Schengen visa from Belgium urgent advice/ help!!!

#1 May 30th, 2018, 16:08
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May 2018
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Delhi
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  • Rahulgdc is offline
#1
Dear forum members,

Have run into an unexpected problem with my Visa application submitted to The Belgian embassy in Delhi and would like some advise from people who have experience with this.

Me and a friend applied for visas a month back before my travel date (trip start date 8th June) and on 14th May I checked our status which said that our visa applications had been sent to the immigration office in Belgium who will take a call on it.

I'm meticulous with my planning so just to be safe had called The Belgian embassy beforehand to ask the out date for visa approval who said max 2-3 weeks.

Only now do I enquire and find out that the Belgian office normally sends many visas (but not all) to the immigration office and after calling up their office in belgium (and being on hold for 20 mins) find out that they take 2 months out time for a decision which is way beyond our travel plans and defeats the purpose of our visit.

We're 40 yr olds and we've had Schengen visas in the past on many occasions (even valid US visas) and enough and proper documentation... so I won't get into what could be amiss as that is subjective to the embassy and visa counsellors.

My question is, does anyone have experience with this ? Does the Belgian immigration office help expedite keeping in mind our travel dates are near?

Another option is to withdraw our passports and apply to another Schengen country and change itinerary a bit but I do know these countries have a centralized database and this could work against us. Also just in case we do so which would be the right embassy to apply to (heard the French promise 48hrs to take a call) as our stay can be extended more in Germany, France, Austria or even Italy. Normally I wouldn't do this but I asked around and have gotten very bad feedback about the time the Belgian embassy handles applications.

What use will a visa be when I have lost lakhs of rupees in non refundable tickets if it comes late. I could even change dates a little but no one can tell me what date would make sense.


Regards

Rahul
#2 May 30th, 2018, 18:36
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  • gemuesemix is offline
#2
Unfortunately it's within the regulations for schengen visa that an application can take up to 60 days that's why you have lodged your application very late and that's very dangerous.

You should and could ( if you have non refundable tickets!!) Apply 3 months before your trip.
Why they put scrutiny on you-nobody knows. But my feeling says that it has been becoming quite normal. Regardless of background, previous visa, reasons to return and so on.
I don't know if one country is easier to apply but it's not Germany Italy or Austria since 2015. Don't forget about the massive flow of refugees from Syria Afghanistan and so on and Europe has closed its borders pretty much also on the official route and they put scrutiny on many people. Sorry.
To withdraw is not an option as you said there is a centralised database and this maybe causes more trouble. I have seen that and it made things more complicated.
The embassies do not care if your departure date is near and if you have non refundable tickets ( regulations: show reservation but do not buy tickets until your visa arrives!).

You could call or if possible personally talk to the embassy, ask if they need more documents and put polite pressure on them. It helps if you are near Delhi just to be able to deliver anything as quick as possible.
If the 60 days after visa application have passed then a decision MUST be taken. I can't give you any advice to which date to rebook your tickets. If they are mean ( yes, I suppose that) they might issue the visa just a few days or 1 week after your departure in the application. Of course there are also smooth visa applications but somehow I just know one....

I'm not Indian by the way but I have schengen visa experience for Indians and it was a nightmare to me.

So early application ( 10 weeks, 5 weeks is late), strong documents, no embassy hopping my advice to all schengies in India!
#3 May 31st, 2018, 16:37
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May 2018
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  • Rahulgdc is offline
#3
Thanks for writing out your views. I concur. Just that I haven't faced this issue since the last 14 yrs (first time I got a Schengen stamped). I thought maybe it's more specific to the embassy I mentioned (with due respect to them) with regards to out time/ scrutiny but I guess the situation across have made it like it is irrespective of the embassy. My wife applied two days later in another embassy and got her Schengen in 4 days and here I am clueless after 3 weeks as well. Maybe my past experience made me arrogant enough to get some non refundable tickets, and oh boy have I learnt a lesson Anyway wish me luck
#4 May 31st, 2018, 20:55
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May 2017
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  • gemuesemix is offline
#4
Your situation is clearly irregular but nobody knows how this works
No visas in passport: bad, too many: bad. Whatsoever.
I still suggest to call humbly or even appear there and ask in person. And offer your soul to them. That's what worked ( not for me though). Most embassies of smaller countries are small enough to get to the right person to ask nicely.
I just might suggest that any issuance of visa before 5 or 6 weeks procedure are irregular that's what i learned back then.
But it's maybe just like this in my memories so thank God these times are gone for my better half. And I admit since I'm officially in the background it's pleasant to deal with them.

Good luck and still a week to go, so don't loose hope but go for it!

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