At VFS Global, we’re committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.
This Privacy Notice (“Notice”) explains how VFS Global. and its worldwide companies and subsidiaries (“VFS Global,” “we,” or “us”) handle personal information. This Notice applies to any VFS Global website, product, software, or service that links to it (collectively, our “Services”). Occasionally, a Service will link to a different Privacy Notice that will outline the particular privacy practices of that Service.
We may change this Notice from time to time so please check this page occasionally to ensure that you’re happy with any changes.
This Notice was last updated on 23 February 2018.
By using our services, you’re agreeing to be bound by this Notice.
If you have any questions regarding this Privacy Notice and our privacy practices please contact our Data Protection Officer or by writing to:
Attn: Data Protection Officer
VF Services UK Limited,
66 Wilson Street,
Who are we?
VFS Global is the world's largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. We are authorized to receive applications for various categories of visa, permit and travel document and to perform administrative and non-judgmental tasks related to those applications and citizen services for our client governments enabling them to focus entirely on the critical task of assessment. By virtue of providing the service of processing applications, VFS Global acts as a Data Processor and the respective diplomatic missions are the Data Controllers.
United Kingdom Visas and Immigration
How do we collect information about you?
We obtain information about you when you use our website or use our services, for example, when you apply for a visa or use our visa application services. Also, we may obtain information from secondary sources, for example; in the verification of a document as part of the visa application process, if the client government has requested that we do that. Then we may contact, for example, credit rating agencies, fraud detection agencies, educational establishments, previous employers, and other entities, in order to obtain additional information.
What type of information is collected from you?
We only collect the information that is required by the client government in order to submit the visa application or provide a requested service. The personal information we collect is dependent on what visa you are applying for, this is because the information we collect is determined by the government that grants the visa.
Examples of the types of data collected:
Personal data: Such as, name, national identity number, nationality, gender, details of your travel document (e.g. passport or ID), email address, telephone number and postal address, place & date of birth.
Sensitive Personal data: Religion, marital status, health related information, Biometric data, such as Fingerprints, Photographs & DNA swabs.
Third persons: Children, parents name, spouse name, employers’ details, someone who gives a personal reference, address you are staying at your destination.
Communication data: Contact details, emails, mobile phone number.
Payments data: Payment card details, bank account details.
Electronic media data: CCTV images, video & audio recordings, website cookies (see below).
This list is not exhaustive and varies depending on the client government’s requirements and the services you request from us.
If you want to know exactly what personal information will be collected for your visa or travel document application, please contact our Data Protection Officer or contact the diplomatic mission concerned at the address above.
How is your information used?
VFS Global will only use your personal information for the specific visa application process or to provide to you an addition service that you have requested, such as, courier delivery of your visa to your home.
We may use your information to:
- Book an appointment with one of our visa submissions officers at a Visa Application Centre (VAC);
- To assist you in your Visa or other travel document application;
- To validate who you say you are;
- To enable you to track the progress of your application;
- To provide you with additional services that you request;
- To perform our obligations under our mandate from our client governments;
- For the purposes of carrying out verification procedures in relation to your visa or travel document application;
- To prevent crime;
- To seek your views or comments on the services we provide;
- With your permission, to send you communications which you have requested and that may be of interest to you.
How long do we hold on to your data for?
We review our retention periods for personal information on a regular basis. We are legally required to hold some types of information to fulfil our statutory obligations (for example; Taxation legislation). We will hold your personal information on our systems only for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity as mandated by our client government, or as long as is set out in any relevant contract you hold with us.
Who has access to your information?
We will not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes unless you have explicitly consented. You can withdraw this consent at any time by updating your account preferences on-line where applicable or contacting our Customer Centre whose details you will be given when you make an application.
Your personal information will not be disclosed to third parties without your explicit consent. We may share your personal information with companies belonging to VFS Global where it is necessary for the processing of your requests or to deliver an additional service you have requested, for example; if you asked us to book a theatre or excursion at your travel destination for you, or to carry verification procedures or in the prevention of crime.
By applying for a visa or other type of travel document your personal information will be sent to the foreign diplomatic mission that represents the country you are applying to visit. This diplomatic mission may share your personal information with an applicable governmental, regulatory, or enforcement authorities for the prevention of crime or terrorism.
Third Parties for legal reasons:
We will share personal information when we believe it is required, such as:
To comply with legal obligations and respond to requests from government agencies, including law enforcement and other public authorities, which may include such authorities outside your country of residence.
In the event of a merger, sale, restructure, acquisition, joint venture, assignment, transfer, or other disposition of all or any portion of our business, assets, or stock (including in connection with any bankruptcy or similar proceedings)
To protect our rights, users, systems, and Services.
Third Party Service Providers working on our behalf:
We may pass your information to our third-party service providers, agents subcontractors and other associated organisations for the purposes of completing tasks and providing services to you on our behalf (for example to process payments or deliver your visa to you by courier). However, when we use third party service providers, we disclose only the personal information that is necessary to deliver the service and we have a contract in place that requires them to keep your information secure and not to use it for their own direct marketing purposes. Please be reassured that we will not release your information to third parties beyond the VFS Global network for them to use for their own direct marketing purposes, unless you have given us permission to do so.
Third Party Product Providers we work in association with:
We work closely with a small number of third-party product providers to bring you a range of quality and reliable services designed to bring you the best travel experience. For example, when you pay for your visa application we will need to have way to process payments. The relevant third-party provider will use your details to process your payments and carry out their obligations arising from any applicable laws. In some cases, they will be acting as a Data Controller of your information and therefore we advise you to read their Privacy Notice. These third-party product providers will share your information with us which we will use in accordance with this Privacy Notice.
Transferring your information off-shore:
As part of the services offered to you through this website, or in a Visa Application Centre, the information which you provide to us will, in most circumstances, be transferred to off-shore countries. This is because by applying for a visa or other type of travel document your personal information will be sent via the diplomatic mission to the country you are applying to visit. These countries may not have similar information protection laws to your country or the EU. As part of the visa application process we will seek your consent to transfer your personal information “off-shore” even though it is a necessary part of the application process we are obliged by law to ask your permission to transfer your personal information.
We may transfer your personal information internally to one of our data centres in the UK, Canada, Germany, India or Russia depending on which country you are applying to travel to. When we transfer personal information internally from the European Economic Area to other countries in which applicable laws do not offer the same level of data privacy protection as in your home country, we take measures to provide an appropriate level of data privacy protection. In other words, your rights and protections remain with your data. For example, we use European Commission approved contractual clauses, and other measures designed to ensure that the recipients of your personal information protect it.
If you would like to know more about our data transfer practices, please contact our Data Protection Officer.
We will not contact you for marketing purposes by email, phone or text message unless you have given us your prior permission for us to do so. You can change your mind at any time and not receive and further marketing information by contacting our Customer Centre or updating your account preferences on-line, where appropriate
You have certain rights under the law with regards to how your personal information is processed. These rights are:a. The right to be informed how your personal information is being used.
b. The right of access to your personal information.
c. The right to rectification if your personal information is incorrect.
d. The right to erasure your personal information. (Where the law permits this)
e. The right to restrict processing of your personal information
f. The right to data portability.
g. The right to object to how your personal information is used.
h. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.
If you feel that your personal information has been handled incorrectly or you have a complaint about how your personal information is processed you have the right to complain.
You can complain to our Data Protection Officer, or directly to the diplomatic mission concerned, or the Data Protection Authority in your country, or any country in the EU, outlining how you think your rights may have been impacted by the data processing performed by VFS Global.
VFS Global’s EU supervisory authority is:
The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
SK9 5AF, United Kingdom.
Telephone: + 44 (0)1625 545 745
How you can access and update your information?
You have the right to ask for a copy of the information VFS Global holds about you. If you request access to your personal information, we will gladly comply, subject to any relevant legal requirements and exemptions, including identity verification procedures. Before providing data to you, we will ask for proof of identity and sufficient information about your interaction with us so that we can locate any relevant data. We may also charge you a fee for providing you with a copy of your data (except where this is not permissible under local law).
The accuracy of your information is important to us. In some jurisdictions, you have the right to correct or amend your personal information if it is inaccurate or requires updating. You may also have the right to request deletion of your personal information; however, this is not always possible due to legal requirements and other obligations and factors.
We’re working on ways to make it easier for you to review and correct the information that we hold about you. In the meantime, if you want a copy of the information we hold about you, or if you change email address, or any of the other information we hold is inaccurate or out of date, please contact our Customer Centre, write to us at our local office shown at the beginning of this privacy notice, or email our Data Protection Officer.
Security precautions in place to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of your information.
When you give us personal information, we take steps to ensure that it’s treated securely. Any sensitive information (such as credit or debit card details) is encrypted and protected.
On our websites when you are on a secure page, a lock icon will appear on the in the address bar of most web browsers.
Non-sensitive details (your email address etc.) are transmitted normally over the Internet, and this can never be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk. Once we receive your information, we make our best effort to ensure its security on our systems. The password you have chosen when setting up your account, say for example when you book an appoint at a Visa application centre, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share your password with anyone.
Profiling is any form of automated processing of personal information in order to analyse or predict behaviour. We don’t do that.
Use of 'cookies'
It is possible to switch off cookies by setting your browser preferences. For more information on how to switch off cookies on your computer, visit our full Cookies Notice. Turning cookies off may result in a loss of functionality when using our website.
Links to other websites.
Our website may contain links to other websites run by other organisations. This privacy Notice applies only to our website‚ so we encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit. We cannot be responsible for the privacy policies and practices of other sites even if you access them using links from our website.
In addition, if you linked to our website from a third-party site, we cannot be responsible for the privacy policies and practices of the owners and operators of that third-party site and recommend that you check the Notice of that third-party site.
Some of our Services may include social networking features, such as the Facebook® “Like” button and widgets, “Share” buttons, and interactive mini-programs. These services may collect information such as the web pages you visited and IP addresses, and may set cookies to enable features to function properly. We are not responsible for the security or privacy of any information collected by these third parties. You should review the privacy statements or policies applicable to the third-party services you connect to, use, or access. If you do not want your personal information shared with your social media account provider or other users of the social media service, please do not connect your social media account with your account for the Services and do not participate in social sharing on the Services.
We understand that you may have questions about this Statement or our privacy practices. Please feel free to contact us in one of the following ways:
VFS Global Data Protection Officer:
Attn: Data Protection Officer
66 Wilson Street,