Virginia, US

Nov 20 2017

Processing Delays Expected at Schengen Area Consulates

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States

Executive Summary

Foreign nationals seeking to obtain a Schengen Visit Visa in the United States should schedule their appointments as soon as possible if they have upcoming travel planned during the upcoming months.  Wait times at certain consulates of Schengen Area countries in the United States can be up to three months, without an option for expedited processing or emergency appointments.


The situation

Increase in travel from the United States to the Schengen Area countries has led to extended wait times for visa appointments. Wait times at certain consulates of Schengen Area countries in the United States can be up to three months, without an option for expedited processing or emergency appointments.

Impact for foreign nationals

Foreign nationals requiring a Schengen Visit Visa should schedule their appointments as soon as possible if they plan to travel to the Schengen Area countries in the upcoming months. 

Impact for employers

Employers should consider their potential need for Schengen Visit Visas and initiate cases as early as possible. Where visa appointments are not available by the desired date, foreign nationals will be required to reschedule their travel accordingly or monitor the online appointment system for any cancellations.

Background: visa applications and appointments

Foreign nationals are required to appear in person to submit visa applications. For most Schengen consulates, applicants must create a personal profile and schedule their appointments through an online appointment system.  Further, as most consulates strictly enforce jurisdiction rules, applicants must schedule their appointments at the relevant consulate, based on their U.S. state of residence and the visiting country.  Walk-in applicants are not accepted.

In certain locations, Schengen Visit Visa applicants who have submitted biometrics (fingerprints) at a Schengen consulate within the past 59 months may be able to apply by mail.  As consulates do not always publish this concession, qualifying foreign nationals may  email or call the respective consulate to request permission to apply by mail on the basis that their biometrics are already in the system.

Fragomen can assist with the preparation of Schengen Visit Visa applications, but cannot book an appointment on the applicant's behalf in most cases. Applicants must create a personal profile and independently schedule their appointments online.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to consular@fragomen.com.