To provide efficient passport renewal services to the vast population of Filipino nationals living in the Kingdom, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippines has extended their collaboration with VFS Global for five years by signing a memorandum of agreement (MoA) on May 7 in an official ceremony that was held in Manila.
Saudi Arabia is one of the countries in the Middle East with the highest concentration of Filipino workers. To enhance customer experience and provide greater accessibility to customers in the Kingdom, the DFA outsourced the administrative and nondiscretionary task of the passport renewal process to VFS Global in 2019. Subsequently, three Philippine ePassport Renewal Centers were launched in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar in October 2020.
Prior to the launch of ePassport Renewal Centers, Philippine residents in the Kingdom had to visit the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh or the Consulate in Jeddah for passport renewal. Customers now have an additional avenue to complete the process. In addition to the centers in the Kingdom, VFS Global also operates two ePassport Renewal Centers located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE, which are also part of the MoA extension.
Upon signing the agreement, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido J. Dulay said: “Partnering with an established outsourcing champion like VFS Global enabled the DFA to multiply its presence in the Middle East at zero cost to the Philippine government. With the renewal, we can now look at widening and implementing similar service centers in other countries.”
Since the launch in October last year, the three centers have collectively processed more than 47,000 passport applications as of May 15 amidst the pandemic impact. The center operations are supported by well-trained and professional employees who comprise 10 Filipino citizens in addition to other nationalities.
Chris Dix, head of business development, VFS Global, said: “On behalf of VFS Global, I would like to thank the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Republic of the Philippines for their faith in us as we renew the ePassport Renewal Center services. Our passport and consular services have been growing from strength to strength, and we continue to look forward to offering a world-class service experience in the Kingdom, and possibly soon in other Middle Eastern countries, to ease the passport renewal process for Philippine nationals.”
To ensure social distancing norms are followed, the center accommodates walk-in customers only for application submission. Collection of renewed passport is per appointment basis.