Sign In
For assistance with claim related queries in the CYCLONE affected regions of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala, please click here

How Much Time Does it Take to Process a Schengen Visa for India?

how-much-time-does-it-take-to-process-a-schengen-visa-for-india

Are you dreaming of a European vacation? Great! But before you book your flights and hotels, you will need to secure a Schengen visa. If you are an Indian citizen, you might be wondering how long it takes to process a Schengen visa application.

The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple one. In this blog, we will break down the factors that can affect Schengen visa processing times for Indians and give you an idea of what to expect.

What is the Schengen Visa Processing Time in India?

The typical processing time for a Schengen visa in India is around 15 days, but this starts after your application reaches the embassy or consulate. The fastest Schengen visa processing time is, therefore, around two weeks.

This means the total time can be longer since it does not include the application preparation, submission, and delivery time.

When is the Best Time to Apply for a Schengen Visa?

The best time to apply for a Schengen visa is generally well in advance of your intended travel date, ideally at least 3-4 weeks before your trip. This allows ample time for processing, even if unforeseen delays arise.

It is also advisable to avoid peak travel seasons in Europe, which are typically the summer months. During these months, embassies and consulates experience a higher volume of applications, potentially leading to longer processing times.

What Factors Affect Schengen Visa Processing Times?

While the standard processing time for a Schengen visa in India is around 15 days, this can fluctuate depending on several factors. Understanding these factors can help you manage your expectations and potentially expedite the process.

  • Embassy or Consulate Workload: Different Schengen countries have embassies or consulates in India. These offices handle visa applications for their respective countries. If a specific embassy or consulate experiences a surge in applications, it can lead to longer processing times for everyone. For instance, during peak tourist seasons for a particular Schengen country, you might expect a wait longer than usual.

  • Visa Application Type: The type of Schengen visa you apply for can also impact processing times. A straightforward short-stay visa (Type C) for tourism is typically processed faster compared to a long-stay visa (Type D) for study or work, which might require additional checks.

  • Seasonal Shifts: Just like flight prices, Schengen visa processing times can be influenced by travel seasons. Peak tourist seasons across Europe, typically summer months, see a significant rise in visa applications. This can lead to increased processing times for everyone at the embassy or consulate.

  • Application Completeness: Submitting a complete and well-organised application is crucial for a smooth and swift processing experience. Ensure you have all the required documents, fill out the application form accurately, and meet all the specific criteria outlined by the embassy or consulate. Missing documents or inconsistencies can lead to delays while the embassy tries to reach you for clarification or additional information.

  • Consulate Caseload: Beyond seasonal variations, the overall number of applications received by the embassy or consulate can also impact processing times. If they are already handling a high volume of applications, yours might take a bit longer to be reviewed.

  • Applicant Nationality: The applicant's nationality can also be a factor. Some countries have a higher rejection rate for Schengen visas than others. While India itself does not currently face such a hurdle, citizens from countries with a higher rejection rate might experience more scrutiny during the application process, potentially leading to longer processing times.

How Can I Ensure the Fastest Schengen Visa Processing Time?

The standard Schengen visa processing time in India can vary, but there are steps you can take to minimise delays and potentially expedite your application:

  • Apply Early and Avoid Peak Season: This is the golden rule! Don't wait until the last minute. Submit your application well in advance of your intended travel date, ideally at least 3 weeks before your trip. Factor in potential delays and avoid peak travel seasons (typically summer months) when embassies and consulates experience a surge in applications.

  • Choose the Right Embassy/Consulate: Apply to the embassy or consulate of the Schengen country where you intend to spend the most time. Double-check the official website for specific application requirements and procedures.

  • Gather Required Documents Meticulously: Ensure you have all the necessary documents listed on the embassy or consulate's website. Make sure they are complete, valid, and well-organised. Missing documents or inconsistencies are a major cause of delays.

  • Complete Application Form Flawlessly: Fill out the correct application form accurately and comprehensively. Leave no blank spaces and provide clear, concise information. Double-check for any errors before submitting.

