On February 23, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that IRCC is expanding the network of Visa Application Centres (VAC) over the next two years. By November 2019, there will be at least 149 VAC locations in 99 countries.
VAC are a very cost-effective way for the Government of Canada to provide services to IRCC applicants around the world. Canada uses a network of Visa Application Centres around the world, where each year, hundreds of thousands of people submit their applications and, if required, provide biometrics (fingerprints and photos) to come to Canada.
Since 2000, VACs have helped provide administrative support to visa applicants before, during and after their application is assessed at a Canadian visa office. Usually, VACs are managed by third-party service providers. These companies are authorized to provide specific services to visa applicants under the terms of a formal contract with the Department of IRCC.
VACs allow for a higher level of points of service in countries where there are few or no visa offices. VACs also ensure that visa applications are completed properly, reducing the number of incomplete applications that must be returned to the applicant.
Canada has one of the most extensive VAC networks in the world—more than 96% of applicants will be able to access a Visa Application Centre in their country of residence by November 2019.
Source: IRCC website.