Now that the travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic have been lifted, our visa sections are experiencing a considerable rise in applications, which in some cases exceeds pre-COVID-19 levels. In certain places, our visa sections are unable to process this increase to the same extent in all visa categories. This is leading to some applicants having to wait longer for an appointment to apply for a visa.
In order to create additional capacities for processing visa applications, enabling us to reduce waiting times, we are launching a pilot project in China, Morocco and Turkey in which remonstrations – that is what an objection against the rejection of a visa application is called – will be suspended.
Remonstrations are a legal remedy granted voluntarily and therefore not statutorily prescribed. Within the scope of the pilot project, we want to examine whether suspension can help our missions abroad increase the number of applications they process, thus reducing waiting times for all travellers. All applicants will benefit from this.
The pilot project will run for six months. After that, the results will be evaluated. If the pilot project is successful, we will consider expanding it to include other visa sections.
What does this mean for applicants?
The decision on a visa application will be taken on the same legal basis as before. If it is clear from the requisite documents submitted that the visa requirements have been met, missions will continue to issue a visa.
With immediate effect, however, the visa sections taking part in the pilot project will issue amended notices of refusal when turning down a visa application in which the applicants are informed in greater detail than previously of the reasons for the refusal. Within a statutory period, applicants can request to have the refusal reviewed in an administrative procedure or can submit a new visa application. However, our visa sections will no longer review once more applications already submitted.
Applicants who received a notice of refusal before 1 June informing them that they could file a remonstration can still have their refusal reviewed by the mission abroad within the period stated in the notice.