  • Communicate Promptly: Respond swiftly to any requests for additional information or clarifications from the embassy or consulate. Delays in communication can extend processing times.

Are There Accelerated Visa Processing Options?

Now that you are aware of how many days to get a Schengen visa from India usually is, you may wish to find out ways to accelerate the process. Well, yes, there are. According to EU regulations, you may qualify for an expedited visa process without any additional charges if you fulfil the following conditions:

  • You are a family member of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen.

  • The EU/EEA citizen is travelling to or residing in a member state other than their country of citizenship.

  • You are accompanying the EU/EEA citizen or planning to join them in the Schengen destination country.

However, to be eligible for this accelerated visa procedure, you must provide evidence confirming that you meet these requirements. Ensure to include this proof with your visa application.

Which Countries Issue Schengen Visas?

The Schengen Area encompasses 29 European countries that have eliminated border controls between each other. This means you can travel freely throughout the region with just one visa!

If you are an Indian citizen planning a European adventure, here is a list of all the Schengen countries you can visit with a Schengen visa:

Austria

Belgium

Croatia

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

Italy

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Netherlands

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

 Bulgaria

 Romania

 -

Countries Subject to Extended Processing Times

In some cases, Schengen visa applications for citizens of certain countries may require consultation with other Schengen member states before a decision is made. This consultation process can add extra time to the processing timeframe.

The good news for Indian citizens is that India is not currently on any list of countries requiring such consultation. This means your application will likely be processed by the embassy or consulate of the Schengen country you intend to visit as your main destination.

The countries that are subject to this are:

Afghanistan

Algeria

Armenia

Azerbaijan

Bangladesh

Belarus

DR Congo

Egypt

Eritrea

Ethiopia

Iran

Iraq

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Kyrgyzstan

North Korea

Lebanon

Libya

Mali

Mauritania

Morocco

Niger

Nigeria

Pakistan

Palestine

Russia

Rwanda

Saudi Arabia

Somalia

South Sudan

Sri Lanka

Sudan

Syria

Tajikistan

Tunisia

Turkmenistan

Uzbekistan

Vietnam

Yemen

 

How Do I Apply for a Schengen Visa in India?

To apply for a Schengen visa online or offline in India, you need to follow a few key steps:

  • Identify the Relevant Embassy or Consulate: You will generally apply at the embassy or consulate of the Schengen country you intend to visit as your main destination.

  • Gather Required Documents: Each embassy or consulate has specific requirements, but common documents include a completed application form, passport, travel insurance, proof of accommodation, and proof of financial means.

  • In-Person Application: You will need to schedule an appointment and submit your application in person at the embassy or consulate or a designated visa application centre like VFS Global.

  • Biometric Data Collection: During your appointment, you will likely have your fingerprints and photographs taken for visa records.

  • Interview (Optional): The embassy or consulate may or may not call you for an interview to discuss your travel plans and application details.

  • Visa Processing and Collection: Once submitted, your application will be processed. Processing times can vary. Once approved, you can collect your passport with the visa from the embassy or consulate (or designated centre).

How Much Do Schengen Visas Cost?

The cost of a Schengen visa varies depending on several factors:

  • For adults, the fee is 80€.

  • Children aged 6-12 are charged a reduced fee of 40€.

  • Applicants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus are eligible for a discounted rate of 35€.

  • For applicants from Cabo Verde, the fee is 60€.

Additionally, if you apply through visa service centres, there might be an extra fee. These centres collect applications on behalf of consulates in certain cases.

[Note: It is worth noting that specific categories of applicants may qualify for a waiver of the visa fee. Also, the fees are subject to change and are dynamic in nature. Do check the Embassy websites in detail before applying.]

What Documents Do I Need When Applying for a Schengen Visa Online or Offline?

Due to varying processing times among embassies/consulates and for varied types of Schengen visas, it is advisable for applicants to schedule an appointment at least 15 days prior to their intended departure.

