Schengen visa applicants from around the world are waiting longer than usual to obtain a visa due to the sudden spike in travel demand this year.
Most of the European Union (EU) and Schengen countries have lifted COVID-19 restrictions, which enables third countries nationals to visit. Based on reports from SchengenVisaInfo.com, appointment slots to issue a Schengen visa are very limited.
For example, Oman nationals are encountering at least a two-month wait to obtain a visa. Times of Oman reports that available appointments are scarce for travel agents based in the country to find.
The COVID-19 pandemic restricted travel plans for two years, yet with more countries reopening their borders, visa processing centres are struggling to issue the overflowing amount of applications on time, said the General Manager at Travel Point Faiyaz Khan. This is, unfortunately, causing another travel-related inconvenience, he added.
France is considered to have the shortest waiting time, whereas Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and others are the longest. This means that some travellers are opting to apply for a visa to France instead, in order to travel to their originally planned destination.
Nationals of third countries that do not have a visa-free travel agreement with Schengen member states, including Indonesia, are required to apply for a Schengen visa. This visa type permits a traveller with tourism or business plans to enter any Schengen state, valid for up to 90 days. Moreover, the tourist Schengen visa is only valid for a maximum of 90 days within six months.
Applications for Schengen visas require the nationals of third countries to submit the following, among others:
- Application form
- Two recent photos
- A valid passport
- Round-trip reservation or itinerary
- Travel health insurance
- Proof of accommodation
- Proof of financial means