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The Speech of Ambassador A.Shulgin at the Inauguration of the New Visa Centre

 

Dear Mr. Vig, dear colleagues and friends!

 

Today Mr. Vig and I officially opened a new Russian Visa Centre in the Hague. Therefore, the Netherlands are now among the countries that have Russian visa centres operated by VFS Global Company.

I’d like to note that the new Centre was opened at the right time, because the number of visas issued by our Embassy in 2016 has increased by 5.5 thousand for the first time over the past few years, as compared with the previous year, and amounted to almost 42 thousand. Despite the existing difficulties in the bilateral Russian-Dutch relations we notice the growing interest to our country in the Netherlands, as the above growth was due to the issuance of tourist visas. Of course, we must be ready to provide everyone an opportunity to obtain a visa to enter Russia as quickly as possible and in the best conditions.

With the increase in the volume of visa activities the Russian Сonsulate in the Hague definitely needed a professional help in receiving the documents, their checking and primary processing. We now have the new visa сentre as a good helper and hopefully a reliable partner. Our joint work on visas is intended to improve the quality of the reception of the required documents from the representatives of visa agencies and individual visitors.

A really amazing and hard work to find and prepare the premises for the Visa Centre has been done in only six weeks by the colleagues from VFS Global. They took into account all the wishes and recommendations of the Consular Department of the Embassy. The Visa Centre is located near the Hague city centre in an easily reachable area, including by those who travel from other cities of the Netherlands. As we could see today, the premises of the Centre meet all modern requirements to work with visitors and are well equipped to process incoming visa files. The courier service of the Visa Centre that is in charge of delivering visa files to the Consular Department of the Embassy operates fail-safe. If they need the applicants can make use of the additional paid services: take photos, make copies of documents, fill in the visa application form on the spot and order the delivery of the passport with a visa by courier to any address in the Netherlands.

As far as this Embassy is concerned, ​​you can always count on my support and the support of your main supervisor - the Consular Department. Don’t hesitate to call the Consulate and ask questions. There are experienced diplomats, some of them have worked in other countries, they are always ready to help and advise you in difficult situations. Of course, at the beginning some rough spots are possible, you will have to adjust to our rules and strictly meet our requirements on paperwork, but eventually, I'm sure, the Consular Department and the Visa Centre will operate as one and single body, and the awareness of the importance and usefulness of our common cause will bring, among other things, a profound moral satisfaction to all of us.

Good luck!