TLScontact recently opened a brand new visa application centre for Poland in Lviv, in western Ukraine. This is the first of a number of centres that we will be opening for Poland in Ukraine, as part of an outsourcing contract signed with the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in February 2022.
The Lviv visa application centre opened its doors on August 29th, following a decision by the Polish authorities over the summer to restart visa outsourcing in Ukraine. The contract signed in February covered visa application centres across the country. However, due to the ongoing conflict, Lviv is currently the only centre to be operating, welcoming several thousand visa applicants each week.
Poland is a very important destination for Ukrainians, for both work and study, and in recent months, the Polish Embassy in Lviv has recorded very high demand for Polish National Visas. These applications are now being managed by our local team, who coordinate the process from document submission until passport return, once an applicant has received a decision from the Polish Embassy. Applications can be submitted either face-to-face, during an appointment at our centre, or by post. All applications are tracked through TLSconnect, our in-house case and workflow management system, configured to meet the specific requirements of the Polish authorities.
Ensuring that our new Lviv centre opened on time was a significant challenge, in view of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Once the decision was made to open the centre, we then had only a few weeks to prepare. Among other things, this required:
- Equipping the new location
- Installing our IT systems
- Launching a new website to inform customers on the application process
- Hiring and training staff on TLScontact processes, and on the stringent requirements for document checks from the Polish authorities.
As usual, our strong in-house project management expertise was essential to the success of this project. A dedicated project manager coordinated the work of our colleagues from Operations, Technology, Web Content, Facility Management and more. Close collaboration was also required throughout with the Polish authorities at both the central and local levels.
As our Chief Sales Officer, Simon Peachey, explains: “This new contract in Ukraine is a very significant one for us, and the first for TLScontact with the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We are delighted to have this new opportunity and are committed to supporting our new Polish client in Ukraine, whatever the challenges. This new centre opening, involving strong collaboration both across our organisation and with our client, is a perfect demonstration of this commitment.”
Our Lviv centre has already received several thousand customers since opening and will be gradually increasing capacity in the weeks ahead, to help the Polish authorities manage the growing number of National Visa applications. Depending on how the situation evolves on the ground, other centre openings can also be expected in the months ahead.