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VFS appointment and documents tips


Posts: 61
 tdn
Community Member
Topic starter
(@tdn)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 months ago

I would like to share a couple of tips and some insights of our recent appointment with VFS in San Francisco with you, dear EP friends, so you are not caught off guard, as we were.

First of all, the staff was friendly and accommodating. The appointment started not just on time, but even a few minutes earlier. Typically, it takes under 1/2 hr for each person, granted you have all your documents ready and correct. 

To those who are getting ready and planning to book the appointment on VFS website themselves:

1. If you are a couple applying for your visas, make sure to book separate appointments, one for each person. One after another, if time slots allow. The VFS site also offers you to add another person (your spouse, for example) to your recently booked appointment. DO NOT do that. Instead, book a separate appointment for your spouse and print the appointment confirmation with its unique confirmation number for each person. Otherwise, you will discover, as we did, when @ VFS, that the added person has not been registered by the VFS system and thus, cannot be admitted at the same time as the booked person. After waiting for an additional 1 1/2 hour, my husband was lucky to still be admitted by a VFS lady, after she finished processing the last appointment for that day.

2. Make sure your Portuguese bank statement lists not only your bank account, but also your name. For some reasons, the statement we received after depositing money to our Portuguese bank account, did not list our names. It only listed the number of our bank account. If you have the same case, just bring with you additional papers showing a connection between your name and the bank account to which money were deposited.

There is a small computer station at VFS in SF for your free use, so you can always pull any missing documents and attachments from your emails. I have not noticed, if that computer has any USB ports, so I am not able to advise, if it would be wise to bring in your thumb-drive.

Do you remember old-old days, when we were still using a dial-up modem connection to internet? Your memories will come to life, while using that VFS computer station! This is how slow that station was! LOL Yet, it was still helpful!

Good luck with your appointment! Overall it is an easy and smooth process. And extra pens,  sanitizing stations and restrooms are available 🙂

Obrigada to VFS staff willingly and friendly helping us through this process!

2 Replies
Posts: 9
Premium Member
(@michael_tn)
Active Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago

Interesting, thanks for the detailed post. My wife and I worked through VFS/Washington DC Consulate and we did everything remote. We did our document submission to VFS DC via fedex. We had to make a couple of additions, and they were happy with the documents, and submitted to the consulate. The consulate then requested our passports, again via fedex, applied the visas and returned our passports. All in all pretty easy, other then fedexing my passport around made me a bit uncomfortable. As with your experience with VFS, ours was positive as well. 

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1 Reply
 tdn
Community Member
(@tdn)
Joined: 3 months ago

Trusted Member
Posts: 61

@michael_tn

Glad to hear you also had a positive experience!

yes, mailing in is available for Washington DC VFS. The east coast is lucky in this regards. San Francisco one is only in person, so, you have to be ready to provide any missing documents right on a spot, otherwise the VFS clerk will submit to the Consulate and thus, SEF, only those documents that were available at the time of the appointment (we were told at VFS).
I know someone who had to travel from mid states to only spend 1/2 at SF VFS.

In regards to the passports, yes, you have options to either leave your passport with VFS or FEDEX it to VFS later, when your visa is ready to be stamped into your passport (VFS will notify you via a phone call). 
At the time of your in-person appointment, the VFS clerk will create and charge you for a shipping label to return your passports back to you. This fee, as well as the VFS processing fee may be paid by a credit Card. 
The visa application fee is paid only by a money order or a cashier check. Prior to drawing the money order, you will need to confirm the current amount with VFS website, as it is flactuates in the beginning of every month. 

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