Terms and Conditions
Dated 24 June 2014
Vfs recommends that you do not purchase tickets or make bookings which cannot be cancelled without cost prior to the issuance of a visa, except where it is a specific requirement stated as part of the visa application.
These terms contain a disclaimer which limits our liability to our refund policy stated below.
Except where covered by our refund policy below, fees are not refundable and are payable whether or not a visa is ultimately granted.
You are responsible for the accuracy of your application form, and in checking your application form we do not guarantee that we will find any errors, and we do not verify information you have provided.
Vfs recommended that you keep copies of all documents submitted with applications and of your receipts.
The India Visa Application Center is a service provided by VF Services (Switzerland) Limited ("VFS"), whose corporate head office is at 25 Seilerstrasse, 3011 Bern
We are authorized by the Embassy of India in Switzerland to operate the India Visa Application Centre in Switzerland, both through our web-site and through our offices at 25 Seilerstrasse, 3011 Bern and 70 Rue de Lausanne, 1202 Geneva, through other designated offices. We have sub-contracted elements of our service to our authorized sub-contract partner, VisaVia AG.
Application of These Terms
These terms and conditions govern your use of the services of the India Visa Application Center, all visa applications you make, and all enquiries you make for advice or information concerning India Visas.
Each applicant for a visa hereby accepts and confirms that, prior to submitting a visa application; they have read, understood and agreed to be bound by, without limitation or qualification, all of these terms and conditions.
No employee of VFS and/or its partners has any authority whatsoever to change, amend, amplify or withdraw any or all of these terms and conditions without prior written approval from VFS.
No Cancellation Rights
Once you have submitted your application you will be taken to have agreed that we may immediately commence processing you application and providing any services. As a result you will not have any right to cancel your application.
The Visa Application Service
The India Visa Application Center of VFS is the outsourced partner of the Embassy of India in Bern, Switzerland. In this capacity, the India Visa Application Center is inter alia responsible for, receipt of visa applications for travel to India and visa fees, submission of applications at the Embassy of India in Bern, collecting the processed passports from the Embassy of India, Bern, and returning passports back to applicants.
Acceptance and Rejection of Applications
The assessment of visa applications is carried out by the Embassy of India, and the grant or refusal of India visas is at their sole discretion. The Embassy of India, Bern reserves the right to ask for further documentation and information from the applicant, and to refuse any visa application. The applicant must supply such further documents and information if they wish their application to continue to be considered.
Fees stated are only valid on the day that they are quoted or provided by the India Visa Application Center. If you decide to make your application on a later date, the fees may change.
All costs of returning passports, visas and documents to you are included in the final total fee based on information provided by you and the delivery methods selected by you.
All fees must be received in full under the available payment options as cleared funds for the application to be processed. If fees are paid by cheque (or other negotiable instrument) then the payment will not be considered to have been received until such cheque or negotiable instrument has cleared. Except where covered in our Refund policy below, fees are not refundable, and in particular fees are payable whether or not a visa is ultimately granted.
VFS will process all visa applications with reasonable care and skill and in accordance with all procedures prescribed by the Embassy of India.
HOWEVER, WHILST WE USE REASONABLE CARE TO CHECK YOUR APPLICATION FORM FOR OBVIOUS ERRORS ON THE FACE OF THE FORM, WE DO NOT GUARANTEE TO DETECT ERRORS WITH YOUR FORM, AND WE DO NOT UNDERTAKE TO VERIFY ANY INFORMATION YOU PROVIDE, WHICH YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING IS ACCURATE.
It is the responsibility of all applicants to read carefully and understand the requirements set out in the India visa application forms, complete all applications forms truthfully, to provide correct and accurate information and documentation, to ensure that they have a valid passport, and on receipt of visa to check the validity of the visa issued to ensure that it covers the period of stay requested, the number or entries required, and that it is valid for the purpose of trip.
The processing times for visas are estimates only. These are based on information and experience of the Embassy of India.
The processing of your application is subject to the procedures and timescales of the Embassy of India, over which VFS have no control.
