By Lewis S. Teh
The French government has opened a new visa application center in Monrovia to reduce the burden on Liberian citizens and other foreign nationals who are desirous of visiting France for business, conferences, and other activities.
At the official opening ceremony on Friday, 17 November 2023, Deputy French Ambassador to Liberia Sebastine Jondot said the opening of the visa center was a long discussion process that began with other foreign mission colleagues.
“This VFS office that is being opened here today will ease the burden from the shoulders of foreign nationals including Liberian citizens who [are] desirous of visiting France,” said Jondot.
He explained that in September they had the vision from the VFS global office about opening another branch in Liberia, and he was very confident that this office would strengthen the smooth relations between Liberia and France.
Jondot said there is a cordial working relationship between France and the Liberian officials through Liberia’s Embassy in Paris and he hopes this office will do the same.
For his part, the French consulate general in la Cote D’Ivoire Mr. Philippe Collin said since 18 September 2023, ordinary passport holders residing in Liberia wishing to apply for a visa for France can now submit their application to the VFS center in Monrovia, specifically at the Royal Grand Hotel in Sinkor.
According to him, visa applications submitted with an ordinary passport in Liberia are processed by the French Consulate General in Abdijan, which has the sole authority on the visa decision-making process.
Mr. Collin said applicants must complete their application online before booking an appointment through the VFS global website.
The Monrovia office will be open beginning 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Collin disclosed that processing time for short-stay visa applications varies according to the time of the year.
Applicants may expect an average processing time of two to three weeks, while processing time for long-stay visa applications will have to take several months to process.