How long does it take to process a Schengen visa application?

Schengen visa processing times vary from consulate to consulate.
At some Schengen consulates your visa may be issued on the same day (it is a very rare occasion though), others will require from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the applicant’s nationality. You should plan your trip to the Schengen area well in advance.

Normally, you may apply for a Schengen visa 3 months before your planned trip.  Do not postpone the submission of your visa application – there is no fast track service at the Schengen consulates and if your Schengen visa is not ready on time, you will have to delay or even cancel your booked holidays.

To make sure your Schengen visa will be ready on time you need to check with the consulate of the country which is going to be your main destination how long they take to process visa applications for your nationality. You can contact the consulate or visa application centre on line or give them a call on the number you will find on their web site. Usually, you need to book an appointment to come and submit your Schengen visa application. Most Schengen consulates require personal applicants to submit their applications in person – they want to see each applicant personally. Only four Schengen countries let third parties obtain visas on applicant’s behalf; they are France, Switzerland, Portugal and Estonia. Norway allows non-personal applications only if the applicant has already had a Norwegian Schengen visa and it can be found in their current or previous passport.

It is not always possible to book an appointment with a consulate or a visa application centre straight away. Sometimes there are no slots for appointments and you have to wait for a few days or even weeks to be able to schedule an appointment to submit a Schengen visa application.

Please bear this in mind when you decide to obtain a Schengen visa.

If you have any questions, please visit our visa consultation page.

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