Lack of Polish – visa application mess at embassy of Poland

Note: This is a description of my experience. I do not guarantee this will work for you. Please check with the relevant Poland consulate before applying. If you have further questions about the process, please comment on this post and ask.

Target Country: Poland / Schengen Area
Passport: India
Purpose: Tourism
Processing Office: Polish Consulate, London
Processing time: 2 weeks (10 working days)

Documents submitted:
1. Filled out form

2. Letter from Employer saying that I’m employed

3. Bank statements from last 3 months

4. One passport sized photograph, as per their specifications. Any regular photographer in London should be able to give you these.

5. Current passport

6. £58 processing fee per person. My wife and I applied together, so we paid £106

7. Flight bookings to and from the Schengen area, where the first/main destination is Poland.

8. Hotel bookings for each night in the Schengen area.

9. Travel insurance covering your entire stay.

Top Tips:
1. Get an appointment online before going

2. Appointment time doesn’t mean anything. It will let you in through the door. Besides that, arrive at your convenience while the embassy is open.

3.Plan to spend at least 1 hour in queues, even with appointment.

4. If you want multiple entries, make sure you submit hotel and flight bookings for multiple journeys.

5. Don’t get fooled by the long line outside the consulate. That is for people coming for passport renewals. With a visa appointment letter, you can go straight to the door.

Process & Experience:
First we got fooled by the long line outside the consulate. We stood there for 10 minutes, before someone suggested that we go to the door straight away, since we have an appointment letter. That was a huge time saver.

After entering the consulate, there was another queue. They have only 1 visa window, and typically take 10-15 mins to accept each application. We had about 6 applicants in front of us – so had to wait over an hour.

The lady at the window took photocopies of all our documents herself. So we didn’t really have to take photocopies ourselves.

We submitted a copy of our marriage certificate too – but not sure that was necessary.

They took full 2 weeks to process the application. No plea for a quick processing made any difference to them. But the real Shock came when my wife went and picked up the passports.

They had given us a 2-week Mutliple entry visa!!!! How useless is that!! So we can only go on one trip!! This puts us in a difficult situation, since we were planning 2 trips to Europe about 3 weeks apart.

Complete mess. The lady at the counter then graciously (sarcasm!!) says that we should have submitted bookings for future travel as well. No where on their website did it say so. And my previous experience with Schengen visas from other countries taught me that you don’t really need to show bookings for future trips, when applying for the visa. Just for the first trip!! Clearly the Polish consulate does not have well defined or well documented processes. They don’t follow what other embassies do, and they don’t make their own requirements clear up front.

This was overall a disappointing experience for us. I see no reason for applying to the Polish embassy again. The only reason we applied now was because we got a quick appointment. But obviously that was because of f***ed up processes at the embassy.

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5 thoughts on “Lack of Polish – visa application mess at embassy of Poland

  1. At last I found someone who has written so much about visa and its ways in detail. i joined forums like Indiamike to know about it and read much about it but on real grounds i got so confused and nervous if i will ever get visa. i am someone who wants to travel abroad to Europe and North America but its first time i will apply for visa and my main confusion remained on bank statements …i will read your this travel blog in detail to learn things from your exp. plus big thank you for writing things in steps.. hope u wont mind if i can forward my queries to u on visa through mail with my current profile. its more of the fear of getting rejected makes me sick and also everyone falls the first time…

  2. Is there any precautions that you need to take care of in particular when you visit Poland? I intend to visit Poland for 3-4 days and would like to know if there is something that I should be aware of so that I my visit would remain a pleasant memory 🙂 – ~KarthiK~

  3. Karthik — From what I know Poland is a pretty progressive country and your experience there should be at par with most Central European nations. I would imagine if you take the same precautions as you would in any other European city around safety, you would be just fine. Always helps to know the history of the place a little bit, to avoid making any Faux Pas in conversations with locals. However, I did not make it to Poland myself, so I can't speak out of experience.

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