operated by either TLScontact or VFS Global, depending on the country. France’s old appointment system has been taken down and the implementation dates for the new systems will vary from consulate to consulate. TLScontact and VFS Global have already been operating for months, for example, in India and China, but some other consulates have not implemented the new system. Delays should be expected even after appointment systems are implemented because of the likelihood of a backlog of appointment requests.

BAL Analysis: Applicants are encouraged to work with BAL when making an appointment at a French consulate. Workarounds may be available at some consulates that are not currently booking appointments. Employers should expect delays and may need to alter their schedules accordingly.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in France. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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