The Ambassador of France to India has defended new requirements that all Indian visitors submit biometrics at the application stage, saying it will speed up the process and improve security.François Richier said the technology that is supporting the process has “additional security” features and will help “sharply increase” the number of long-term visas from India.Speaking at a new Visa Application Centre (VAC) of VFS Global at Shivaji Stadium metro station in New Delhi, he said: “The system will make life easier for Indian travellers and address most of the concerns existed before,” he said.It was a commitment by France to make the visa process easy and quick. The processing time has been reduced to 48 hours more than a year ago.Richier said that the system developed by Thales has “highest level of security features” and is capable of “preserving data for 59 months.” Because of this feature, an applicant once appeared for biometrics need not to physically appear again for processing of visa for the next 5 years. “We are confident that the system will work better for customers,” he said.Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer -South Asia, VFS Global, said that the agency is equipped to capture biometrics at all its 14 centres in India.