Proposed Visa Application Process (Service Plan)
Discuss about the Marketing Plan Proposal Visa Application Process.
This is a business proposal for establishing a visa processing plan. The vendor plans to have a Visa processing plan that is to be submitted to an embassy. The main mission for this plan is to present to the designated agency visa processing services that it will be able to serve its client faster and better. The most important part of this business plan is to be able to equip the client and the embassy with information about visa application processes and packages. As it is with most embassies, one of the most important documents that is needed by applications when applying for visa is a comprehensive travel plan. Be it for a tourism of business visa plan. It must demonstrate reasons for entering the country and the number of days that the person will be staying in the nominated country (Brown, 2012); (Deng, et al., 2010). This can be such a hectic processes when the client is traveling to a new country for the first time.
In many instances, the application process is usually very complicating for most applicants that some give up on the way. The visa related terminologies and the process becomes nearly impossible if there is no assistance of a vendor such as this one. There is a great need for an organization that understands these terminologies in order to ensure that the process is fast and smooth for the client. According to the research conducted by the vendor, about 2000 people will need visas every day, this call for a smooth and systematic process which can allow the embassy to keep track and ensure that all these applicants have been assessed and the lucky ones are provided with their visas in time. With this in mind there is need to have a visa processing plan that can work for the embassy and more so for other travel agencies around the country (Galloway, 2001).
The visa application process for the anticipated clients will depend on whether they are applying for the first time or they are in to renew their visa. This will be important for the vendor, as some of the clients coming in for the application process may still be having a valid passport before expiry. This could save the agency some time when executing the application processes. As it is with many countries, a client may be able to travel to other countries with an old passport which contains a valid visa and the new valid passport. The vendor is this available to ensure that there is a smooth visa application process the services will also ensure that the client does not again go to the embassy for an interview as it will be finished by the vendor. However, the vendor will strictly inform each client that it does not guarantee the visa issuance. It will also be important to ensure that the client is available to appear physically (Jockel, 2009).
Establishment of Information and Application Center
Once the client is able to provide documentation all the required documentation, then the next step will be to take him through the initial process which will be as follows:
In this step, the vendor will ensure that the application completes the non-immigrant visa electronic application form. At this, a photograph of the applicant will also be uploaded. Usually it is recommended that the client upload a photo taken within the last six months.
This is the second step. The vendor will assist the applicant with logging in to the online application system where the vendor will help create a profile that will be used to pay the application fee. The vendor will then choose ‘scheduled appointment’. During this process, the client will also be asked questions. He will be made to understand by the vendor before checking. This is important as the questions measures the client’s eligibility to apply for a visa without having to sit for an interview.
In the third step, the vendor will process the visa fee for the client. If the client is eligible without an interview, then the vendor will assist, print the application drop off letter which will be included in the visa application that will be mailed.
In the fourth step of the initial process, the applicant will be given his or her confirmation page. The electronic fee receipt will be provided, the current passport and the previous one, a photo and a letter that explains purpose of travel and itinery. There could be additional information with regard to visa category.
The applicant will then give the vendor all the application documents. The client will be given a receipt to this effect and tracking number. This number will also be shared by the embassy according to the embassy codes. In fact, these codes will be provided for by the embassy itself.
After the client has gone through this process, it will be the work of the vendor to ensure that the next step is observed. It will ensure that the application documents are dispatched to the embassy and a tracking number is provided to the client.
As part of its mandate, the Vendor will also ensure that there is an established information and visa application center. At this, the vendor will be mandate to organize for the printing of the Post Visa/OCI and PIO card from the embassy and surrender of the applicants citizenship certificate services application form at the vendors’ cost with regard to the provided format from the embassy. Changes will only be possible as dictated by the embassy (Turner, 2015).
It will be the work of the vendor to assist all applicants with the completion of visa application forms. This will be done by providing applicants with required information on various categories of visa application and the renunciation of native country citizenship certificate services and through the processing of applications (Deng, et al., 2010). The vendor thus will be responsible for ensuring courtesy and provide much required assistance to the 2000 applicants on a daily basis. During this time, the vendor proposes that its staff will not engage in verbal arguments or acts that may render to unpleasantness with the applicant in the center. Should this happen, the vendor will take responsibility and shall act accordingly to remove the erring member from the company’s list of staff (Gottlieb & Hussain, 2015).
