The hidden pitfalls of Austrian Schengen Application in Kuwait

If you plan on traveling to Vienna, read this:

As a rule of thumb, the majority of Euro Nations have outsourced their visa procedures to outside agents in Kuwait. This reduces the traffic at embassies an ensures smooth sailing for all concerned.

Today my wife and I applied for the Schengen – Austria. Being someone in the field of reviewing processes and procedures, I felt the process could use a bit of sprucing.

The embassy website reads:

Appointments

Visa applications require appointments scheduled in advance: online appointment

This does not mention that the appointment is at the embassy itself, in addition once the registration steps are completed (which are long and separate for each application – passport number, expiry date etc.), no confirmation email is sent. The confirmation page that appears with the passport details of the applicants does not mention that the appointment is at the embassy either.

The website then mentions cooperation with VFS Global, in bold. this captures peoples attention immediately, even the fact that their location is put in bold on the website and no address is shown for the embassy makes people focus on the address of the agent, not the embassy – ergo emboldening the assumption that all appointments are at the agent.

The next major headline is “Nationals of Kuwait and Bahrain require a valid visa or a residence permit to travel to Austria.”, which leads readers to believe that all the information following pertains to nationals of Kuwait and Bahrain.

It is only in the 10th paragragh that you discover that appointments can also be made at the embassy, but who has the time (or patience) to read all that?

  • The office hours of the visa section of the embassy are from Sunday to Thursday, from 09:00 to 13:00.
  • You need to book an appointment in advance. Please click online appointment
However, there is also a repitition of the online appointment line, which is confusing. 
 
The website does not state directly the cost of the visa; if it had stated that there are two methods of paying – one at the embassy (KD 20) and one at the agency (KD 29.25), people would understand that there is a choice to be made regarding the location where you wish to go.
In the end, I missed my appointment at the embassy and had to pay an extra 18.5KD to process our papers at the agent; further, the agent refused to accept papers that were printed on both sides (hotel and flight confirmation) despite this being the general direction that all human beings looking to “go green” are doing, printing on both sides of the paper.
Now I am no average joe when it comes to applications; for example, despite it not being mentioned, I printed our marriage certificate as a precaution because my wife did not yet open a bank account, in addition to providing her salary cheques (which they asked for), they then asked for the marriage certificate.
So, the website could use a serious update.

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