Advertising material may be included along with passports or other documents when they are returned to the applicant. If you do not wish to receive any such advertising material, you should notify VFS in advance at the time of submission of your visa application. Please note that all advertising material accompanying the relevant documents is provided by VFS, and does not have the endorsement of the Government of India.
Changes to Procedures and Fees
The procedures and fees of the Embassy of India for the processing of visas and related services are outside the control of VFS and subject to change without prior notice. VFS does not accept responsibility for any changes in procedures or fees and reserves the right to pass on any increased fees.
Refund of Visa Application Fee
If VFS is in breach of contract or negligent in relation to any visa application submitted, resulting in the visa not being granted or loss of applicants passport with valid visas, in each case, wherein the applicant has to apply for a new passport or cannot travel to India at the times stated by the applicant in his/her visa application, then VFS will refund to the applicant the amount of the visa application fee only.
Loss or damage to passports and other travel documents
VFS takes every reasonable precaution while handling an applicant's passport & documents, and if due to any breach of contract or negligence on the part of VFS, the applicant's submitted passport or documents are lost or damaged beyond a useable condition, then VFS will pay to the applicant the amount of the fees charged by the government of the applicant's home country, for the replacement of the lost or damaged passport or other documents through their normal replacement procedure, and VFS will assist the applicant with the same within its capacity. Such payments will be made by VFS to the applicant on the presentation of the payment receipt issued by the government of their respective home country for the replacement of such lost or damaged passport or documents.
DISCLAIMER - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
Except for the refund or reimbursements of fees as stated in the "Refund Policy" section above, VFS excludes its liability in connection with any visa applications, including (without limitation) liability in or under contract, negligence, tort, statute or otherwise howsoever, and including (without limitation) liability for any default, negligence, delay or failure of VFS in advising on, providing information on, handling or processing visa applications, loss of or delay to passports and other documents, delays involving the Embassy of India, and rejections of visa applications for any reason.
And for the avoidance of doubt:-
No Liability for Incorrect Information
VFS shall have no liability for loss, delays or non-issuance of any application arising from or in connection with (to include but not restricted to) incomplete application forms, incorrectly or falsely completed application forms, and inaccurate or incomplete supporting documentation.
No Liability for Events Not In Our Control
VFS shall not be considered to be in breach of contract or negligent or otherwise liable in any way for any delay or failure of any application or loss, damage or delay to any passport or other documents due to accident, theft, natural calamities (act of god) or any other reason outside the control of, and not arising out of a willful default of, VFS, or for the loss or damage to any passport or other document after it has been handed over to the applicant.
No Liability for Postal and Courier Service
VFS shall have no liability for any delays, or for loss of or damage to any visa application, passport or other documents, caused by, or occurring whilst any application, passport or document is in the possession of, any third party postal or courier service, including transportation of visa applications, passports or other documents between VFS and the Embassy of India, and when being returned by VFS to the applicant.
No Liability for Assessment of Visa Applications
VFS is not involved in the process of assessment of visa applications, or their grant or refusal, and shall not be liable or responsible for any delay by the Embassy of India in assessing, granting or refusing any visa application, or for the grant or rejection of any visa application, or for the Embassy of India requesting further information from the visa applicant.
No Liability for Wasted Costs and Expenses
VFS shall have no liability (including for breach of contract or negligence) to any visa applicant, or any other person relying on or benefiting from any visa application, for any commitment, cost or expenditure incurred in reliance on or anticipation of receiving a visa, whether within a particular timescale or at all, including but not limited to air travel, hotel, and other travel and accommodation arrangements, and any other arrangements made.
General Exclusion of Loss and Damage
VFS shall have no liability to any visa applicant, or any other person relying on or benefiting from any visa application, for any direct, indirect, punitive, incidental, special, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever due to delay, misplacement, loss or damage of applications, passports and other documents, or due to negligence or breach of contract in connection with any visa application or any advice or information given in relation to any visa application.
VFS shall have no liability to any visa applicant or any other person relying on or benefiting from any visa application for any loss of profit, revenue, contract, opportunity or business, wasted expenditure, additional expenditure, or any other business or occupation related loss or damage, suffered or incurred as a result of delay, misplacement, loss or damage of applications, passports or other documents, or due to negligence or breach of contract in connection with any visa application or any advice or information given in relation to any visa application.
