OT - Visa service in London

Old Jul 8, 06, 12:12 am
  #1  
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OT - Visa service in London

Apologies for the OT, but advice welcome, please. Mrs Fraisse needs a wife-of-EU-citizen Schengen visa from the French Consulate for travel on 15/8; we have just discovered that they are not offering appointments (and you need an appointment) until after that date (ah! Continental efficiency! Presumably, they are all en vacances themselves or watching football).

So, we'll need to use an agency who "somehow" can get appointments and get the job done. Any recommendations, please, for Central London travel/visa agencies with a good record (and good prices if poss, though reliability's the main thing). there's one near me in Victoria called WFB who will charge 90 and take 10 working days. Any feedback on them or recommendations of others very much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old Jul 8, 06, 1:50 am
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I've used Thames Consular for visas to all kinds of fun and interesting places. They've been reliable, with good communications.

Can't comment though on pricing, as the company has always picked up the tab.
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Old Jul 8, 06, 1:55 am
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Try something different

Originally Posted by fraisse10
Apologies for the OT, but advice welcome, please. Mrs Fraisse needs a wife-of-EU-citizen Schengen visa from the French Consulate for travel on 15/8; we have just discovered that they are not offering appointments (and you need an appointment) until after that date (ah! Continental efficiency! Presumably, they are all en vacances themselves or watching football).

So, we'll need to use an agency who "somehow" can get appointments and get the job done. Any recommendations, please, for Central London travel/visa agencies with a good record (and good prices if poss, though reliability's the main thing). there's one near me in Victoria called WFB who will charge 90 and take 10 working days. Any feedback on them or recommendations of others very much appreciated.

Thanks!
Not sure if this will work, but have you tried going to a different consulate? A friend of mine works for an IT company who bring over a lot of their Indian colleagues to work in Europe. Indians get into the UK easily, but to go to work in France, Germany, Holland etc. they go and get their Schengen visa from the Dutch consulate (it seems they are very relaxed). A Schengen visa is of course multi-country so it seems that you can get it from the consulate of a different country to the one you actually want to go to.
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Old Jul 8, 06, 2:24 am
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A Schengen visa gets you into the the Schengen visa zone. Once you are in the zone, say the Netherlands, you can get into another country in the Schengen visa zone like France without clearing immigration again and you are entitled to be in France. So you need to fly to France via Amsterdam.
I am fairly certain that you can leave the Schengen zone from any country.

This website give a decent background to the Schengen visa.

The Schengen area is an area of free movement of persons. In accordance with the Schengen Convention of 14 June 1985, the 15 States, which are members thereof, have abolished checks on persons at the time of crossing of their internal borders. Hence the checks on persons is only carried out at the time of crossing of the external border of a member State, which then acts on behalf of all of the other States of the Schengen area.
That is why all countries who are members of the Schengen Treaty have two zones at the airport; one for flights to within the Schengen zone (the equivalent of domestic flights) an one for flights outside the Schengen zone (the equivalent of international flights even though it is just to the UK)

What I am not sure about is if you can get into France direct on a Dutch Schengen visa.
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Old Jul 8, 06, 2:37 am
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Thanks for the update KenJohn. I think fraisse now needs to get on the phone to the Dutch consulate and ask the relvant questions.

Good luck fraisse.
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Old Jul 8, 06, 3:38 am
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My understanding is that you have to apply for your Schengen to the first country of entry and/or the one where you'll spend most time. We want to travel to France (Corsica!) from UK so that rules out going there via NL or Belgium. And, we could (say) get it from the Belgium consulate and spend a day trip in Brussels first but (a) we'll want a multiple entry visa and the Belgian site says that they'll only issue a visa if Belgium is your principal country of visit (I love the way they assume you know all your travel plans for months ahead!) and (b) that's more expensive than a visa service (c) I don't want any risk, however, remote of the French immigration cutting-up rough on arrival. So, I plan to use a visa service to get me one from the French, though I'm grateful for the suggestions.

Any more agencies that people can commend?
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Old Jul 8, 06, 6:46 am
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I always use Benmar:

http://www.visaservices.uk.com/

for my Visas to more 'exotic' places. Their office is small and tucked away just off the Strand but don't be put off, in 3 years they've done several for China and one for India for me rapdily and reliably (and they were used for everyone needing a Visa by my old company, I've just stuck with them too).

However, just checking:

Originally Posted by Benmar
With regret we are unable to offer a service for France until further notice.With regret we are unable to offer a service for France until further notice.
Wonder why
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Old Jul 8, 06, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by phreegreens
I've used Thames Consular for visas to all kinds of fun and interesting places. They've been reliable, with good communications.
I've used them a nunber of times before - quick and efficient. They used to have a branch in the BA shop in Regent St but are now just off Piccadilly.
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Old Jul 8, 06, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by fraisse10
Apologies for the OT, but advice welcome, please. Mrs Fraisse needs a wife-of-EU-citizen Schengen visa.
Thanks!
A real basic question but best to check. What country issued the passport that Mrs Fraisse is on. Does she need a visa in the first place. The following passport holders from the following countries do not need Schengen visas:

ANDORRA
ARGENTINA
AUSTRALIA
BOLIVIA
BRAZIL
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
BULGARIA
CANADA
CHILE
COSTA RICA
CROATIA
CYPRUS
CZECH REPUBLIC
EL SALVADOR
ESTONIA
GUATEMALA
HOLY SEE (VATICAN)
HONDURAS
HUNGARY
ISRAEL
JAPAN
LATVIA
LIECHTENSTEIN
LITHUANIA
MALAYSIA
MALTA
MEXICO
MONACO
NEW ZEALAND
NICARAGUA
PANAMA
PARAGUAY
POLAND
ROMANIA
SAN MARINO
SINGAPORE
SLOVAKIA
SLOVENIA
SOUTH KOREA
SWITZERLAND
UNITED STATES
URUGUAY
VENEZUELA
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Old Jul 8, 06, 3:13 pm
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TLCS is the only one I've ever used. Always for company travel however and have been pricey. Ninety-odd-quid for Russia! But they have been very efficient.
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Old Jul 8, 06, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by fraisse10
Apologies for the OT, but advice welcome, please. Mrs Fraisse needs a wife-of-EU-citizen Schengen visa from the French Consulate for travel on 15/8; we have just discovered that they are not offering appointments (and you need an appointment) until after that date (ah! Continental efficiency! Presumably, they are all en vacances themselves or watching football).

So, we'll need to use an agency who "somehow" can get appointments and get the job done. Any recommendations, please, for Central London travel/visa agencies with a good record (and good prices if poss, though reliability's the main thing). there's one near me in Victoria called WFB who will charge 90 and take 10 working days. Any feedback on them or recommendations of others very much appreciated.

Thanks!
I needed to go to France and due to the same problem as you have, I went to the Swedish embassy and got a schengen visa. I told the swedish embassy that i was travelling to sweden on holiday and I got the the passport and visa posted to me in 3 working days. The visa let's you travel to any schengen country - you do not need to go first to sweden. Travel insurance is a must for them to issue the visa

The good thing about going to the swedish embassy is that you don't need a prior appointment... you just turn up on the day and it's first come, first served. I got there 20 mins before they opened and I was the first person to be seen.

Post here if you have any more questions or pm me
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