If a European summer trip is on your mind, it is important that you factor in the long wait times and delays for Schengen visa appointments. Travel experts at Titan Travel have put together a useful guide on how you can avoid Schengen visa disappointments this year, and tips on how you can try and get those last-minute appointments.
Schengen visa delays:
The Schengen visa allows travellers to visit multiple countries in the Schengen area with a single visa, making it an attractive option for tourists and business travellers alike. Schengen visa delays started with the increased security measures that have been put in place by many European Governments, who are conducting more thorough background checks and security screenings. The increase in demand for European travel, as well as the current technical issues in online appointment booking, has made it increasingly more difficult to obtain a quick visa to travel to Europe.
Countries like Italy have little to no appointments available at present. While, other countries like Greece, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Budapest have available appointments but visa processing times could range anywhere from four to eight weeks.
Despite extreme delays, there are still a few countries that are processing visas in a matter of days. Spain, Sweden, Finland, and Georgia, are some of the few countries offering quick visa applications for people hoping to travel there.
Tips for getting your visa appointment and application approved:
It is important to start the visa application process as early as possible. This ensures that you have enough time to complete all the necessary steps and avoid any last-minute delays. It is recommended that you start your application process atleast 3-4 months before your travel date. But the sooner you start, the better to avoid any disappointments.
If you are looking to travel somewhere within Europe, it could be a good idea to plan your trip around the expected visa turnaround time and choose destinations based on the ability to obtain an appointment and processing time of visas. When completing your visa application, ensure that you have all the required documents and are thoroughly making sure the application is submitted correctly in order to avoid rejection or delays.
If you are time-constrained and are in desperate need of a visa, you can try and get a walk in appointment if you have a office relatively close to you. Some people, with 15 days or less until departure, have managed to obtain an appointment through walk-ins, but be prepared to pay for a premium appointment fee which can start at around £185 (approx. USD 229.95) (not including the visa fee)!
Be sure to avoid common scams or agency’s pretending to be able to get you an appointment and thoroughly check the websites you are using and the authorities that host these sites. Ensure you are only visiting official websites in your locality to avoid being met by scammers and later disappointed!