Want to escape India’s maddening heat and dreaming of spending the summer on the Swiss Alps, visa the Amalfi coast or a Greek island? That may be easier said than done.
It is that time of the year again, when the likelihood of getting visas in time for our travel plans keeps getting dimmer.
Traditionally the most peak outbound travel season/time in India is from April to July as schools are shut/closed for summer holidays. However, over the past two years, we have observed a shift in the seasonality with demand persisting though the conventional lean period of September-October up to the end of the year, ” a VFS Global spokesperson said.
Due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, many countries are still struggling with visa processing and immigration services. As a result, obtaining a for travel may prove challenging. For instance, the earliest available Schengen visa appointment at a German consulate in India is currently in the second week of June.
Visa processing in Canada has also been affected by federal worker strikes, while the wait time for a US tourist visa in most Indian embassies is once again approaching a year.
“It is common practice to book flights and hotels early. Do the same for visas,” VFS Global advises.
Most countries accept visa applications up to 90 days (3 months) before your date of travel. You can apply for a Schengen visa Code, effective/effect 2 February 2020, you can apply for a Schengen visa up to 6 months before your date of travel.
To avoid last-minute surprises, submit your application well in advance of your planned travel dates.
The spokesperson added, “It is also advisable to avoid “visa shopping,” which unfortunately is a prevalent trend among travelers traveling to Europe.”
Tourists applying for Schengen visas are tempted to apply for countries where appointments are available due to the limited availability of appointments.
VFS Global went on to say, “We strongly discourage applicants from doing so, as this could result in visa rejections due to improper documentation.”
Keep in mind that visa processing takes a different amount of time in each country, and you can find these times and all the information you need to apply for a visa well in advance on their websites.
Consider alternatives that do not have strict time frames for immigration formalities if you are still planning your vacation.
Nations that offer eVisas are the most ideal choices for your last-minute get-aways.
For instance, Indonesia launched a fast-track on Arrival program last year for 86 nationalities, including India.
VFS Global stated that their eVisa-on-arrival service for travelers going to Thailand is highly favored due to its benefits of fast and convenient immigration clearance and exit at the airport upon arrival.