NEW DELHI: A trip to picturesque Santorini will no longer be plagued by visa delays. The Greece embassy says it has resolved the issue causing visa processing delays. Greece is among the 26 countries that are a part of the Schengen area issuing Schengen visas.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Greece Embassy in Delhi said it “wishes to bring to the knowledge of all those Indian friends who are interested in traveling to Greece for their vacations or for business that a temporary problem that had occurred regarding the processing of the Schengen Visa applications in its Consular Office, has been entirely resolved. Consequently, it should be known that all applications are processed and answered timely and rapidly, ie in a period of less than 15 working days. Therefore the Embassy of Greece in New Delhi invites everyone wishing to visit Greece for holidays or business to apply for his/her Schengen Visa.”
In the past few months, pent-up demand has led to visa processing times for the Schengen States, US, UK, Canada and some other countries shooting up majorly. A sharp revival in post-Omicron demand for international travel has led to massive delays in visa processing — right from seeking appointment slot to give biometrics, submit the paperwork and then getting passports back.
The problem is particularly severe with foreign consulates that are yet to ramp up staff strength back to pre-2020 levels.
The Schengen area covers 26 countries (Schengen States) without border controls between them: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The government had last month intervened to expedite visa processing for Indian students headed abroad for studies this fall as applicants across categories have been facing massive delays.
“Senior ministry of external affairs (MEA) officials dealing with Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, UK and USA had constructive discussions with corresponding Heads of Missions/senior diplomats of these countries about streamlining student visas to Indian nationals . They agreed to remain engaged on further easing and fast-tracking the process, since the flow of students has been mutually beneficial,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had Tweeted last month.