If You Want to Travel to Schengen Area for Christmas, Start Preparing Your Application Now

With the winter holiday season approaching, all those who need a Schengen visa to enter the bloc should start preparing their application now to avoid any last-minute rush.

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As the application process can take some time, starting the application early not only guarantees enough time for paperwork and flexibility in choosing travel dates but also ensures that travellers do not miss numerous events taking place during Christmas.

Whether you’re dreaming of a winter wonderland in Germany, the romantic streets of Paris, or the Christmas market in Austria, Czechia, and Poland, among others, make your list and check it twice, starting with your visa application.

When starting to prepare the Schengen visa application, it is important that you identify the country you plan to visit or spend the most time in and begin gathering the required documents.

As a traveller who needs a Schengen visa to be permitted entry into the Schengen Area, you are allowed to lodge an application up to six months before the start of the intended visit, reports.

However, since there are only less than three months before Christmas and taking into account the long waiting times for an appointment, it is advised that you start preparing your documents right away.

Recently, Schengen visa applicants have complained that it has become difficult to find available appointment slots, saying that they are being immediately booked, making it impossible for them to plan their trip.

Moreover, applicants have also complained about the long waiting time before receiving an answer on their visa application, saying that the processing time takes longer than the authorities say. For this reason, it is better to take care of the application as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

While challenges still remain, Schengen visa processing time is expected to significantly improve once digitalisation takes effect.

The EU Spokesperson for Home Affairs, Anitta Hipper, previously told that the digitalisation of the visa procedure would contribute to improved processing time, suggesting that there will no longer be long waiting periods to receive a decision.

Moreover, it was noted that the Commission has already called on the Member States to improve their operational capacities and release more appointments, especially during the holiday period.

When applying for a Schengen visa, applicants are required to submit several documents. They must submit the completed and signed visa application form, their passport, two recent pictures, proof of accommodation, proof of having purchased travel health insurance, and a roundtrip flight itinerary, among others.