he center located on the fourth floor of the Resco Tower at 94-96 Nguyen Du Street allows people to apply for Schengen visas with no need to fly to Hanoi for such a procedure. In addition to visa fees regulated by each nation, an applicant has to pay VND400,000 for application collection and transfer between HCMC and Hanoi.

The center also provides other services. For example, one can pay VND60,000 to receive text messages about the processing of his or her application.

If not wanting to return to the center to retrieve their passports, visa applicants can have the passports delivered to their homes or companies at a service fee of VND25,000 for HCMC and VND50,000 for other localities.

Earlier, the embassies of Italy and Spain signed an agreement for outsourcing Italy and Spain visa processing in HCMC to VFS Global, with an aim to fasten the visa application process.

However, VFS Global only accepts applications for Schengen visas of travelers visiting Italy or Spain as the sole or main destination. All applications will then be assessed and processed by the embassies of Italy and Spain in Vietnam.

By Dao Loan - The Saigon Times Daily - January 10,2013