Home Travel & Adventure High Demand Leaves Indians Struggling to Secure Schengen Visa Appointments

High Demand Leaves Indians Struggling to Secure Schengen Visa Appointments


Indian travellers who are planning to visit the Schengen Area this summer have said that they are not finding any available appointment slots and have called on the authorities to take measures.

Expressing their frustration with the low number of Schengen visa available appointment slots, some Indians have said that they had no other choice but to postpone or cancel their travel plans to the bloc, SchengenNews reports.

In addition to applicants, Indian travel agents have also expressed their dissatisfaction with the current situation.

Vice-President of the Travel Agents Federation of India, Anil Kalsi said that there are currently no available appointments until summer for the majority of Schengen member states.

According to him, for Germany and Italy, the earliest appointment date is in July.

Appointments are simply not available with a majority of Schengen countries. If you want to travel to Europe this summer, the earliest appointment date for Germany and Italy is in July.[/blockquote]

This means that Indians who were planning to obtain a German or Italian Schengen visa for the purpose of travelling to the Schengen Area in June or July will be unable to do so.

VFS Global Calls on Indians Not to Leave Visa Application at Last Minute

Following complaints from Indian Schengen visa applicants and travel agents, a VFS Global spokesperson emphasised that Schengen member states decide the number of appointments that they want to allocate.

The same called on all applicants not to leave the visa application at the last minute. In line with recent changes made by the EU Commission, Schengen visa applications can be filed six months before the intended date of travel at the earliest.

On the other hand, the latest appointment can be made two weeks before the intended date of travel, provided that there are available slots.

Indians Are Now Eligible for Multiple-Entry & Longer Validity Visas

In April of this year, the Commission of the EU decided to adopt more favourable Schengen visa-issuing rules for Indians.

As part of its attempt to make travel to the bloc easier, the EU said that Schengen member states will now start issuing multiple-entry visas with longer validity to Indians.

However, not all Indians will be eligible for this type of visa. As explained by the EU authorities, two-year multiple-entry visas will now be granted to Indians who have lawfully obtained and used two Schengen visas in the last three years and who have an established travel history to the bloc.

This two-year visa will then in most cases be followed by a five-year Schengen visa provided that the passport of the applicant has sufficient validity remaining.

Citizens of India Applied for Over 966,600 Schengen Visas in 2023

Nationals of India submitted a total of 966,687 Schengen visa applications in 2023, ranking as the third-largest source of applicants.

Only nationals of China and Türkiye submitted more Schengen visa applications than Indians last year. Nationals of these two countries applied for 1,117,365 and 1,055,885 Schengen visas respectively.

While the number of Indians who applied for Schengen visas last year remained high, not everyone was granted the document.

Of the total number of applicants, 811,290 of them obtained visas, whereas 151,752 had their visa applications rejected.

Switzerland, France, and Germany issued the highest number of visas to Indians last year. These three countries issued 166,919, 146,938, and 118,919 Schengen visas to Indian passport holders, respectively.

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Monte OZ
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