Nationals of third countries have been facing long waiting times when applying for a Schengen visa due to the increased travel demand.
Now that the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in the majority of the European Union/Schengen Area countries, travellers have started to plan their trips.
However, those who need a visa in order to be able to enter the EU have been facing difficulties as appointment slots are currently very limited, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Among many other nationalities, the Nationals of Oman are facing waiting times of up to two months for a Schengen visa.
According to the Times of Oman, the travel agents of the country have said that it has become difficult to find an available appointment as there has been a sudden spike in tourists who want to visit Europe this year.
The General manager at Travel Point, Faiyaz Khan, said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic people have been unable to travel for the last two years. However, he emphasised that now that the restrictions have been lifted, the visa processing centres are unable to handle the high volumes of applications, causing yet another inconvenience for travellers.
Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria are some of the countries that currently have the longest waiting times. On the other hand, France has the shortest waiting time.
Such a thing has pushed travellers to apply for a French visa even if they are planning to visit another country, thus causing them to spend more money as they need to first enter France and then travel to their intended destination.
A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that permits a person to travel to any Schengen Area member state for stays of up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.
Such a visa is needed by nationals of all third countries that have not yet reached a visa-free travel agreement with the Schengen states.
There are different types of short-term Schengen visas. Third-country nationals who only want to get a visa for travel purposes need to apply for a tourist Schengen visa. This type of visa permits non-EU nationals to enter the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within a six-month period, provided that the applicant’s main purpose is to visit Europe for travel purposes.
When applying for a Schengen visa, third-country nationals must submit their application form, two recent photos, a valid passport, roundtrip reservation or itinerary, travel health insurance, proof of accommodation, and proof of financial means, among others.