History of consular affairs was made in Hong Kong on 10 April, as Finland was the first Schengen-area country to outsource the visa application reception to a VFS-operated centre.
The opening ceremony was attended by media and travel business as well as representatives from other consulates-general.
Growing demand was the reason behind the outsourcing decision. The number of visa applicants to Nordic countries has increased six-fold in recent seven years, thanks to the intensifying business and tourism links.
While Hong Kong and Macao passport holders do not need Schengen visa, the Visa Application Centre caters for many international citizens based there, reports Consulate General of Finland in Hong Kong and Macau.
The first visa customer at the new centre planned to travel to Denmark. In visa affairs in Hong Kong Finland represents also Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The customer received a design gift by Finnish Marimekko, offered by the Consulate.
VFS Global has done cooperation with the government of Finland since 2010; and Hong Kong included, it operates a network of 71 Visa Application Centres in 17 countries.
The address of the Visa Application Centre in Hong Kong is: Unit 03-05, 12/F, Prosperity Millennia Plaza, 663 Kings Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong.