SCHENGEN COUNTRIES – VISA UPDATES
13 Nov, 2018
EU offers reciprocal Visa-free travel to the UK
The European Commission has offered Visa-free travel to the UK nationals. This is completely conditional based on even the UK also offering the same to all the EU nationals. The proposal is in the scenario of the exit of the UK.
The proposal implies that the UK nationals will not need a Visa for traveling to the Schengen Area. This is for short-stays for maximum 3 months in a period of 180 days. If the UK exits the EU without any deal the proposal will be applicable as of March 30, 2019. In a scenario where a deal is agreed upon, it will be applicable at the end of the period of transition.
The latest proposal for Visa-free travel by the EU is among its measures for preparedness. These are needed as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU. They are separate from the current negotiations for the UK’s orderly exit from the EU.
08 Nov, 2018
EU aims to enhance integration of women immigrants
The EU Integration Network is conducting a meeting on 12 and 13 November in Vienna. This is for discussing the better integration of women immigrants. The network brings together all EU nations’ representatives. These coordinate activities pertaining to the integration of non-EU immigrants.
The participants of the meeting will share good practices on enhancing the integration of immigrant women. This is into the labor market and society. They will also discuss ways to expand the reach and empowering most vulnerable immigrant women.
The representatives of national authorities participating in the meet will visit the Austrian Integration Fund. They will also witness certain projects offering direct assistance to immigrant women in Austria.
16 Oct, 2018
EU reports that good progress made on combating travel document fraud
The EU Commission has reported that good progress has been made on combating travel document fraud. This was as a part of its report on implementing the Action Plan for Travel Document Fraud: December 2016. It contains concrete initiatives to enhance the security of travel documents. This is for those issued by the Member States of the EU to the EU nationals as well as overseas nationals. It includes Residence Permits, National Identity Cards, and Passports.
The Commission reported that adequate progress has been made on the issue in the last 18 months. This includes all the 4 key areas of identity infrastructure outlined in the Action Plan. It covers document control, document production, issuance of identity and registration of identity. 16 out of the 32 measures proposed in the Action Plan have now been completed by now.
20 Sep, 2018
EU and Serbia sign agreement for deployment of EB & CG
European Union and Serbia have signed an agreement for deployment of European Border and Coast Guard teams in Serbia. EU was represented by Dimitris Avramopoulos Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship Commissioner. Serbia was represented by Minister of Interior and Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Nebojša Stefanović.
Serbia will be assisted in the management of border by the Agency. The assistance will also include joint operations with the nation. This is specifically in cases of abrupt variation in the inflow of immigrants.
Cooperation and support with non-EU nations are crucial for the safeguarding of external borders of the EU. The Commission fortified the mandate for European Border and Coast Guard for permitting deployment in the immediate neighborhood in EU.
12 Sep, 2018
EU President presents 3 fresh proposals for immigration & border reform
Jean-Claude Junker the EU Commission President has offered 3 fresh proposals for immigration and border reform. This was in his 2018 State of the Union Address. The aim of the proposals is to complete EU solidarity on immigration and enhanced safety of external borders of the EU.
The latest proposals also are a concrete input to the discussions of the EU leaders on immigration. They aim to offer an overall compromise on the current reform of the asylum system of the EU.
The EU Commission President has set a new level of ambition for the EU Agency for Asylum and European Border and Coast Guard. This also reinforces to both the agencies to ensure that Member States of the EU can rely on the total operational support of the EU at all times.
24 July, 2018
EU Commission expands Immigration Management concepts
EU Commission has expanded the concepts of Immigration Management following the call by the leaders of the EU at the European Council held in June. This includes controlled centers and short-term measures. It is for enhancing the processing of immigrants that are disembarked in the EU. This could also offer a first outline of the probable path ahead for establishing regional disembarkation arrangements with third nations.
Arrangements for Regional disembarkation must be perceived as working in collaboration with the development of EU controlled centers. Both these concepts must help in ensuring a truly shared regional responsibility for responding to intricate immigration challenges.
July 18, 2018
EC confirms that Kosovo fulfills all benchmarks for EU Visa-free travel
The EU Commission has confirmed that Kosovo has fulfilled the 2 remaining requirements outlined in the Visa Liberalization Roadmap for EU Visa-free travel. This includes the ratification of the agreement for demarcation of the border with Montenegro. An enhanced track record for combating corruption and crime is also included.
The Commission had proposed to the EU Council and Parliament to offer EU Visa-free travel to Kosovo residents in May 2016. This was based on the understating that the 2 benchmarks would be fulfilled by Kosovo at the time of ratification of the proposal. It has now recommended the agencies to move ahead with the approval.
EU signs treaty with Macedonia for immigration management
Dimitris Avramopoulos the European Commissioner and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Minister of Interior Oliver Spasovski have signed a treaty for immigration management. This will permit teams from Coast Guard and European Border Agency to be deployed in the nation. It will permit the agency to execute joint operation within and with the nation for catering to abrupt migratory issues.
Enhanced cooperation between the Western Balkan partners and the Agency also forms a core element of the strategy of the EU Commission. This is with respect to credible enlarged perspective for and augmented engagement with the Balkans in the West.
With effect from Monday (i.e) 8th February 2016, Mumbai VFS will not accept any Family Reunion/Dependent visa applications.
All applicants have to seek an appointment by sending an email to the Swiss Embassy in New Delhi and submit the applications personally on the appointed day and time.
