The launching of the Pilot Project of the Residence Permit Application Centre was held on Thursday the 6th of April at the Finnish Residence Permit Application Centre.
RPAC is a project of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland serving Turkish, Syrian and Iraqi nationals (legally residing in these countries) and was founded in response to the great increase of residence permit applications that started in 2015. The aim of the Centre is to speed up the residence permit application process and especially to shorten the queues for family reunification.
The main task of RPAC is to receive applications and provide customers with information on residence permit application requirements. The Centre deals with the reception of new applications, making appointments and entering data into the system. In short RPAC offers all services related to applying for a residence permit. Should you have questions regarding the application process, appointments and technical information do not hesitate to contact the Centre. The Centre serves customers in English, Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic. Customers can book appointments and inquire about issues related to residence permits by phone or e-mail.
Given that RPAC is outsourced to VFS Global, it does not have any decision-making powers: decisions are made at the Finnish Immigration Service as before. If a customer has received a request for an interview or a DNA test from the Finnish Immigration Service they can make a reservation for an appointment from RPAC. In the case of documents that need to be legalized RPAC delivers them to the Embassy. The Centre charges a service fee of EUR 50 per received residence permit application.
The outsourcing of the residence permit applications to RPAC has been successful in increasing the amount of applications that can be processed at once. The first quarter of this year has seen a 300% increase in the amount of applications processed compared to the first quarter of last year.
Mr. Mayuresh Chavan (Head of Operations, Turkey and Azerbaijan) and Mr. Caner Erdem (Operations Manager, Ankara) of VFS said they are pleased with the success of the RPAC project and that they are happy to be part of something new: The outsourcing of residence permit applications is first of its kind for VFS which operates in 127 countries.