In a welcome move, Germany has eased rules for Indian tourists wishing to apply for a visa by centralising visa processing at its centre in Mumbai. Now, visa appointments can be scheduled in all Visa Application Centres across the country run by VFS global, irrespective of where the applicants reside.
“Kindly check for available appointment slots in one of the other major Indian cities In case the Application Centre near your home town happens to be already fully booked,” German Embassy specified in a statement.
Earlier, in October this year, the German Embassy slashed the fees for both long-term national visas as well as short-term tourist visas with immediate effect. Resultantly, the National fees came down to Rs 6,000 for adults and Rs 3,000 for minors (up to 17 years). Whereas, Schengen visa fees were cut to Rs 6,400 for adults and Rs 3,200 for minors.
Coming back to the latest move, the Embassy has made it very clear that the relaxation, however, will not be there for the national visa applicants (D-visa category) such as student, employment or family reunion visas.
Now, a Schengen visa application form may be furnished three months before the scheduled day of travel. The Schengen Visa is a visa meant for a short stay in Europe that allows the holder to go anywhere within the Schengen Area. It permits holders to stay for 90 days within a period of 180 days for tourism as well as business purposes.
At the beginning of 2022, the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) found a 214 per cent annual rise in Indian tourists coming to Germany. The GNTO said that the country attracted 9 percent of European trips by Indians and even added that up to 55 percent of Indians visited Germany for leisure, whereas 38 percent came for business activities.