Schengen visa appointments not suspended for Indian tour groups

Schengen Visa application process has not been suspended for India tour groups, the Switzerland Embassy in India clarified, the visa application process had been suspended till October 2023 citing a backlog of pending applications.

“The Embassy of Switzerland in India has not suspended Schengen visa appointments for Indian tour groups. We have almost 800 daily appointments through the end of September 2023. These include 22 groups,” Spokesperson, Embassy of Switzerland in India said in a statement.

Notably, the Swiss mission has said that in 2023, the Embassy of Switzerland has processed more applications in India than it did in 2019. The mission asserted that people-to-people contact is at the core of Swiss-Indian relationship.

“From January until June, we handled 129,446 applications, as against 120,071 during the same period in 2019 – a 7.8 per cent increase,” the Spokesperson said.

The spokesperson further stated that there are three measures that have been implemented since the beginning of this year to further ease the visa application process for Indian applicants.

“First, it is possible for the applicants to apply for their visa six months before their date of travel, as against one month in the past. So, someone wishing to travel in June can already apply for a visa in January; Second, the Embassy has increased its overall capacity in India.” ANI quoted the Spokesperson.

“With a new Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Lucknow, there are now 13 VACs all over India, where applications can be submitted; Third, currently, it takes no more than 13 working days between the appointment by our partner VFS and the Embassy’s decision on the application,” the Spokesperson added.

Earlier reports of Switzerland embassy suspending Schengen Visa had cited lack of staff which would affect not only Indian tourists, but also tourists from China. tour operators in India had also been disappointed by the news considering Schengen Visa and Switzerland tour form their most profitable ventures.

To obtain a Schengen visa for Switzerland, foreigners must submit various documents, including a completed application form, valid passport, travel insurance, accommodation proof, detailed itinerary, financial means proof, employment or enrolment evidence, and visa fee payment receipt.



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