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Travellers Stare at Losses as Schengen Visa Processing Time Increases


Are you planning to travel to the Schengen area in the near future? Be warned, you may have to join countless others on the long waiting list for a Schengen visa as increased travel demand has also increased the waiting time. Travellers have begun to plan their journeys, now that the COVID-19 limitations have been lifted in the majority of European Union/Schengen Area nations. However, those who require a visa to enter the EU have been experiencing difficulty due to a scarcity of appointment spaces.

According to a report in Times Travel, a doctor from Delhi recently lost lakhs of rupees in hotel and flight cancellation fees after he failed to receive his visa on time. Similarly, many others have been facing the same trouble in the last few days. As the rule says, the flight tickets and hotel bookings need to be confirmed along with applications for visas, many travellers are losing money in cancellations as the process is taking longer than usual and passports are not returning on time. As per the report in the news portal, no appointments (to submit visa applications) for European countries are available until the end of June.

The Joint Secretary of Travel Agents Federation, Anil Kalsi informed that although the minimum visa processing period is generally 15 working days, a number of customers have reported not receiving their passports even after a month.

The countries that currently have the longest waiting times are Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria. France, on the other hand, has the quickest turnaround. As a result, travellers are being pushed to apply for a French visa even if they intend to visit another country, resulting in them spending more money as they have to go to their intended country via France.

“We are experiencing high volumes of visa applications coupled with limited appointment availability and stretched visa processing timelines from India,” a Swiss VFS Global spokesperson told TOI, adding that VFS Global is receiving roughly 20,000 applications from India each day on average, which is comparable to pre-pandemic peak season.

A Schengen visa is a short-term visa that allows you to visit any Schengen area member country. You can stay at your intended destination for up to 90 days as a tourist or for business.

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