Germany has relaxed rules for Indian tourists who want to apply for a visa, centralising visa processing at its centre in Mumbai.
Appointments can be booked as well as Schengen visa applications can be submitted in all Visa Application Centres across the country run by VFS global, regardless of the applicant's place of residence, reported Economic times quoting the German Missions in India.
The German Missions in India, in a statement, said, “Appointments can be booked and Schengen visa applications can be submitted in all Visa Application Centres run by VFS Global all over India, regardless of your place of residence.”
The report also said that if an applications centre, that is closest to the hometown of applicants is fully booked, then the applicants can check other Indian major cities for available appointment slots. This is likely to make it easier for everyone to book an appointment, it added.
The German embassy added, "If the Application Centre closest to your hometown is already fully booked, please feel free to check for available appointment slots in one of the other major Indian cities.”
However, the report also stressed that the relaxation of rules doesn’t apply to Indian nationals applying for German national visas (D-visa category), such as employment, student, or family reunification visas.
As of now, all Indians need to get a visa to be permitted entry to Germany for travel purposes as the country hasn’t reached a visa-liberalisation agreement or any other bilateral agreement that would allow its citizens to enter Germany visa-free.
A Schengen visa permits its holders to travel, for tourism as well as business purposes, to any member state of the Schengen area for stays of up to 90 days within 180 days.
The German Schengen Visa costs 80 euros (around Rs 6,700) for adults and 40 euros (around Rs 3,400) for minors, while work permits (or visas) cost 75 euros (nearly Rs 6,400). The visa fee is waived for children under six years of age.
The application for a Schengen visa can be submitted three months before taking a trip at the earliest. In addition to this, applicants must also submit all the required documents.
Those applying for a German student visa must submit the visa application form, which includes two recent photos, as well as a valid passport that must be valid for another three months beyond the planned stay in the Schengen area.
Apart from the documents mentioned above, applicants must also submit evidence of purchasing health insurance, roundtrip itinerary reservation, proof of financial means, proof of accommodation and an invitation letter in their application. Depending on the employment status, applicants could be asked for additional documents too.
Earlier in 2022, the German National Tourist Office had reported a 214 per cent y-o-y increase in Indian tourists arriving in Germany. It further revealed that 55 per cent of Indians visit the country for leisure while 38 per cent travel for business.
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