Move to ease Schengen visa process in Bahrain
Manama, August 8, 2013
European embassies in Bahrain have doubled employees and extended working hours to ease the delays faced by Bahraini citizens applying for Schengen visas.
This emerged as Foreign Ministry's under-secretary Abdulla Abdullatif had meetings with the heads of three European embassies, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Additionally, an office to issue visas affiliated to the Spanish Embassy, which will carry out its duties from August 15, will further contribute to easing the burden on some embassies.
The mission heads outlined to Abdullatif the importance of booking an appointment for Schengen visas three months in advance.
Applicants should fill a form at the time of booking online as well as provide supporting documents at the time of the visa interview.
Mission representatives stated that their respective countries welcomed Bahraini citizens and that Ramadan coincided with the holiday season in Europe, which resulted in a large increase in visa applications compared to last year.
They affirmed that the large number of applicants wishing to visit these countries reflect the level of good bilateral ties.
The embassies said that they were honoured with these high numbers as they were a token of the good relations shared between Bahrain and European countries.
The GDN earlier reported that Bahraini travellers were being forced to change their holiday plans due to delays in obtaining Schengen visas.
It comes amid reports that visa appointments at the German, French and Italian embassies are booked solid throughout the summer.
Difficulty in issuing visas has also been increased by changes made to the Schengen Borders Code. – TradeArabia News Service