How long do you have to wait Schengen visa in 2022 

how far in advance you need to start applying for a visa, how long to wait her < strong>exit and what is the risk of turning to “gray < strong>visitors“.


There is a lot of discussion in the media, social networks and travel forums about the difficulties Russians face when applying for Schengen visas in July.

Tour operators also agree that the visa situation is far from what it was before the pandemic. In their opinion, several reasons, both objective and subjective, led to the visa crisis.

The objective experts include the lifting of covid restrictions in European countries, the opening of the land borders of the Russian Federation, the lack of staff in the consulates of the EU countries, including due to the expulsion of foreign diplomats. To these circumstances, observers add two more: the peak of the season and the expiration of multiple-entry visas for many of those Russians who managed to get Schengen before the pandemic.

Among the subjective reasons for the sharply increased demand for applications for Schengen visas, experts name the fears of Russians in the fact that against the backdrop of anti-Russian rhetoric, the EU countries will generally stop issuing visas for tourist trips in Russia. And there are already precedents: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic have not issued short-term visas to Russian tourists since spring.

As one of the experts added in a conversation with Vestnik ATOR, some Russians “have panic moods” that the situation with Schengen will “mirror” the situation with American visas.

“People are beginning to fear that, like in the case of visas to the United States, Schengen in Russia will become unavailable, and you will have to go to other countries to get a visa. Therefore, many are now striving to “stock up” with Schengen. Not even for a specific trip – they may not plan it at all. And just to have a Schengen visa,” he said.


So far, Russians planning trips to Europe should not panic. Most EU and Schengen countries accept documents for tourist visas.

According to the tour operators Russian Express, KMP Group and PAKS, this list includes Greece, Spain, Italy, France, Finland, Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus , Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria and Sweden.

According to Russian Express, there are no free slots at the Visa Application Centers (VCs) of Spain, Italy and France in Moscow for July-August.

The PAC Group adds that there are “windows” for registration until the end month is no longer observed in the EC of Finland. Nevertheless, you can try to “catch” free slots in August.

As ATOR Bulletin reported earlier, for example, such “windows” periodically appear in the visa application center of Finland due to the refusal of those who previously booked entry.

The KMP Group said that an appointment at the Italian visa center is available all the time, but only for the fall. So, on July 18, “windows” were opened already at the beginning of September, but sometimes slots appear for earlier dates.

But you can sign up for the visa application center in Hungary on the next working day. This is explained simply: the Hungarians issue visas strictly for the duration of the trip (single entry visas) and redeemed tickets are required to submit documents.

To apply for a visa to Switzerland, an appointment is open for a few days in advance. At the moment, there is no entry in the German EC, although slots for September were previously available. Appointments for August are open at the Austrian Visa Application Center.

According to the information of the visa specialists of the PAKS tour operator company, “entry” through the premium hall will not be a salvation for applying to popular EU countries: all places are selected here.< /p>

In some cases, the “prime time” service (late application outside the normal working hours of the visa centers) will partially help, but in this case, the free time slot will “open” only a few days earlier than usual.

TEZ TOUR commented on the situation with the issuance of Schengen visas to Greece. As of July, there are no longer any free slots for filing documents for individuals – neither in the usual format, nor in the premium hall. As previously reported, the Greek Consulate in Moscow restricted the submission of documents – applications are accepted strictly for the next flights until July 31.

Representatives of TEZ TOUR advise regularly monitoring the availability of free slots for applying for a Greek visa.

“Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to definitely name the waiting period for filing documents for a Greek visa,” commented the press service of TEZ TOUR. The company added that the Greek consulate is making every effort to return the visa process to its usual course.

“In any case, the diplomatic mission will do everything so that the tourist receives a visa before the trip – when considering documents at the consulate, they are guided by the date of departure of the tourist, regardless of whether it is submitted independently or through a tour operator,” TEZ TOUR emphasized.


According to PAC Group experts, on average, the process of obtaining a Schengen visa will take at least a month.

Russian Express adds that, taking into account the waiting time to submit documents the entire process of applying for a visa, depending on the EU country, may be delayed for 2-3 months. The same is true of other tour operators.

“We recommend depositing one month if there is already an appointment at the visa center, and three months if there is no entry yet. That is, you will have to wait two months from the moment of registration at the EC to the submission of documents, about 2-3 more weeks from the moment of acceptance of the application to the actual release of the Schengen,” the PAKS reported.

As for the timing of the issuance of ready-made visas , then the consulates of France and Spain, according to the observations of PAC Group, issue a Schengen visa in about two weeks, Italy – in three weeks.

According to PAC Group, the consulate of Italy can be called the most loyal to Russians in visa matters.< /p>

“When applying for a visa to Italy as part of tour packages, we provide tourists with visa support. If a tourist goes to submit documents on his own, then the entry to the Italian Visa Application Center is now open only at the beginning of September, ”the PAC Group explained.

According to TEZ TOUR, the deadlines for consideration of documents submitted through tour operators to the Consulate of Greece, usually 5 business days. Similar deadlines are reported by Ambotis Holidays, which has its own quota at the Greek Consulate.

“We write down to apply for a visa upon receipt of a complete package of documents. The time is agreed with the client. The deadlines for issuing Greek visas have not changed – 2-5 working days, ”said Ambotis Holidays.

Tour operators emphasize that the terms for processing documents are set by the consulates, but foreign diplomats do not explain what they depend on. In addition, almost all EU countries now do not accept urgent visas.

According to market participants, if a tourist applies for a visa through an accredited tour operator, then usually such a service costs an additional 75-100 euros, depending on the country.


According to estimates tour operators, taking into account the current realities of reducing the rush demand for the Schengen visa by September-October, they do not expect.

Moreover, PAKS experts do not exclude that some tourists will be forced to reschedule their trips to Europe to a later date, since the appointment for submission of documents to the ECs of some countries is now available only for September.

Therefore, it is possible that that by the end of July there will be no slots for September either.


Experts warn Russians against turning to companies that offer their services in obtaining Schengen visas. It is risky, expensive and does not guarantee any result. At the exit, you can be left without money and without documents. And with unpleasant consequences.

and Vestnik ATOR explain: often such “gray visa workers” submit a package of forged documents for the client – ranging from vouchers fabricated on false forms of hosting foreign companies and hotel reservations, to false certificates from work and other documents. If the consulate discovers a forgery, it will not be the intermediary, but the applicant, who will be responsible for this. Accordingly, a visa may be refused (or even blacklisted).

In addition, when turning to intermediary companies, a person himself transfers his personal data (passport and many other personal data) to them. How these “gray” companies will dispose of them is unknown.

Finally, “gray visa workers” ask for a lot of money for their services: from 500 euros and more. It may also happen that the money will be taken, promising a visa for a week. And even the documents will be taken to the consulate, if not scammers. But that's just … a visa to a client who paid “for urgency” to an intermediary will still be done in the same way and within the same time frame as for an ordinary applicant.

But the company that received the money will not give it back, and will feed you breakfasts about “unforeseen circumstances and a difficult international situation.”


Experts give some advice to those who now want to get a Schengen.

You can apply for a Schengen visa 6 months before the start of the trip. This means that with proper planning, for example, a trip to Europe for the New Year, there is an opportunity to do everything on time.

Many well-known tour operators that have been operating in the tourism market for many years are accredited at the consulates of the EU countries. They can help with Schengen clearance when booking a tour, ground services or air tickets to European countries.

You can regularly monitor the websites of visa centers yourself and catch free slots. According to the observations of visa specialists, the “windows” are periodically opened, so that you can sign up for both the regular application and the premium lounge.

Elena Myagkova

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