When applying for the Schengen visa, duration and visa processing make it difficult for the applicant to wait for the visa news; however, if someone guarantees you a visa approval within fifteen working days. It is wrong.
Applying for the Schengen visa six months before your travel plans is advisable. Why? Here is the reason:
Visa processing takes longer than usual. The processing and approval are kept from everyone. Different circumstances may take place. Therefore, you must apply six months early so that if any improvement or additional document is required, you get the time to prepare and submit it. Secondly, the applicant needs to prepare the documents before applying and keep multiple copies of the documents so that they can use them whenever necessary.
Remember that a flight reservation for visa must be submitted along with the visa application. Many applicants confuse flight itineraries with supporting documents and do not submit them along.
Schengen Visa Processing And Duration
The minimum duration for Schengen visa processing can vary depending on several factors, including the specific consulate or visa center where you submit your application, the time of year, the volume of applications, and the complexity of your case.
However, the Schengen Visa Code establishes that the processing time should not exceed 15 calendar days from the date the consulate or visa center receives the application.
Within these 15 days, the consulate or visa center is responsible for making a decision regarding your visa application. This decision can result in either granting the visa, denying it, or requesting additional documentation or an interview.
It’s important to note that in exceptional cases, the processing time can be extended to a maximum of 30 or 60 days, depending on the specific circumstances and the complexity of the application. Such cases may include situations where additional scrutiny is required, such as when applying for certain types of visas or when the consulate deems it necessary for security or national interest reasons.
It is recommended to submit your Schengen visa application well in advance of your intended travel date, preferably at least three months prior, to allow sufficient time for processing and to account for any unforeseen delays.
This visa gives the right to its holder to enter the Schengen Area as many times as they wish within a period of three years. However, even in this case, the visa holder is limited to remaining in the EU for no longer than 90 days within a 180-day period.
Why Must Applicants Apply Six Months Before Travel Plan?
While it is not mandatory to apply for a Schengen visa six months before your travel plans, there are several reasons why it is often recommended to do so. Applying well in advance allows for a smoother and more organised visa application process, reducing the risk of potential complications.
Sufficient Processing Time
The Schengen visa application process can take time, especially during peak travel seasons when consulates or visa centres may experience a higher volume of applications. Applying six months in advance allows for a comfortable processing period, ensuring that your application receives thorough attention and consideration from the consulate or visa center.
Flexibility in Travel Plans:
By applying well ahead of your intended travel dates, you have more flexibility in adjusting your travel plans if necessary. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances or changes in your itinerary may require adjustments to your travel dates. Having an approved visa in hand early on gives you the freedom to make those changes without worrying about potential visa delays or complications.
Additional Time for Document Preparation:
Applying early gives you ample time to gather and prepare all the required documents for your visa application. This includes obtaining necessary supporting documents such as travel insurance, flight bookings, proof of accommodation for visa, bank statements, and other relevant paperwork. Rushing to gather these documents at the last moment can lead to mistakes or omissions, potentially jeopardising your visa application.
Peace of Mind and Reduced Stress:
Applying for a visa can be a stressful process, especially when there are time constraints. Applying six months ahead provides ample time to gather all the necessary information, complete the application accurately, and address any potential concerns or questions from the consulate or visa center. This gives you peace of mind and reduces the stress associated with last-minute preparations.
Unexpected Delays or Complications:
Despite the general guidelines for visa processing times, there can be unforeseen delays or complications that may arise during the application process. Applying well in advance allows for additional time to address any potential issues that may arise, such as requests for additional documents, an interview, or further clarifications.
It is important to note that the specific recommended timeframe for applying for a Schengen visa may vary depending on individual circumstances and the requirements of the consulate or visa center where you are applying. It is always advisable to consult the official website or contact the relevant consulate or visa center for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding visa application timelines.