December 9, 2015
VFS Mumbai will not be accepting any Applications on Thursday 10 December 2015 and Friday 11 December 2015, as it will be ‘NO APPLICATION DAY’ as per the instructions from The Netherlands Embassy, New Delhi.
November 14, 2015
France has suspended Schengen agreement and imposed border controls. Travelers traveling from India with Schengen visa issued by a country other than France will not be able to travel to France with immediate effect from 13TH November 15.
The decision of French government is temporary and will continue for a month or so starting form 13th of November 15. This precaution is primarily taken to decrease any likelihood of terror attack which occurred on Friday night.
Please make a note of the above while making any travel arrangement for France.
November 5, 2015
Netherland Important Update:
Please be informed due to technical updates Visa Application Centers will remain closed as per the below schedule:
- Bangalore – 5 November
- Chennai – 6 November
- Jalandhar – 10 November
- Ahmedabad – 10 November
- Mumbai – 10 December
- New Delhi – 14 December
- Kolkata – Until further notice
November 3, 2015
Non submission of visa applications in West and South India except Mumbai.
Effective 02 November 2015, the Consulate General of Italy in Mumbai will only accept applications submitted at the VFS Italy Visa Application Centre in Mumbai.
Applicants from Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Cochin are requested to watch this space for further updates.
VFS Global Logistics Fees have been revised as Rs. 1145/- on 02 November 2015. With effect from Monday 02 November 2015 the VFS Global Logistics Fees have been revised as Rs. 1145/-
Due to technical issues, VFS Kolkata will not be able to accept any visa application as from 2 november 2015 till further notice.
October 21, 2015
The Schengen States will launch the VIS in India (and in the neighbouring countries) on 2 November 2015. Since October 2011, the VIS has been functioning in seventeen (out of 23) world regions. All Schengen consulates worldwide will be connected to VIS by the end of November 2015.
The purpose of this global VIS introduction process is to better protect applicants against identity theft and to prevent document fraud and so-called “visa shopping”. Fingerprints are widely used within the EU as a more secure means of identification. The use of biometric data for identification purposes of a visa holder is a faster and more accurate way to identify a visa holder by border police.
As from 2 November 2015, Indian citizens requesting a Schengen visa will have to appear in person in order to provide biometric data (fingerprints and digital photography). This concerns the applications for the short-term Schengen visas (max. 90 days in 180 days). For subsequent applications within next 5 years the biometric data will be copied from the previous visa application included in the VIS.
Apart from that, there will be no change in current procedures such as visa fee or forms. However, the applicants should be aware that due to provisions of biometric data, which might cause at the beginning some disruptions, the first visit to their respective Schengen State Consulate after 2 November 2015 might take a little bit longer.
Exemptions from the obligation of fingerprinting are provided for the following categories of applicants only:
- Children under 12,
- Persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible;
- Sovereigns and other senior members of a royal family, Heads of State and members of the national Governments (with their official delegations and spouses) if they travel for official purposes.
First-time visa applicants will always have to appear in person when lodging the application in order to provide their photograph and fingerprints.
The photograph can be digitally taken at the time of the application or scanned from an existing one.
March 23, 2015
UK launches ‘Super-Priority’ Visa Service in UAE.
The new visa fees for Switzerland from 18 March 2015. Please be informed that the new visa fee for Switzerland as of Wednesday,18 March 2015, will be:
- INR 3,600.00 adult
- INR 2,100.00 child between 6 – 12 years old
- INR 300.00 fee for courier/postage fee (3-forms)
- INR 12,300.00 appeal (postage fee included)
February 12, 2015
Indian visa applicants can also apply at the following Hungary Visa Application Centers:
February 9, 2015
The Embassy of Austria has implemented a change in arrangement for the collection of passport(s) from VFS Visa Application Centre. With effect from 06 February 2015, third party collection of the documents or passports will not be permitted, except in the following cases:
- Immediate Family Member ( i.e. Parents, Children, Siblings)
- One member of a group collecting for the entire group
- A person collecting on behalf of Govt. officials if authorized on the Govt. letter head or department
- Representative of a company – Authorization letter on the letter head of the company and the official ID card
If any of the above comes for passport collection they need to carry the following documents
- Photocopy of Govt. ID card
- Original ICR
- Authorization Letter from applicant
Applicants who do not wish to collect their documents in person and whose documents cannot be collected by one of the above should select delivery mode as courier at the time of submission.
The applicants are requested to mention the complete delivery address on the covering letter. In case no specific address is mentioned on the covering letter, the passport will be sent to the address mentioned on the Visa Application Form. This procedural change is to ensure the safe and secure return of documents to applicants.
October 20, 2014
France : This is to inform you that France Visa Application Centre in Kolkata will remain closed on 23 October 2014, Thursday on the occasion of Diwali.
Switzerland: Instructions received from the Swiss Consulate, this will be followed with immediate effect.
The Schengen states consulates will not accept:
1. Handwritten or not machine readable Indian passports issued after 01/04/2010
2. Indian passports that contain a manual entry (observation) made after 01/04/2010 where the biographical data (including name place and date of birth and sex) of the passport holder were changed.
August 14, 2014
Denmark and Sweden – Applicant must submit the application in person or by a register travel agent listed in the embassy.
Hungary – Handwritten passports, and passports with observations (manual corrections) issued after 1st April, 2010 are not acceptable by Hungary Embassy in New Delhi.
Netherlands – Applications submitted at the VFS Netherlands in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata & Ahmedabad would be delivered at The Embassy of The Kingdom of The Netherlands, New Delhi on the 3rd working day.