Indiansโ€™ Interest in Applying for Schengen Visas Will Surge This Year, VFS Global Says

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VFS Global has said that an increased number of Indians will apply for Schengen visas this year, with the visa outsourcing company expecting higher levels than during the pre-pandemic period.

According to VFS Global, the surge in interest among Indians in applying for a Schengen visa is closely linked to the increased capacity in many locations throughout the country, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Sharing predictions for this year, VFS Global head for South Asia, Vishal Jairath, said that the visa applications will significantly be higher than in previous years. The same stressed that this will be mainly because more appointments will be available for Indians.

Moreover, Jairath noted that VFS Global has โ€œgeared upโ€ and made sure that they are able to accept more applications.

The situation improved in 2023, and we anticipate that in 2024, the situation will improve further in terms of appointment availability.

VFS Global head for South Asia, Vishal Jairath

In addition, Jairath revealed that, at the moment, there are Schengen visa appointments available within a week. He further stressed that in certain cases, applicants can find available appointment slots for the next day.

However, despite visa appointments being available in such a short period of time, everyone is suggested to plan in advance and apply ahead of time since as closer we get to warmer months, it becomes more difficult to book an appointment.

Due to the limited number of appointments, Indians faced long waiting times for slots as well as for visa processing in previous years.

Since additional staff have been deployed by some Schengen Member States this year, applications are expected to be processed faster, with Indians being able to learn the decision on their application within a shorter period of time.

Jairath disclosed that Switzerland has made 25 per cent more appointments available and has spread them thoroughly over the year instead of limiting them to two to three months.

Additionally, Jairath highlighted that Austria has also shown indications of allocating a higher number of appointments to Indian applications and accelerating the processing time.

He further said that other countries have also hired additional staff, stressing that this translates into a higher number of appointments for this year.

Last year, VFS Global in India saw 16 per cent more visa applications than in 2022, reaching 93 per cent of the levels recorded in 2019.

These visa applications were not only made for Schengen countries. The highest number of applications was submitted for France, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, among others.

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