Third Party Rights
Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall benefit or be enforceable by any person other than the visa applicant.
Changes to these terms
VFS, in its sole discretion, may change, amend, cancel or withdraw any or all of these terms and conditions.
These terms and conditions and any visa applications shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of Switzerland. Any claims or disputes arising in relation to the services provided by VFS to the applicant shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the competent court of Bern.
Please address any complaints to the complaints department at 23 Seilerstrasse 3011 Bern
Premium Rate Help Line Service
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided on the premium services is accurate and up-to-date. In relation to the India Visa Information Service, VF Services (Switzerland) Limited assumes no responsibility for and gives no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up-to-date nature of the information provided and limits its liability to refund of the call charges. VF Services (Switzerland) Limited excludes all other liability it may have in relation to any advice or information given through the India Visa Information Services, including for breach of contract or negligence.
India Visa Application Centre, Geneva
Data Protection Notice
What information do we process?
This notice relates to all information which we collect from you in relation to your application for an Indian visa, including information you provide through printed and web site application forms and passports and other documents you provide. This information namely includes your name, address, and contact details, place of birth, passport details, employment details and travel details.
What purposes do we process your information for?
We use your information for the purposes of providing to you services relating to your visa application, and we also pass your information to the Embassy of India in Bern who use it to process your visa application. Your information will also be retained separately by the Indian Government in accordance with their data protection policies.
Where you make any payments to us by card, including credit or debit card, or any online or electronic means, then we may disclose your information to our payment processor, but only to the extent required for the purposes of payment processing. They will use it for the purposes of processing your payment.
We do not intend to use your information for any other purpose, except that if you have given consent, we may use your information for the purposes of sending you related marketing information (such as airline advertisements), which is normally included by us when we return your passport to you and/or sent to you by e- mail if you have given us an e- mail address.
Where do we process your information?
Your information is held by us in the United Kingdom. It will also be accessed and processed by our call centre and visa processing sub-contractors, currently based in Hyderabad and Mumbai, India. Any transfers of your personal data to India are made in accordance with the Data Protection Act, Switzerland.
Your right of access
In accordance with the Swiss Data Protection Act 1992, you have a right to have access to and to modify the information which relates to you. If you wish to exercise this right and to obtain communication of the information which concerns you; please contact 70 Rue de Lausanne, 1202 Genève, Switzerland or e mail us at email@example.com
The Short Messaging Service (‘SMS’) provided to Visa Applicants is to update on current status to the applicant with regards to Visa Application Process. The information provided by SMS is based on the information provided by the Embassy of India in Bern, Switzerland. While VFS ensures that information is made available to the visa applicant promptly and accurately, the Visa Applicant shall at all times be responsible for providing and maintaining an SMS text compatible mobile phone number where VFS can send text messages regarding the status of the Visa Application to the Visa Applicant. The Visa Applicant is responsible for ensuring connection to a mobile network capable of receiving the SMS Services. The Visa Applicant understands that if The Visa Applicant ‘s mobile phone is switched off, disconnected for any reasons or is out of coverage for a period of 24 hours or more, The Visa Applicant’s mobile network provider may delete any SMS messages to be received by The Visa Applicant.
The time to deliver the SMS is dependent on several factors such as upon the traffic on the mobile network and whether The Visa Applicant's mobile phone is within reach and switched on and cannot therefore be guaranteed by VFS. VFS is not a mobile network operator and does not guarantee the delivery of SMS text messages.
The Visa Applicant confirms that the Visa Applicant has provided the accurate mobile number for receiving SMS and that the Visa Applicant is the owner or its legitimate user, or that the Visa Applicant has the consent of the owner or legitimate user, of the mobile phone using for the Services. The Visa Applicant acknowledges that using another person's mobile phone/providing inaccurate mobile phone number/unauthorized use of mobile phone number for receiving the SMS may entail disclosure of Visa Applicant ‘s confidential information which disclosure shall be at the sole risk of the Visa Applicant.
The Services, once purchased, will be available to the Visa Applicant from the time of application till complete processing of the application or such other period as VFS may advise via our website located at http://in.vfsglobal.ch. VFS reserves the right to withdraw this service at any time and without notice.
