There have been several complaints against VFS Global Services in Abuja, Nigeria, the company that the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs contracted for visas and permits. Part of their job is to verify the submitted documents from the applicants before legalization.
Previously, Rayfield Consult was in charge of all documents to be verified for legalization until the Embassy of Finland in Abuja switched over to VFS on 1st November 2017. Recall that the Finnish Embassy in Abuja is one of the busiest Finnish Embassies in Africa because it covers many countries.
Those who have reached out to Diaspora Glitz Magazine are very disappointed over the modus operandi of VFS. Aside from the huge amount they charge for verification, they don’t operate within the stipulated time frame which is 60 days. One of the disgruntled customers who is from Nigeria sent his spouse’s school certificate to VFS for verification, seven months have passed and nothing has been done. Another fellow is on the verge of being deported from Finland over the failure to submit the requested document to the authority because of the delays from VFS.
In October this year, a Cameroonian Senior Lecturer and Researcher on Race and Racism in Finland, Dr. Aminkeng Atabong Alemanji
lodged a formal complaint against VFS Global Services over their failure to honour its contract with customers. According to him, “the said contract is that customers pay for a verification service that should be completed in 60 days. VSF Global determines the timeline and price.” We must see to it that “all verifications must be done within the promised time frame” because their customers’ livelihood, in and out of Finland, is affected by this VFS global’s failures, he opined.
Dr. Aminkeng said all customers must be treated equally and fair, and some customers should not have expedited treatment because they are Finnish citizens. VFS in their response stated that the verification process does not only involve VFS, but several authorities including country’s authority are also in the process and they may not be able to influence those authorities and their ability to respond on time.
Many family reunifications are being hindered and people in Finland are at risk of becoming undocumented due to these delays. Diaspora Glitz Magazine will continue to monitor the situation, to see if the needed change has been effected.