The German Embassy in Skopje has announced that starting September 2023, it will cooperate with the external service provider VisaMetric, enabling a much simpler visa application procedure for nationals, especially those applying for work visas.
The German Ambassador to North Macedonia, Petra Drexler, has explained that according to the new procedure, after the lottery procedure and receiving a notification from the embassy, applicants will receive another e-mail from VisaMetric, which will contain a link that redirects to another page to book an individual appointment as fixed terms will no longer be available.
“Requests in the future will no longer be submitted to the Embassy, but exclusively to our external service provider VisaMetrik,” the press release reads.
This change will benefit all applicants, especially those who really want to and are eligible to submit a request to book an appointment for submitting a request, as currently, over 20 per cent of the appointments end up empty every month. The new measure will also help to reduce the long waiting times.
Applicants will be able to choose other services for which a fee is paid, such as taking passport pictures on the spot or having their documents duplicated and other bureaucratic procedures.
In addition to the €75 visa fee, applicants will be charged another €37.5 for the VisaMetic services, which should be paid through a bank payment or remittance in Macedonian currency (Denars) after reserving the appointment online.
However, the Ambassador pointed out in her press release that the processing and decision on visa requests will continue to take place exclusively through the Embassy.
The same applies to the monthly waiting lists for an appointment and the selection of applicants through a lottery conducted at the Headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin. A decision made by the Embassy regulated the tasks of the external service provider VisaMetric DOOEL, limiting their services to only receiving requests and returning passports.
While the cooperation of the Embassy with VisaMetric as the service provider is considered good news for Macedonians, its neighbouring country of Kosovo has had complaints about the support visa application service provider.
After an investigation, Kosovo’s Market Inspectorate has stated that consumer claims that VisaMetric is misusing the system and is not carrying out services and payments accordingly are correct.
“The Market Inspectorate at MINT has reviewed all complaints received from consumers, has inspected the Economic Operator “VisaMetric” LLC in Prishtina, and has addressed all complaints received, ruling in favour of consumers,” the statement of the Inspectorate reads.
Applying for a Schengen visa can include many procedures, such as completing the visa application form, submitting two passport photos, the passport, and a declaration.
Moreover, visa applicants have to submit proof of having secured a place to stay in Germany, proof of having purchased travel health insurance, a roundtrip flight itinerary, proof of sufficient financial means, and proof of civil status, among others.