The Visa Applicant must not use (or permit any third party to use) the SMS Service to send any message or communication which is Spam, illegal, offensive, abusive, indecent, obscene or menacing or causes annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety or infringes the rights of third parties. VFS reserves the right to withdraw the SMS service to such Visa Applicant if The Visa Applicant is in breach of this paragraph 5. VFS may also withdraw the Services if VFS in its sole discretion apprehends that the SMS service is being used for such purposes.
For operational reasons VFS may vary the technical specification of the Services with or with out notice. In the event of any change to the Service these Terms and Conditions is to be treated as varied accordingly.
The Visa Applicant acknowledges that the SMS Services may, at any time, be adversely affected by problems with The Visa Applicant mobile phone network, force majeure events including, without limitation, interference to the network coverage. VFS is not responsible or liable to The Visa Applicant for any loss, damage or expenses incurred directly or indirectly by The Visa Applicant as a result of any difficulties experienced by the Visa Applicant‘s mobile phone service provider. Subject to the constraints described within this paragraph 7, VFS shall carry out the services with reasonable care and skill.
If The Visa Applicant does not receive SMS relating to these Services, the Visa Applicant should inform VFS through email or Helpline numbers.
The SMS service delivers the Visa Application Status based on the information received by VFS from Embassy of India, Bern.
To use the Services, The Visa Applicant should refer to the instructions available on the website http://in.vfsglobal.ch. The Visa Applicant agrees to comply with all instructions we may give concerning the Services, including any security instructions. We will be entitled to treat any failure by Visa Applicant themselves to comply with these instructions as a breach of these Terms and Conditions, which will entitle us to deny Visa Applicant access to the Services.
The Visa Applicant is responsible for paying charges for the message originationharges once paid for SMS service will not be refunded under any circumstances.
The Visa Applicant shall at its sole risk be responsible for taking all reasonable steps to prevent unauthorized persons gaining access to the Services.
While VFS takes every precaution transmission of information to transmit information, VFS shall not be responsible or liable for any unforeseen events and circumstances beyond the reasonable control of VFS.
VFS may in its sole discretion temporarily suspend the provision of the Services if such provision could materially affect the quality of any telecommunications service, including the Services, provided by VFS.
VFS specifically excludes all liability of any kind (including negligence) in respect of any third party information or other material made available on, or which can be accessed using SMS text services.
This Terms and Conditions is governed by the law of Switzerland and both parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts in Bern, Switzerland.
Data Protection Notice
Collection of data
The privacy and protection of personal data is very important to VFS, including all its other brands and affiliates (hereinafter). VFS complies with any mandatory data protection legislation when collecting and processing personal data. Whenever you are in the process of applying for SMS Service through a visa application centre we may collect and store (subject to Embassy guidelines), as the case may be, the following information: Your Full Name, Your Mobile Number & Email id, Your Language Preference of SMS, and the country for which you have applied for a VISA for the purposes of processing your visa application.
Disclosure to third parties
In accordance with all mandatory data protection legislation your data may be disclosed to third parties processing data on behalf of VFS. In this context your data may also be transferred abroad. Your data may be disclosed within VFS to other than the collecting entity. Data may be used by these other VFS entities to the same extent as the collecting VFS entity is entitled to use it. Your data is treated as confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties, save for the purpose of VFS fulfilling its contractual obligations vis-à-vis you, or if required under mandatory law, particularly if requested by the competent authorities or for the purpose of enforcing VFS’s rights.
Use of data
Collected data will be processed in good faith and will be used in order to transmit your Visa Application status via SMS & Email. We do not intend to use your information for any other purpose, except that if you have given consent, we may use your information for the purposes of sending you related marketing information (such as airline advertisements), which is normally included by us when we return your passport to you and/or sent to you by e-mail if you have given us an e-mail address for that purpose. You can always refuse to receive such offers and information for which you may please contact India Visa Application Centre, 70 Rue de Lausanne, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland. Your information is held by us in the computer server(s) located in UK, London and India, Mumbai. It will also be accessed and held by our affiliates currently based in India.
