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Slovakia and Spain to Issue Gratis Visas to Indian Travellers

Slovakia and Spain to Issue Gratis Visas to Indian Travellers
Application form for Schengen Visa, Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

If you missed your trip to these countries due to the pandemic, here’s your chance to plan one now

OT Staff
August 13 , 2020
03 Min Read

Did you apply for visas to Spain and Slovakia this year but had your trip cancelled due to the pandemic? Worry not, there is still hope. The two countries are offering gratis visas to Indian travellers who had applied for a visa earlier this year but could not use it when the pandemic broke out.

The embassies of Slovakia and Spain will charge no additional cost when you apply for the reissue of your visas after the borders reopen.

The decision was announced by the Outbound Tour Operators’ Association of India (OTOAI), who had requested the European embassies located in India to issue gratis visas to all the people who could not use their Schengen visa due to the dire situation which has been created since the pandemic broke out.

OTOAI President Riaz Munshi was quoted as saying, “We are pleased with this development and remain hopeful that in times to come more European Embassies will agree to issue Gratis Visa. We understand that it will take some time for outbound travel to pick up from India, but moves such as these will help in building people’s confidence for international travel while also offering some relief to their pocket.”

Ivan Lancaric, the Slovak Ambassador to India, has confirmed this decision. He said that the embassy’s visa section will assist the travellers going to Slovakia after they reapply for a Schengen visa.

He added that the applicants who could not visit Slovakia due to the coronavirus “can apply for this visa fee waiver individually at the time of the submission of their new application.”

Ivan said that the embassy is keen to promote travel locales in Slovakia and this decision not only applies to tourists but to all the visa categories of Schengen visa.

The Spanish embassy has confirmed this decision in an official statement with the assurance that the embassy will reissue the visa without charging any extra money. The application can be filed only through the BLS International, a visa processing organisation which has been outsourcing Spanish visa processing since 2016.

BLS has put up a notice on their website which states that applicants whose visa validation has not begun can also change their visa validation period. They will have to submit their passport along with a new flight reservation.

Applicants whose visa validation has already begun will have to apply for a fresh application with complete documentation. In both scenarios, the applicants “will have to bear the necessary BLS service charges.”


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