Schengen Area: Processing Delays Expected at Schengen Area Consulates

Foreign nationals requiring a Schengen Visit Visa should schedule their appointments as soon as possible if they plan to travel to the Schengen Area countries during the summer 2017. Wait times at certain consulates of Schengen Area countries in the United States can be up to three months, without an option for expedited processing or emergency appointments. Applicants must create a personal profile and schedule their appointments through an online appointment system for the respective consulate.

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May 11, 2017
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Seasonal increase in travel from the United States to the Schengen Area countries has led to extended wait times for visa appointments. Foreign nationals requiring a Schengen Visit Visa should schedule their appointments as soon as possible if they plan to travel to the Schengen Area countries during the summer 2017. Wait times at certain consulates of Schengen Area countries in the United States can be up to three months, without an option for expedited processing or emergency appointments.


Background

Consulates of Schengen Area countries in the United States typically experience a significant increase in visa requests for summer months. This usually leads to a reduced availability of visa appointments and extended processing times.

Visa Applications and Appointments

Foreign nationals are required to appear in person to submit visa applications. For most Schengen consulates, applicants must create a personal profile and schedule their appointments through an online appointment system. Further, as most consulates strictly enforce jurisdiction rules, applicants must schedule their appointments at the relevant consulate, based on their U.S. state of residence and the visiting country. Walk-in applicants are not accepted.

In certain locations, Schengen Visit Visa applicants who have given biometrics (fingerprints) to a Schengen consulate within the past 59 months may be able to apply by mail. As consulates do not always publish this concession, qualifying foreign nationals may email or call the respective consulate to request permission to apply by mail on the basis that their biometrics are already in the system.

Fragomen can assist with the preparation of Schengen Visit Visa applications, but cannot book an appointment on the applicant's behalf in most cases. Applicants must create a personal profile and independently schedule their appointments online.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Employers should consider their potential need for Schengen Visit Visas over the summer months in 2017 and initiate cases as early as possible. Where visa appointments are not available by the desired date, foreign nationals will be required to reschedule their travel accordingly or monitor the online appointment system for any cancellations.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to Consular@Fragomen.com.

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Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates, (collectively known as “Fragomen Worldwide”) is the world’s largest firm dedicated to corporate immigration, and is recognized as the leading global immigration services provider.

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