Purpose of collection, use, disclosure etc. of Personal Information
Applicants may be required to provide certain information pertaining to them such as name, photograph, address, date of birth, telephone number, passport information, birth certificate, income, citizenship status, marital status, employment details, criminal and educational background information etc. This information is collected as per the requirement mandated by the concerned Diplomatic Missions / Governments and/ or relevant Visa Offices.
Such personal information may be collected, used or disclosed in order to facilitate the processing of visa application(s) and/or request(s) including but not limited to for the following purposes:
Provision of personal information is voluntary. Please note, however, that a refusal to provide personal information may limit or affect ability of VFS GLOBAL to provide the requested services.
As mandated by the Diplomatic Mission/s, VFS GLOBAL may (by itself of through third party service providers/ vendors) provide various facilities for inquiries related visa application process in general and/ or status of visa applications submitted through VFS GLOBAL such as call center, online tracking, e-mail etc.
Users making inquiries as regards visa application process in general, need not provide any personal information.
Users making inquiries as regards status of visa application submitted through VFS GLOBAL can quote application reference number to receive an update on the status of their visa, permit or travel document applications.
The users may be requested to provide personal information such as given name or family name or date of birth or phone number or street address or email address or application date etc. or combination of such information for verification/ authentication purposes.
For the quality control purposes the interaction/s with user/s may be recorded. In such cases the user/s will be informed of this practice and purpose at the start of any such interaction. Unless a different requirement is mandated by the respective Diplomatic Mission/s, such recordings will be purged after a period of 30 days from the date of such interaction/s.
Certain Diplomatic Missions may require the Applicant’s to attend for personal interview. Applicants will be required to provide their application reference number and/or certain personal information such as family name, given name, date of birth, phone number, street address, email address, application date, and passport number for purpose of scheduling interviews.
All such information, posted, furnished and submitted by the Applicants while scheduling an interview appointment is converted into such formats as may be required and communicated to the respective Diplomatic Mission having jurisdiction to receive such application/s.
Certain data and information related to visa applications received by VFS GLOBAL is presently stored/ hosted at data centre/s in UK (London) and India (Mumbai). The data captured by VFS Global in its systems for processing of visa applications of applicants from European Union is stored within the European Union (EU) boundary. The data of applicants other than that from EU may be stored in VFS Global systems either within the EU boundary at data center in UK (London) or at data center in India (Mumbai).
This information may be used, disclosed by VFS GLOBAL for performing its various obligations towards respective Diplomatic Missions and will be purged within 30 (thirty) days from the date of receipt by VFS GLOBAL. However no information/ data containing Personal Information of the Applicant/s is stored at the data centre/s mentioned above.
Disclosures of Personal Information:
VFS GLOBAL will not trade, rent or sell personal information of the Applicants. VFS GLOBAL does disclose or otherwise transfer Personal Information of the Applicants, except as otherwise set out herein. Personal Information will be used only for the purposes of providing services and performing its various obligations.
However VFS GLOBAL may need to disclose and share Personal Information when it is necessary to comply with a court order, any on-going judicial proceeding, or other legal, statutory or regulatory process served on VFS GLOBAL or to exercise the legal rights or defend against legal claims, criminal investigations, judicial matters or in prevention, investigation, detection, prosecution of criminal activities or matters related to national security.
Service Provider Arrangements: VFS GLOBAL may disclose (or otherwise make available) personal information to third party service providers providing services like courier delivery, SMS, call center services. These third party service providers are provided with such information they need to perform their designated functions and are not authorized to use or disclose personal information for their own purposes. For example, where the visa applicant has opted for courier service, VFS GLOBAL will disclose certain Personal data such as name, address, phone number to the third party courier service providers. However personal information will not be shared with service provider/s for SMS service/s. Such third party service providers are also required to adhere to security & privacy requirements as outlined by VFS GLOBAL.
VFS GLOBAL has implemented measures designed to help protect personal information in its custody and control. VFS GLOBAL maintains reasonable administrative, technical, physical and organizational safeguards in an effort to protect personal information in its custody and control. However VFS GLOBAL shall not be liable for unlawful access, use, modification, destruction, destruction or interceptions by unauthorized persons.
