Bringing a cheer to Indians, Germany has relaxed its Schengen visa appointment rules with the country centralising its short-term visa processing at its centre in Mumbai.
"As a result of centralisation of Schengen visa (short term visa) processing in German Visa Centre Mumbai, we are pleased to inform about... relaxation regarding appointment bookings," the German embassy said in a statement.
A short-stay Schengen visa allows one to visit Germany and other Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. This visa is issued in the form of a sticker affixed to the passport of the traveller. "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 Mission statement read.
"If the Application Centre closest to your home town is already fully booked, please feel free to check for available appointment slots in one of the other major Indian cities," it added.
The relaxation, however, does not apply to applications for national visas (D-visa category) such as student, employment or family reunion visas, the embassy stated.
A Schengen visa application form may be submitted three months prior to the intended travel date.The German Schengen Visa costs 80 euros (Rs 6,700) for adults and 40 euros for minors, while work permits (or visas) cost 75 eoros. Visa fee is waived for children under six years of age.
Earlier this year, the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) observed a 214 per cent year on year increase in Indian tourists arriving in Germany.
It said that the country accounted for 9 per cent of European trips of Indians, adding that 55 per cent of Indians visit Germany for leisure while 38 per cent travel for business.