'Long Wait for Schengen Visas, We Might Lose Out on Our Semester,' Say Students

My university has no option for online classes or a deferral. I'll have to study an extra semester now.

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As international boundaries gradually open up after the long pandemic closures, Indian students are eager to study abroad. But the wait for visas to Germany has become a concern for many students, like me.


I've been admitted to a Master's programme in Environmental Public Policy at a German university. I received my college acceptance on 22 June and applied for a visa three days later at the Visa Facilitation Service Global (VFS), Delhi.

Luckily, I had to wait for only three weeks before I received my visa appointment slot via email from VFS on 11 July. But what shocked me was that there were no slots available before October. I had no choice but to book my slot at the earliest date available, which was 10 October, even though my course starts on 26 September.

My university has no option for online classes or a deferral. They have allowed me to complete my enrolment but I'll have to study an extra semester since I'll miss half of the first one.

Hoping that I'd be starting my studies this September, I quit my job a while ago. But now, the financial stress and the mental stress on me are increasing. All the hard work that I have put into preparing for my studies and travel might go to waste. I feel helpless.


'Financial and Mental Stress'

This isn't just my story; a lot of other students who have been admitted to German universities have also been struggling to get an appointment for a long time.

"I applied on 18 July for my visa process and I'm still waiting for the appointment. Colleges are giving an extension but only for a month. I might have to opt for next semester's intake now. The problem is that I have already taken a loan to finance my education and resigned from my job."

We fear that this delay in our visas might make us lose out on a semester.

"I'm at a place where I stand a chance to lose my Masters' education because of a visa delay. If we look at the timeline, it's unacceptable that even after applying for a slot as early as June, I've been waiting for the last three months to appear for my visa appointment," says a student.

"My semester starts in the first week of October and judging by the current situation, there is no way I can reach. I don't know on what basis should I book my flight tickets or arrange for accommodation because the German embassy has no fixed timelines. This way, I will end up spending way more than I should have. All of this is affecting my mental and emotional health. I've invested my time and money on this and now, I stand the chance to lose both."

Students are disappointed with how slow the process is and how the authorities aren't listening. VFS customer care number never solves our queries, all they do is give automated replies.

The day I booked my visa appointment, I tried everything I could to get it preponed. I requested my university to write to the embassy, which they did twice. I wrote to the VFS Delhi, the embassy, and the Ministry of External Affairs, but nothing helped.

The operators are rude and never answer our queries. How is this a student's fault?

We're waiting eagerly to leave for our universities, we've worked hard for it, and do not want to miss out on this opportunity because of a visa delay.

The Quint reached out to VFS Delhi, which said that the massive number of applications has caused the delay.


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Topics:  Germany   German   Visa delay 

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