Requirements for all Schengen visa applicants to go in person at the time of visa application
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to inform that all Bhutanese nationals applying for Schengen visa would have to go in person at the time of visa application with effect from November 2015. All applicants are advised to carefully note the following:
- All Bhutanese nationals would have to go in person to the nearest Schengen visa processing centre at the time of submitting visa application to provide biometrics (fingerprints and digital photo).
- For those applying for visa of Austria, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, the applicants can provide their biometrics requirement at Etho Metho Visa Processing Centre in Thimphu (Phone# 17175858).
- For other Schengen countries, applicants will have to go in person to the next nearest visa processing centre. Most Schengen countries process visa applications from Bhutan in New Delhi or Kolkata. Most accurate information can be obtained from the respective embassies or websites of the embassies of the Schengen States.
- The biometric data, once provided, will be valid for five years, and applicants would not be required to go in person for subsequent visa applications for up to five years.
- Applicants who obtained Schengen visa prior to 2 November 2015 can continue to use the visa without having to lodge a separate application until the expiry of that visa.
- This requirement applies to all holders of diplomatic, official and ordinary passports, and travel documents.
- This new requirement is being progressively deployed worldwide by the European Union.
Exemption from the requirement to come in person and provide biometrics data will apply only to the following:
- Official delegations led by the Head of State, Head of Government or a member of the Council of Ministers;
- Senior members of the Royal Family when they are travelling for official purpose at the invitation of the concerned government or international organizations;
- Holders of diplomatic and official passports whose primary destination is Switzerland. Bhutan and Switzerland have visa exemption agreement for holders of diplomatic and official passports.
- Children under twelve years old.
- Persons for whom the collection of fingerprints would be physically impossible.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to request all Bhutanese nationals to take note of this prior to applying for Schengen visa.