Retention & Destruction of Personal Information:
Application packages collected from Applicants will not be copied or retained by VFS GLOBAL. Unless otherwise mandated by the concerned Diplomatic Mission, any other paper, hard copies, forms or other records containing personal information will be destroyed by a secure shredding process within thirty (30) days of a passport’s return to an applicant.
For the purposes of assisting the Applicants should they contact VFS GLOBAL with follow-up queries, Applicant personal information may be retained in electronic form, after passport and/or documents have been returned to the Applicants, for a maximum of thirty (30) days or for such period as specified by the respective Governments/ Diplomatic Missions.
VFS GLOBAL performs secure disposal or destruction of personal information on the equipment or devices used for storing personal information. When disposing of equipment or devices used for storing personal information (such as filing cabinets, computers, diskettes, and audio tapes), VFS GLOBAL takes appropriate measures such as to removal or deletion of any stored information to prevent access by unauthorized parties.
VFS GLOBAL and its third party service providers/ vendors may provide personal information in response to a search warrant or other legally valid inquiry pursuant to contravention of law / order or to an investigative body or as otherwise required or permitted by applicable law VFS GLOBAL may also disclose personal information where necessary for the establishment, exercise or a defense of legal claims, or as otherwise permitted by law.
Third Party Links
VFS GLOBAL website may contain links to other/ third party sites promoting various products and/or services that VFS GLOBAL does not own or operate. These links to websites are in nature of paid advertising are not verified by VFS GLOBAL. These links are provided for convenience access to these links is voluntary and does not indicate that VFS GLOBAL endorses or is associated with any of these other third party websites. Users are requested to use their own discretion which dealing with these websites and neither VFS GLOBAL nor its officers, employees, agents shall have any responsibility or liability of any nature whatsoever for these other third party websites or any information contained in them.
To Personal Information
Applicant/s have right to their personal information provided by them. Users may request access to their personal information by writing an email to the Info email ID mentioned on the “Contact Us” page with subject line as “Subject Access Request”. This request will be forwarded to the respective Governments/ Diplomatic Missions since they are the data controllers and further action will be taken by VFS GLOBAL based on the directions received by the respective Governments/ Diplomatic Missions.
VFS GLOBAL shall not be responsible to ascertain authenticity or accuracy of the information provided by the Applicant. It shall be the duty of the Applicant to ensure that the information provided to VFS GLOBAL is accurate, complete and upto date.
Fraudulent Recruitment / Employment Offers
It has come to VFS Global’s attention that, individuals misrepresenting themselves as VFS Global’ agents or representatives have approached people to offer fraudulent/fictitious employment opportunities, with the intent to steal personal information or solicit money from people. We encourage you to exercise caution and common sense when receiving any such employment offer, which requires payment of any fees/money, or promises a work visa in exchange for money. The said offers are completely fake and not valid. VFS Global is not a Recruitment agency and does not offer recruitment services. Scammers operate primarily via the internet, email, phone etc. We warn people to beware of such scams.
Please be advised that, VFS Global is a visa processing company and we work only with government and diplomatic missions to fulfil their administrative requirements of visa application processing. Neither VFS Global nor its representatives will ask for money from individuals under any circumstances to lure them with employment opportunities either in VFS Global or outside. If you receive any offer that purports to be from VFS Global, which ask for money, these types of offers are fraudulent.
Warning signs of recruitment fraud
The following are some examples of recruitment fraud which are in violation of VFS Global’s processes and ethical practices:
Such actions are presumably intended to defraud or obtain personal information from the victims.
The activities of these individuals involve criminal and civil liabilities. While VFS Global takes such matter seriously and reserves its right to contact competent law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute such illegal activities, it is often difficult to locate and prosecute these individuals.
Therefore, if you receive a request, either in writing or verbally, for an interview or a job offer that you believe is or might be fraudulent or suspicious, please disregard them. You may also verify the same with VFS Global at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you come to know that a fraud is being perpetrated, we encourage to forthwith contact your local police and/or any competent authorities and also to keep us informed by reporting the fraud at email@example.com
Under no circumstances will VFS Global be liable or responsible for any loss, damages, expenses or inconvenience resulting from these unauthorized persons and/or activities.