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German visas witness 100 percent growth: Kollenberg
March 25, 2017, 5:17 pm
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The German Embassy in Kuwait has revealed that the number of applications for Schengen visas has shown a remarkable increase of over 100 percent within the last four years. According to Marisa Kollenberg, Consul and Head of Visa Section of the German Embassy in Kuwait, almost 65,000 applications were processed by the end of 2016, with the majority of applicants being Kuwaiti citizens and their families eager to travel for holiday, leisure and medical visits.

Kollenberg also said that expatriates in Kuwait were also showing a keen interest in spending their holiday in Germany, or for trade fair and business visits due to the growing business relationships between Kuwaiti and German companies. Moreover, the most popular cities that attract a large number of tourists like Munich, Berlin, Aachen and Frankfurt, offer a range of opportunities for tourists.

Amira Mohammed Mechri, Business Development Director of Al Qabas Visa Application Center, gave a presentation of the process involved in applying for the visa and the secure and safe transactions that take place at the center.

Given the delays caused by the flood of application, she requested all travelers to start filing their Schengen visa applications, for their annual vacation in Germany, a couple of days before their planned trip in order to avoid any inconveniences or delays. She added that applications can be handed in as early as three months prior to the intended travel date.

According to the procedures, travelers are expected to make an appointment at the Al Qabas Application Centre, which is usually given within 1-2 days. Travelers should also be aware that during the summer travel season, the waiting time for appointment is one week or more due to the increase in the applications.

After an application for a Schengen visa has been submitted, processing normally takes between 3 and 5 working days if the applicant is Kuwaiti national, or up to 12 days if the applicant has a different nationality. In individual cases, it can take up to two weeks after all the required papers have been submitted to receive the necessary clearances. The visa clearance is a computerized process, with the German Embassy having no influence on the processing time.

Depending on the daily exchange rate, the processing fee for a Schengen visa is currently KD20 for adults, regardless of the validity of the visa (KD12 for children between 6 and 12 years and for children below 6 years the application procedure is for free). Al Qabas adds a standard service charge of KD10 on top of the embassy's processing fee. All these are transparently documented on their website.

- Staff Report

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