Applying for Europe travel visa? No immediate benefit of new Schengen visa rules likely for Indians; long appointment wait times continue

Apr24,2024



applying for european visa, travel industry The new “friendly” is welcomed schengen visa rules for indiansBut industry officials believe these changes are unlikely to provide any immediate relief to people wanting to travel to Europe, who have been frustrated by long wait times for appointments over the past three years. However, he hopes the move will encourage more frequent travel to the continent and reduce visa queues in the future.
According to an ET report, the new “cascade” arrangement announced by the EU on Monday involves Indians who have obtained and validly used two visas within the last three years, can now be issued long-term visas. Could. multiple entry schengen visa Valid for two years.
The Schengen visa, which is an entry permit valid for 29 European countries including France, Germany, Spain and Italy, must be obtained from the country that serves as the port of entry. According to the new rules, after a two-year visa, a five-year visa will generally be granted, provided the passport has sufficient validity. Holders of these visas will enjoy the same travel rights as visa-exempt citizens.
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Madhavan Menon, Executive Chairman, Thomas Cook India Group, believes that this measure will ensure convenience and encourage repeat visits, thereby creating a force-multiplier effect for the travel and tourism ecosystem.
However, Subhash Goyal, chairman of STIC Travel & Air Charters Group, suggests that e-visa There may be a more effective solution. He points out that travelers will still have to wait for an appointment to apply for a long-term visa, which are currently unavailable for some countries. “One has to wait for a month or two for dates and many times travelers cancel their schedules,” he said.
In Delhi, travel industry officials have reported a shortage of new visa appointment slots for countries like Iceland, Portugal and Hungary. The situation is similar in Mumbai, where there are no slots available for Spain and Hungary. Bengaluru has a shortage of appointments for Iceland, Italy and Portugal, while Kolkata has no slots for France, Iceland, Portugal, Hungary and Norway. Waiting times for visa appointments vary, with Italy and Austria taking 35-40 days to Delhi, and Germany around 90 days. In Mumbai, travelers may have to wait for more than 50 days for a German visa appointment.
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According to Rajeev Mehra, President of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, the change will bring only some relief in the coming year, as the wait for visas will continue. Jyoti Mayal, vice-president of the Federation of Associations in Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH), told the financial daily that the Schengen countries are struggling with the high demand generated by the Indian tourism industry.
“Indian travel agents have described the delay as a major challenge,” he said. “These are due to the backlog of applications and the time it takes embassies to process them. Appointment calendars are also packed optimally.”
Despite the challenges, Vijay Kesavan, founder and CEO of StampThePassport, remains optimistic. After receiving several inquiries about the development on Tuesday, he believes everyone is eager to take advantage of the changes. “It seems like everyone wants to go for it,” he said. “This is a good and sensible move and should benefit frequent travelers. It is impractical for embassies to hire additional staff just to cope with the demand rush during the summer season, so they are looking for such solutions. Have been.”



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