The Switzerland Embassy in India clarified this week that they have not suspended any Schengen visa applications for Indian tour groups, contrary to erroneous reports by several publications.
“The Embassy of Switzerland in India has not suspended Schengen visa appointments for Indian tour groups. We have almost 800 daily appointments through the end of September 2023. These include 22 groups," a spokesperson for the Embassy of Switzerland in India said in a statement.
Earlier, several publications ran the news that Switzerland has stopped accepting Schengen visa applications for Indian tour groups until October due to a high volume of pending applications. These articles cited the news to SchengenVisaInfo.com.
The Swiss mission has clarified that in 2023, the Embassy of Switzerland in India processed more visa applications than it did in 2019.
"From January until June, we handled 129,446 applications, as against 120,071 during the same period in 2019 – a 7.8 per cent increase," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson further stated that there are three measures that have been implemented since the beginning of this year to further ease the visa application process for Indian applicants.
"First, it is possible for the applicants to apply for their visa six months before their date of travel, as against one month in the past. So, someone wishing to travel in June can already apply for a visa in January; Second, the Embassy has increased its overall capacity in India. With a new Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Lucknow, there are now 13 VACs all over India, where applications can be submitted; Third, currently, it takes no more than 13 working days between the appointment by our partner VFS and the Embassy’s decision on the application,” the spokesperson added.