Schengen priority visa is soon to be offered to Indian citizens who intend to visit any of the European countries in urgency.
Schengen priority visa is to be offered to the Indian citizen because India is one of the key tourist markets in Europe with over 10 million Indians travelling to Europe every year which is expected to grow up to 15 million by 2020.
What is Schengen?
An agreement between many countries of the European Union that allows people and goods to pass freely across the borders of each country without the passport or other controls. Some European countries outside the European Union are also part of the agreement. (Cambridge dictionary)
How many countries does Schengen zone include?
Schengen states include 26 European states. Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, and Sweden, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
Why Schengen visa?
Schengen visa is mandatory for non-Schengen members for visiting any of the Schengen states. This visa is beneficial for those people who travel on regular basis to Europe and that too on short notice. Generally, the Schengen visa is issued to business travellers.
Presently, it takes longer for a traveller to get the visa processed for visiting any Schengen states. The Schengen priority visa application will take only 15 days which can be extended to a maximum of 30 days if any issue prevails.
What about Schengen visa fees?
At present, Indian citizens are offered the UK priority visas at an extra cost of Rs 90,000 for 'super priority' visas, (visa process takes a day). The 'priority' category of visas to the UK costs an additional fee of Rs 20,000 (visa decision takes less than a week).
Whereas Schengen priority visa indicates to charge much cheaper than the UK priority visa.
When to apply for Schengen visa?
The best time to apply for the visa is at least 15 days before the intended visit to Europe. One can apply earlier than that but not earlier than three months.