At the center, the vendor shall ensure that all amenities are available with regard to the application process. Such amenities shall include photographs, photocopy, printers and courier services to applicants who may be in need of such services. The services will also not be enforced on the applicants, in the same line, the applicants will not be charged an additional fee over the recommended amount for such services. The rates and conditions will be prominently distributed to all sectors of the center and the vendor’s website. Other value added services will not be allowed at the center (Deng, et al., 2010).
The center will also be furnished with hospitality facilities. This means that it will have sufficient space. This will include the waiting area, the application counters and processing area. There will be provision of seating arrangements, newspapers and other light reading materials, television, washrooms etc. so that the public is ensured to the satisfaction of the embassy, all efforts will be put toward minimizing the time taken to process an application. The center will have modern technology put in place and conveniences for the applicants. The center is proposed to open from 8AM to 6PM from Monday to Friday, excluding embassy public holidays unless otherwise specified by the embassy (Gardner, 2011). The vendor will also make provisions for computer terminals at the premise with free internet facility and staff to assist applicants during the filling of online applications and printing at no extra cost.
The vendor will also provide a bar-coded receipt to each applicant as a way of acknowledging receipt of visa applications or surrender certificates and other fee that are paid to the vendor for the processing function. As part of the process, each receipt will indicate the state category and purpose of payment, date and mode of payment. It will also indicate if the visa application was sent in person or via mail or third party agent as described by the embassy. A copy of the bar coded receipt and fee payment instrument will be enclosed with the application as the same is forwarded. It is also important to point that other charges such as the bank commissions will be collected by the vendor on the actual basis. This will also depend on the mode of payment like demand drafts, credit/debit cards and online payment systems (Multos, 2004); (Satzewich, 2015). The vendor thus will not collect in excess of the stipulated charges and details of such charges as indicated by the embassy.
It means that all visa application will first be accepted by the vendor before taken to the embassy for verification. Applications will also include those send by post together with the applicant’s passport, Visa, surrender or the renunciation or the native country citizenship among other application fee. The vendor thus will derive his own fee and other document from the applicant or the applicant’s agents so long as it is approved by the embassy. Walk in applications will also be accepted in this line (Ali, 2016).
As part of its mandate, the vendor will also ensure that all applications are complete before surrendering to the embassy. As the vendor receives applications, they will scrutinize each document and forms to make sure that they are all completed and all requirements are met by the applicant with regard to existing application rules (Gasson & Shelferr, 2007)
In the same line, the vendor will also accept other documents as requested by the embassy from the current application. The document accepted will generally be used solely for the visa application purpose except personal cheques or company cheques. If there is an application for surrender of native country citizenship is filed together with the visa application, the vendor may not charge a separate fee. In this regard, it is proposed that the applicant will include pre-paid return envelope that will be used to receive back their passport or document my mail. In the event that the pre-paid self-addressed envelope is not enclosed with the application, there will be addition charges levied to the applicant for sending the documents via mail. Acceptance of any application documents will be done under the rules and regulations of the embassy. All funds regarding application will also be directed toward the embassy bank account during the banking hours.
In the event that a deficiency is found in the application process, the service provide will be imbued with the task of making all possible efforts to get the application completed by the applicant through recalling the applicant over email or phone at no extra charge. It is proposed by the vendor that this will be done in a span of three weeks from the time of application. Clear audit information will also be assured by the service provider to allow easy identification of visa application that have been paid and those that have not. In this regard, all details including date and amount paid shall be recorded and reconciled (Gottlieb & Hussain, 2015)
This will also be the role of the vendor in the visa application process. The vendor will digitize applicant’s passport photo and other biometric data and scanned images of applicant’s documents. This data will be transferred physically and electronically as required to allow the embassy post or upload the same in the IVERT platform during the working days. These are the times that most embassies are open. All documents that are related to visa application and other citizenship services will as well be digitized by the vendor with regard to embassy’s standards to enable the efficient search and retrieving of all information submitted to the embassy (Gottlieb & Hussain, 2015). It is also important to note that the vendor will only make the use of modern technology when it comes to implementing the Biometric systems. A separate pool will be put for the biometric entries. All the staff will be taken through a two week course on the use of biometric systems to ensure that they are conversant with what is expected of them. Training of staff will also encompass other issues such as dealing with confidentiality of applicants, ways to report suspected applicants and other forms of customer care. Training in report writing and filling of the application form will also be paramount since most of the application is proposed to be done in an online platform.
