France Opens Visa Application Center in Mosul
Today, April 26th, 2023, France inaugurated a visa application center in Mosul, a city in northern Iraq that was occupied by the Islamic State armed group in 2014.
France is, in fact, the first member of the European Union that opens a visa application center after the reconstruction of Mosul, which the Islamic State group used as an administrative capital for almost four years.
In 2017, the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and affiliated armed groups retook the city. It currently has a Turkish consulate and several UN and international NGO offices. However, Mosul’s 1.5 million residents didn’t have direct access to visa application facilities.
The nearest visa application center is located in Bahgdad, about 500 km away from the city. There is another visa application center in Erbil, but it only provides its services to residents of the autonomous region of Kurdistan.
This means that Mosul’s residents had to travel a long distance to apply for France or Schengen visas. Now, they will be able to apply from their own location. The visa application center in Mosul will be in charge of delivering both the visa application to the French embassy in Bahgdad and the response to it.
Jean-Christophe Augé, the French Consul General in Mosul, expressed his pleasure at the opening of the center and explained that the move reflects France’s commitment to the province of Nineveh. He added that the center will be beneficial to residents such as academics, students, businessmen, and tourists.
The province of Nineveh’s Governor, Nejm al-Joubouri, welcomed the decision and emphasized that France is the first European country to assign a consul general to the city.