The Connexion continues to hear from readers who have been struggling with bugs in the system for applying for a French visa via the TLScontact service in the UK.
It comes as we were also unable to access TLScontact’s UK website on Tuesday (May 2), obtaining only an error message. It was the same last week. The message states that we have been blocked because we have reached the maximum number of ‘allowed connections’ and should ‘try later’.
We also note that the first contact telephone number for the service that comes up with an internet search (+44 203 040 0460) just has a recorded message on it saying ‘this is not a reception number’.
It is, however, possible to get through to the service on +44 203 832 3011, and you should press ‘4’ to speak to a ‘specialist’ if you want to talk to someone.
Technical issues still reported with website
Among the problems being reported to us are an inability to get onto the site at all, as well as being unable to book an appointment if the applicant used the same email address as on a previous occasion.
Another person was unable to access the site from their home computer but could do so from a family member’s home.
We note however that one reader reports that a friend tried yesterday and was able to access the website and also found appointments to be available at short notice; so it appears that the problems are not happening across the board and some new appointments are being freed up following previous reports that none were available until July.
Being asked to insert details of a British residency permit – which British people in the UK do not have – is another issue that one reader experienced while trying to book. He stated that a combination of visa-related complications has “ruined the chance of visiting my holiday home all summer”.
Not possible to apply from France
It is not possible to go to France and apply for a visa while staying in the country under the ordinary ’90 days in 180 days’ rule which applies to Britons, Americans and others of nationalities exempt from needing short-stay visas for visits.
This means that those wishing to stay longer than three months must travel having already obtained a temporary long-stay visa in their passport before they leave the UK.
The process starts with an application on a French government website, france-visas.gouv.fr after which applicants in the UK are asked to visit a centre run by private firm TLScontact with supporting paperwork, which means they must first use TLScontact’s website to book a slot.
We have asked TLScontact today if a senior person is able to speak to us and will report further in due course if we are able to have an interview.