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U.K. Outsources Visa Processing To U.S., Indian Firms

The two contracts are expected to improve processing of foreign visa applications to the tune of more than $500 million.
Los Angeles-based Computer Sciences Corp. said Friday that is has signed a deal to help the government of the United Kingdom process visa applications.

Under a five-year deal, worth as much as $275 million if two additional one-year options are exercised, CSC will establish three centers for the physical processing of foreign visa applications from visitors from 15 countries.

CSC will also provide telephone and Internet-based visa information services on behalf of UKvisas -- a British government agency -- for applications from an additional 87 countries in Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East.

UKvisas has also tapped India's VFS Global Services to provide similar outsourced services for visa applicants from the former Soviet Union, Asia, and parts of Africa. VFS's contract is worth approximately $305 million in total.

CSC and VFS will work to ensure that visa applications are complete, collect application fees, operate a biometric service that will collect finger scans and photographs from applicants, and provide courier services for application delivery.