The Home Office has awarded two companies a £621 million contract to provide and manage visa applications globally.
Countries and regions covered include Africa, Americas and Asia Pacific, China and Taiwan, Euromed, the Gulf and Pakistan, South Asia, Canada and Australia.
VF Worldwide Holdings was awarded a £321 million contract, whilst Teleperformance Limited will received £300 million.
The contracts have been awarded for a minimum of five years, with the option to extend twice for a further two years each time.
Given the broad geographical reach of the services required, both companies have identified subcontractors that they will use in certain countries. However, the Home Office has not yet specified who these subcontractors are, or how much they will receive as part of the deal.
The services being provided include application and biometric services, biometric enrolment, document registration, interview booking and facilities, and courier services.
In other related news, it was recently revealed that hundreds of thousands of customs records have been deleted from the Home Office’s struggling e-borders system.
A report by John Vine, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, also found that the e-borders system is relying on the original pilot Semaphore technology, which was initially developed in 2004 by IBM.