Before I shred off my anger, just FYI – My SCHENGEN VISA is approved and delivered. Im just super pumped to conquer Iceland in September 🙂
Ok now back to my point of view about the so-called-so-famous SCHENGEN VISA. I feel the VISA process is sluggish, information is unusable, terms are crap and time it wastes is unimaginably horrible. I will explain my points to make my point concrete.
You need heaps of document to apply for this VISA. I was carrying a 5kg bag full of documents of all of my companies and bank accounts to Kolkata VFS office, I remember last month.
Heaps. Heaps. The worst part is, every country VISA form documents checklist are weird and different. If the visa is same, process is same, why make the documents checklist different ?
I checked germany visa document checklist form and denmark document checklist form, and both had differences, not same. Very confusing.
The application itself is confusing. Many fields are absolutely a complex math. You wont even know what to enter. And agents are also clueless. You will only get to know the actual meaning of the field on the form, when you reach the VFS counter. I even came across some fields, which I did not even understand what to enter but had to enter as per VFS guy, haha!
USELESS THINGS THEY ASK
There are a ton of baseless useless things, which is asked in the VISA Application like – Air Ticket, Hotels Bookings Confirmation Receipts, Travel Insurance, Print out blank page of passport.
Let me elaborate, why I think its useless.
Air Ticket – Why would someone want to book a air ticket or get into the hassle of holding a air ticket, when he has no idea, if the visa is getting approved or rejected ?
Hotels Bookings – Why would someone want to book hotels or even make fake bookings and cancel it, when he has no idea, if the visa is getting approved or rejected ?
Travel Insurance – Travel Insurance is good and much needed, but why force it to the applicants and what if his visa is rejected ? He will lose visa money and insurance money both.
Print out blank pages of passport – This was the most irritating thing for me. I was asked to COLOR XEROX each and every page of my new passport and to my surprise, there were no color xerox services inside the VFS. I had to walk 1km in rain and get it done.
Original Bank Stamp/Signature on Bank Statements – This was ridiculous as well. Its 2018 today and almost every bank e-statement comes with bank stamp and signature on the end of the statement page, which is enough and is completely valid and legal. But VFS asked me to get each and every page of my bank statements with a new stamp and original signature of the bank manager again, which the bank was very reluctant to do, but still they did, as requested.
VISA PROCESS THROUGH VFS
The VISA process through the VFS is a long and lagged process. I had to waste 2 days to goto Kolkata for this process and finish it up. It takes a lot of time, almost more than 2-3 hours for the application check, signing, token, biometrics, which I feel can be easily streamlined in a better faster way. Basically, the VFS verifies each and every document and forwards it to the embassy for the visa process and they do the biometrics on the same day too. Its one day affair in the VFS office for sure.
VISA APPROVAL BY EMBASSY
This process took very long for me. I got my VISA almost after 20 days which is quite long, as I have heard it normally gets dispatched from the embassy in 2-3 working days for most of the applications. I had to repeatedly call and email them asking them for the update on my passport dispatch since I have another travel coming up this week.
As per the visa form, it should happen in 7-15 working days, but I got my VISA after 20 days. So, I assume, you should wait for atleast 20-25 days for this VISA. Very long and my passports were with them, keeping me locked in India 😀
The approve VISA is just 30 days! Bloody hell. Who on earth would waste so much time for just getting a 30 days visa ?
I have a 10 year valid USA VISA, and multiple visa which are more than 1 year valid, but this visa received is just for 30 days. I so hate this now.
So, my plan was to explore Europe all the main scenic routes by 2019, so I was actually expecting a 1 year valid VISA, but I have just received a 30 days valid VISA. So, basically I have to again fill the same damn form, again waste time to fly to Kolkata for the same process and Biometrics all again. CRAP!
When a person’s biometrics is already done, and visa is issued once, it should be simply an online process to apply for new EU visa and ship the passport and get it, instead of asking the person to again do the same process from 0. Makes no sense, absolutely.
PORT OF ENTRY
This is one major thing to know. Almost no one on internet or VFS website or VISA information talks about this. I know, same as me, many visitors would be confused about, if its some kind of strict rule to enter the country first who has issued the visa. Well, thats not true.
Your first port of entry does NOT need to be the country which issued you a Schengen visa. When deciding which country to apply for a visa, this is determined by which country you’re spending the most time according to your filed itinerary. Once the visa is issued, it does not matter what country is your point of entry. Technically, you should also stick to your itinerary as filed but I don’t think this is checked at any point.