Citizens of Türkiye have started to consider travelling to destinations other than those in the European Union/Schengen Area as they keep on facing Schengen visa processing delays as well as long waiting times for available appointment slots.
While this is a good chance for Turkish citizens to visit visa-free countries, long waiting times for a Schengen visa appointment have caused concerns among tour operators in Türkiye.
Turkish tour operators have said that they are highly concerned about their businesses as more citizens of the country are choosing not to travel to the EU. For this reason, they have started to advise everyone to change their current plans and choose destinations that do not require a visa, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Hürriyet Daily News explains that the board chair of Pronto Tour, Ali Onaran, said that it has become more difficult lately to get a Schengen visa.
He further said that some foreign consulates do not have any available appointments for the next month and pointed out that it is currently taking up to a month for Schengen visa applications to be processed.
Another tour operator from Travel Zone also commented on the matter. He said that the visa delays are causing many problems and stressed that a tour planned for a group of 40 people could get cancelled if only five of the travellers fail to get a visa, impacting companies negatively.
Turkish citizens have been dealing with Schengen visa-related problems for some time now. Nonetheless, the case is the same for nationals of other third countries too as Schengen countries are saying that they are unable to meet the high demand.
Despite such problems, Türkiye has become the largest source of Schengen visa applications, with the country’s nationals filing more than 700,000 applications in 2022.
The most recent data published by Schengen Visa Statistics show that Türkiye has overcome the Russian Federation. Nonetheless, the number of Schengen visa applications filed in 2022 still remained 55 per cent below the pre-pandemic levels when 16,955,541 visa applications were filed by Turkish nationals.
Regarding the number of applications that have been filed in Türkiye in 2022, data show that the highest number was filed at the German consulates, embassies, and visa centres (223,699), followed by Greece which registered 164,829 applications and France with 115,114 applications.
Since Türkiye has not yet reached any visa-free travel agreement with the EU, all of its citizens are required to obtain a visa.
Those planning to reach the bloc for tourism purposes need to apply for a Tourist Schengen Visa. When applying for this type of visa all applicants must make sure to submit all the required documents – the completed visa application form, two recent photos, and their passport.
Moreover, tourist Schengen visa applicants must also submit proof of having secured accommodation, proof of travel health insurance, a roundtrip reservation, and proof of sufficient financial means, among others.