Delays in issuing Schengen visas irritate India’s External Affairs Ministry

Delays in processing Schengen visas have angered India’s External Affairs Ministry, which holds regular meetings with European missions to clear the backlog.

EU countries that issue Schengen visas have faced staff shortages and as a result, the wait for visas is longer than before, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.

Different EU embassies also handled a large number of visa applications before. However, as soon as the COVID restrictions were lifted, demand increased further.

The sudden increase found embassies unprepared and understaffed. As a result, the majority of embassies in India have been unable to meet the demand, leaving applicants waiting for weeks for their application to be processed.

Commenting on the high demand for Schengen visas, an EU mission insider told the Economic Times that the number of visa applications in 2022 was unprecedented.

Due to high demand, no visa appointments are available until mid-September. Travel industry leaders revealed last week that Schengen countries had no slots available for July and August. It was explained that some countries might have slots available for the month of August. However, the number is very limited.

This means that any Indian nationals who were hoping to obtain a visa and then travel to a Schengen country will not be able to do so until there are appointments available.

Since Indian citizens who do not hold Schengen visas will have to change their holiday plans due to the delays, India’s External Affairs Ministry has raised the issue with EU missions. ET explains that France and Spain have made special efforts to facilitate the process.

The Czech Republic and Switzerland have also made an effort by sending additional staff to ensure the visa issuance process runs smoothly.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India is also in contact with Poland. The ministry asks Poland to facilitate the process of issuing visas, as many Indian students choose Poland as their study destination.

While the other embassies have yet to fully resolve their issue, the Greek Embassy in New Delhi has already done so.

The Greek Embassy in New Delhi said earlier this month that it had resolved all its Schengen visa processing issues at its consular office. Additionally, the Embassy stressed that anyone wishing to enter Greece for travel or business purposes can apply for a visa without worrying about processing delays.

Read more:

Schengen visa application requirements

Guidelines on how to apply for a Schengen visa

Shirlene J. Manley