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Documents tourist visa to Austria for spouse of EU National


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I just had an argument with VFS about my wife’s Schengen visa application for Austria

 

They asked for financial documents for my wife. I said that they should not ask for this as my wife has the right to travel with me under free movement of EU citizens 

 

we submitted the application with the understanding the embassy may contact us for these documents 

 

We have done Schengen before for France without these documents. We will prepare them just in case but I am annoyed by this failure to respect my rights 

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Assuming you’re not Austrian, but a national of another member state, then VFS are wrong and your understanding of the requirements are correct.
We’ve just come back from a couple of weeks in Austria, had a marvelous time.


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Indeed TOG, sounds like PJ faced an less-competent staff member. Though the free and simplified EU family member visa should be well known to the staff of optional services providers such as VFS, BLS and TLS, it would be one reason for me to apply directly at the embassy. Making it more easier to escalate to a properly trained official if the front desk staff got things wrong. Second reason would be to avoid the service fee.

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I am Irish. I also complained to a manager who repeated what the staff member had said.

Donutz, can you apply directly to the Austrian embassy? Or perhaps you meant applying to a country that does not use an agency such as Germany?

 

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5 hours ago, pj123 said:

I am Irish. I also complained to a manager who repeated what the staff member had said.

Donutz, can you apply directly to the Austrian embassy? Or perhaps you meant applying to a country that does not use an agency such as Germany?

You are allowed to apply directly to the Embassy, though many of them discourage you from doing so by making you jump through hoops to get an appointment.
Their website is in German and Thai so I don't know what there procedure is for direct access, maybe email them for an appointment, [email protected], or call their Visa Section on 021056710, though you indicated that you've already submitted the application.
Either way I certainly think that a complaint to VFS regarding the incorrect information you were given, especially at managerial level, is in order, feedback.au[email protected], copied to the Consulated Visa Section.

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@PJ: What TOG said, you can apply at any Schengen embassy directly within two weeks of making an appointment with said embassy. The Schengen rules mandate direct access without involvement of an External Service Provider (vfs and the lot). See the Schengen sticky for details.

 

I also agree with informing VFS and possibly the embassy about the errors that more than 1 staffed made. Mistakes are human but if they double check and get it wrong again, it's a serious boo boo. 

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4 hours ago, Donutz said:

@PJ: What TOG said, you can apply at any Schengen embassy directly within two weeks of making an appointment with said embassy. The Schengen rules mandate direct access without involvement of an External Service Provider (vfs and the lot). See the Schengen sticky for details.

 

I also agree with informing VFS and possibly the embassy about the errors that more than 1 staffed made. Mistakes are human but if they double check and get it wrong again, it's a serious boo boo. 

Damn!

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I spoke to the Embassy visa section today and they have already made a positive decision based on the documents we submitted. The officer said he was aware of my complaint on the day we submitted the application. I will send the embassy visa section an email to ask them to ensure VFS staff understand the regulations when dealing with family of EU Nationals. 

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Although the error was made by VFS, and the embassy quickly corrected it and issued the visa in a timely manner; it may also be worth making an official complaint to SOLVIT.

 

Whilst this is the first such incident with Austria reported here, this is not the first time we have heard of an external service provider not being aware of the rules regarding family members. 

 

If embassies are going to use external service providers then they should ensure those contractors are fully aware of the rules regarding family members under the FoM directive.

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Well received the visa but not happy as although a multiple entry is valid for only 20 days. My wife has three previous Schengen visa for 30, 90 and 90 days respectively. Copies included in application. The 20 days is sufficient for our trip but do we have any grounds to complain?

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Not so sure that you can do, unless your wife asked for a longer validity period due to forthcoming planned trips, even then it's the decision of the official what length to grant.

 

I don't know if you're British, but I'm aware that some Consulates are taking into account that the spouses of British Nationals will more than likely not be eligible for visas in line with the Freedom of Movement directive in seven months time, and are making decisions based on that probability.

 

A mate of mine complained bitterly when a Consulate refused his wife a longer term visa, adding that that's not what he voted for, I'm not sure how widespread this is. 

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8 minutes ago, pj123 said:

No I'm Irish. I am concerned that they took account of our refusal to submit financial documents. 

Sorry, you've aready mentioned that, I'm not sure what the actual policy is, Donutz will probably know.

The French only gave my wife the exact number of days for my girlfriends first visit and a month for hae second, the Italians also gave her a month. The Dutch gave her a visa for three months shy of the validity of her passport, so in effect a couple of years, whilst her most recent was via the Danish Consulate who gave her twelve months.
They all seem to have their own criteria, with the Dutch being the most relaxed, at least in our case, thus saving further applications, and less work for themselves. 

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It is entirely up to the embassy/member-state. Some are generally more relaxed and others more notorious for being tight or difficult. There is no rule that states that each visa must be valid for the same or longer amount of time. Brussels encourages to give 'better ' visas for people with an ever increasing positive travel history. After all it will save both the embassy and the alien hassle, time and paperwork and thus money.  But an embassy can simply give the visa for the exact duration applied for.  

 

On a future application you may indicate that you are likely to make additional flights in the coming year or so and therefore would like a MEV with longer duration (keeping the 90 days within 180 day window in mind of course). And if the embassy in question has a tendency of being difficult, perhaps decide to move your next holiday to be in a country that is more warm and welcoming. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
Well received the visa but not happy as although a multiple entry is valid for only 20 days. My wife has three previous Schengen visa for 30, 90 and 90 days respectively. Copies included in application. The 20 days is sufficient for our trip but do we have any grounds to complain?


The Austrian embassy issues visas for the time that you apply for which is usually also the date of your return ticket.

If you would have had applied for a month for your wife and as well had the return flight after a month - you would have gotten a month.

Applied 4 times in the past and got the exact amount of days the trip lasted - I don’t see a problem here.



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