No Schengen visa appointments available until September
Travellers from non-EU countries who need a Schengen visa to enter the Schengen Area might have to cancel or change their summer holiday plans if they have not obtained a visa yet, as there are no available appointments until September.
Immediately after the European Union/Schengen Area countries decided to ease their COVID entry restrictions for the summer, third country travellers who needed a visa to enter the EU/Schengen Area applied for one.
However, due to the high demand, those who have not applied yet will most likely be unable to find available appointments until mid-September, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The travel industry executives have revealed that currently, the 26 Schengen Area countries do not have available slots for July and August. It has been explained that a couple of countries may have some available slots for August. Nonetheless, most of them do not have any appointments available until September.
Such a thing is happening as the embassies are unable to meet the high demand due to the fixed number of visas they can issue.
Since there are no visa appointments available until mid-September, the travel companies have noted that many third-country travellers are considering other destinations such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, and Türkiye, among others.
Thus, Europe might register a lower number of tourists who need a visa this year as they are choosing other destinations to avoid visa hurdles.
In the previous months, embassies were taking too long to process visa applications. However, that is not the case for the majority anymore as they have hired additional staff. In general, visa applications are being processed and answered quickly – within a period of 15 working days.
A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that permits a person to enter any Schengen Area country for a period of up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.
All persons who are nationals of a country that has not reached a visa-liberalization or a similar agreement with the Schengen Area countries must obtain a visa before travelling to the EU. Depending on the reason for the trip, a person can apply for different types of visas.
Those who plan on travelling to the EU for tourism purposes need to apply for a tourist visa. The tourist visa permits third-country nationals to enter the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within a period of six months.