Embassies experience increase of visa applications

While the Finnish and Swedish Embassy in Bangkok have had a steady amount of Schengen visa applications during the past few years, both the Danish and the Norwegian Embassy experience an increase. The extra pressure leads to a long processing time in some cases. 

The official processing time for issuing a visa at one of the Scandinavian Embassies in Bangkok is maximum 15 days, however the average time is usually shorter.

The general message from all four embassies is clear: Apply at least 15 days before your planned trip to make sure that you get your visa in time. And especially some applicants should pay extra attention to that message at the moment.

In the past few years, both the Norwegian and the Danish Embassy have experienced an increased amount of applications.

Marline Steensby is Head of the Visa Section at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bangkok. In 2013 the Norwegian Embassy issued 8,182 visas. In 2014 that number was 9,169.

“The numbers are increasing every year,” she says and continues:

“The Embassy’s processing time is up to 15 days all year round. And that is what we communicate to our applicants. Applicants should always apply at least 15 days before planned travel, even during low season,” Marline Steensby says.

Denmark is top scorer
A growing interest for Iceland, whose applications the Danish Embassy in Bangkok also processes, is most likely one of the reasons to an unusual increase of visa applications here.

Normally it takes no longer than three days to get a visa at the Danish Embassy, but at the moment the average processing time is almost 15 days.

The Danish Embassy issued 5,635 visas in 2013 – in 2014 that number jumped to 8,864 – an increase of no less than 3,229 applications in one year.

Quick Swedes and Finns
Sweden is, with more than 10,000 applicants every year, the embassy that issues the highest amount of Schengen visas – and yet, on average, they have a much shorter handling time than 15 days, Cecilia Stål tells. She is Counsellor and Head of Migration Section at the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok.

“We have an average of 2 – 3 days handling time, but it can take up to 15 days in an individual case, and it is therefore very important to apply in good time before the trip. We can in no way guarantee the case will be handled in 2 or 3 days,” Cecilia Stål says.

In the end comes Finland with a steady amount of 7,300 visa applications the past few years. As for the processing time, Liisa Uschanov-Eskelinen, First Secretary (Immigration Affairs), says:

“My estimate is that the delivery time is in between 6 to 10 days. For business visas it is only maximum 5 days”.

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