In the same manner, it will be the work of the vendor to conduct enrollment of facial and finger biometrics to the embassy application system. In this regard, the applicant will enroll facial biometric, ten fingers of the applicant and transfer them to the embassy system each working day. The time will be determine by the embassy operations. The vendor will also ensure that there is safe storage and transfer of applicant information. This information will also be treated with absolute confidentiality. As part of cost, the vendor will procure necessary equipment for this process.
The vendor will also ensure that all processed application documents together with the passports are securely posted to the embassy at a period of 24 hours of receipt of at the vendor’s headquarters. For all applications that were made in person, or through a third part agent, the vendor will ensure that all these are deposed to the embassy in the same day (Toit, et al., 2003). The vendor will also collect from the embassy successful visa applications on each working day. In this regard, monthly and weekly reports will be accumulated and submitted by the vendor to the embassy from time to time.
After the application process is done, it will be the role of the vendor to ensure that all application documents have been successfully handed back to the applicant. This will include the return of visas, passports among other documents within 24 hours of the application process as received from the embassy. The vendor will also notify all applicant on collection of the passports among other documents in persons if they applied in person. The vendor will also inform the application on the time, date and venue to applicants who are required to attend the interview process at the vendor’s headquarters under the authority of the embassy. There will be proper system for scheduling appointments for applicants who require an interview with the embassy officials. The vendor thus will ensure that application documents and passport are received and sent in a secure manner in the even that they are not collected in person, by post or courier. These expenses will be incurred by the applicant.
In the event that applicant’s documents are damaged or lost in the process, the vendor will be very responsible for applicant’s documents and visa and application charges received. In this regard, the safe keeping of these documents including biometric data and the amount from the point of collection to the time it was delivered to the appropriate visa services or the time it was deposited to the embassy. This will also be extended to the time it is in transit back to the applicant or to the authorized representative agent. No loss will be transferred to the embassy about claims from liability or loss of passports and other documentation that is directly or indirectly attributed or caused by the vendor. This will only apply so long as the documents are under the vendor’s care. In this regard, the vendor will also indemnify embassy posts fully including legal costs that are incurred at the time the claim is made by the application regarding loss caused by any reason. Some of the actions that are usually recommended for this are damage law suits of which will be the responsibility of the vendor to incur costs and penalties (Casey, 2010).
It is also important to note that the vendor will at all-time uphold confidentiality of client documents including biometric data and shall only release such information in the event that they are required to do so by law or by the embassy. Lastly, the vendor will indemnify the embassy from any liability that is incurred by the embassy and loss to the embassy property if it is caused by unlawful, willful or negligent act or omission by the provider and other sub-contractors.
In the event that documents submitted by the vendor to the embassy are incomplete, including incomplete biometric entries leading to delay of the visa processing, the vendor will pay the cost of the service multiplied by the number of days that the applicant is delayed. It is proposed by the vendor that any case of negligence will be charged at a fee proposed by the embassy. Other liabilities for the vendor will include delay in forwarding completed application forms and documents to the embassy and the delay to return the passport and documents to the applicant. At this, the application will be liable to pay the costs of the service fee multiplied by the number of the day that it delayed for each case of delay, loss or un-traceability. Other documents such as passports, registration card and documents in the custody of the provider will be included in this line. The vendor will be called to provide a loss certificate signed by the authorities and pay a proposed fine to this effect. The loss certificate will also be provided within three weeks of reporting. In the event that the provider fails to report the loss, there will be an extra penalty per day until the time the provide submits the report (Toit, et al., 2003).
Figure Below: 3D Office Map for the vendor office
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