Currently, Schengen countries commonly require the following documents for visa applications:

  • Completed visa application form

  • One passport-sized photograph

  • Copy of the passport containing at least two blank pages and with a validity of three months beyond the intended stay

  • Copy of previous visas (if applicable)

  • Flight itinerary, including dates and flight numbers

  • Copy of travel health insurance policy covering medical emergencies and valid for all Schengen countries (with the option to cancel for a refund if the visa application is rejected)

  • Proof of accommodation arrangements

  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover expenses during the travel period.

For Minors:

For minor applicants, the following additional documents are necessary:

  • A copy of the birth certificate

  • Signatures of both parents on the application form

  • A copy of the court order if one parent has sole custody

  • A copy of specified identification documents of the parents

If the minor will be travelling unaccompanied, a notarised authorisation is mandatory. This authorisation must be signed by either both parents, legal guardians, or the parent with custody rights over the child.

How to Check the Status of Your Schengen Visa Application?

If you applied directly at an embassy or consulate:

  • Visit the embassy's website.

  • Choose your language and the country where you applied.

  • Enter your Schengen visa tracking number.

  • Click 'Submit' to see your application status.

  • If you used a third-party service provider like VFS Global:

  • Go to the website where you applied.

  • Look for 'Track your application online.'

  • Enter your reference number or email address and password.

  • Click 'Submit' to view your application status.

Some providers offer SMS alerts so you can sign up for updates. If your application is taking longer than expected, consider contacting the embassy or consulate for more information or to see if there is anything you can do to speed up the process.

Is Travel Insurance for a Schengen Visa Mandatory?

Are you looking for travel insurance for a Schengen Visa from India? Look no further than Reliance General Insurance. With us, you can get comprehensive coverage to meet the Schengen visa requirements hassle-free.

Our travel insurance plans offer extensive medical coverage, including emergency medical expenses of up to EUR 50,000, hospitalisation and medical evacuation. Additionally, you will be covered for delayed pieces of baggage, baggage loss and other unforeseen events during your travel.

Reliance General Insurance provides tailored insurance solutions designed to suit your travel needs. If you visit the Schengen region more than once a year, you can also choose a​n annual multi-trip insurance plan.

With an easy online application and quick processing, you can obtain your travel insurance in no time. Do not let the visa application process stress you out.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Are Schengen visas easy to get from India? 

    The ease of obtaining a Schengen visa from India depends on several factors, including your nationality, the purpose of travel, and the completeness of your application. While India itself does not have a high rejection rate, some countries do.

    However, the process can generally be smooth if you submit a well-prepared application with all the required documents and meet the eligibility criteria. It is important to ensure your application is accurate and complete and demonstrates a genuine purpose for your visit.

  2. ​​How many times can I use my Schengen visa?

    There are different types of Schengen visas, each with varying Schengen visa passport validity periods and number of entries permitted.

    • Single-entry visa (1 entry): This visa allows you to enter the Schengen Area only once during its validity period.

    • Double-entry visa (2 entries): This visa allows you to enter the Schengen Area twice during its validity period.

    • Multiple-entry visa: This visa allows you to enter the Schengen Area multiple times during its validity period, which can range from a few months to a year.​

  3. What to do if a Schengen country does not have an embassy/consulate in India?

    In some cases, a Schengen country might not have its own embassy or consulate in India. If this applies to your destination country, you will likely need to apply for your visa at the embassy or consulate of another Schengen country representing their interests in India.

    The relevant embassy or consulate can guide you through the application process. On their respective official websites, you can find information on which Schengen country represents another's interests in India.


  4. What is ETIAS?

    ETIAS (EU Travel Information and Authorisation System) is a future electronic travel authorisation system for travellers exempt from a visa who are planning to visit the Schengen Area. It is currently in the development stage and is not yet operational.

    Once implemented, ETIAS will likely be mandatory for visa-exempt travellers to obtain authorisation before entering the Schengen Area.