Czesc India – 10th April to 8th May

Finally all set for our India trip. We planned couple of times but we couldn’t this time all set, visas, shopping, tickets. On 10th April we are leaving from Gdansk and early morning we’ll be in India. We’ll be visiting back home, Delhi, Agra, Jaipur/Valley of flowers and Leh.

Schengen Agreement – Where the hell is free movement?

UPDATE: This post may contain some information which is no longer valid. According to latest updates, Schengen states are no longer issue D+C Visas and D Visa is now treated as D+C Visa. In short person entitled with D Visa can now visit schenegen states for first 3 months from date of issue.

Recently, I stuck with my renewal of residence permit in Poland and all I got was “D” Polish national visa. Which allows me to stay only on territory of Poland, but wait I have a trip to India, I bought ticket and everything has already planned. Immigration officer told me that Its multiple entry visa which allows to leave Poland and re-enter without any problem, in case of argument just show old residence card.

So far so good, my Lufthansa flight from Gdansk-Munich-Delhi-Munich-Gdansk has connection in Munich. Many European countries uses bad practice while issuing visa. In case of national legislation they issue “D” national visa which is limited to schengen state which issued that visa, and if it has picture and visa code then it also allows you one visa free 5 day transit to reach schengen state who issued that visa from other schengen state.

So, I was worried because it only allows “ONE” visa free transit when contacted German consulate in Delhi, they mentioned “Indian passport holding any visa issued by EU/EEA doesnt require Airport transit visa” so i was very happy that everything is in motion.

A week before departure, I just voluntarily contacted German embassy in Warsaw and their answer was like this “Sir, You need Schengen Short stay visa, if you are on national visa and you have connection from Munich”. I said what? I’ll be transiting via air just 1 hr layover in Munich and Officer nicely explained me why I need short stay visa instead of VTA/ATV or transit visa. Flights from one schengen state to another schengen state is considered as local flights, they dont have any immigration check points and more funny thing is “Schengen airports / gates are considered as schengen territory not transit territory”, well that’s ridiculous. In short it stay if you have got “D” visa then you are stuck in that schengen state which issued that visa.

In real schengen agreement is not complete it lacks completeness. They cannot issue me transit visa because i’ll be entering again in Poland after one month via Munich and transit visa doesn’t have number of days. So, they said only solution is to give you Short stay tourist visa, well that’s even more ridiculous but it’d work in my case.

In 2002 EU Parliament approved a proposal to provide some solution to this kind of problem by issuing “D+C” visa. D+C visa provides all features of national visa plus it include 90 days stay in other schengen state from the date of first entry in schengen zone. Practically it doesn’t work, because national legislation takes lot of time in some countries it even exceeds 6 month and in other cases embassies even dont issue D+C visa either they dont know what the hell it is or they just dont want to issue them or they are lazy to follow schengen visa procedure and add information to SIS.

Recently, A new proposal has been made to EU Parliament regarding providing completence to free movement regarding non-EU citizens. Proposal says “Long term D visa would have same effect as residence permits, so a non-EU citizen would be entitled 90 days visa free entry in schengen states in half year without visa, just like residence permit” and “Consulates should propagate D visa information in SIS(schengen informaion system”. It makes sense, both proposal aims to provide free movement without compromising on security issues and incase if any state need to issue visa to someone on personal interest then they can use “VTL” limited territory schengen visa.

Around 3 years ago, a delegation of junior high school students from India got invitation from France to visit and learn french in France. This delegation booked flight via Delhi-Munich-Frankfurt-Paris instead of staright Delhi-France. They went to french embassy and they got “D” visa for35 days with a stamp that they cannot apply for residence permit on this visa. And like other people they have that misconception that they can travel to whole europe on that visa which said “France” instead “Schengen States”. They reached Munich and immigration officer  enquired that where you are heading they said france. But its from Frankfurt and how you gonna take Munich-Frankfurt flight he replied. School teacher was completely blank, German Immigration officer asked them to return back from next earliest flight to Delhi. But its completely unfair, we dont know whats going on behind curtains, we are just going for an educational trip, yellow-pale school teacher replied. German immigration officer couldn’t understand why french embassy issued a D visa for short stay and agreed to talk to higher officer. After a long talk they have been issued a transit visa so that they can take this flight from Frankfurt, its really rare if doesnt happens oftenly, but thanks to Germany authorities who understand that Indian doesn’t have pocket full of euros they earns hardly 200 euro a month in home country. After arrival in France, instead correcting visa french authorities acted like a stubborn child and said “Indian embassy in France is doing similar things, they are not issuing work permits and visa as fast as they should” huh! its really childish. French doen’t understand that India has huge population and selling county again is not in our agenda. We don’t want hypermarkets like Carrfour in India taking all money to France, its  like socialism in past when English people dominated India for around 250 years. So, India is very careful regarding foreign investments etc.

So back to the story, I need schegen visa for just 1 hour layover in Munich. I went to Germany consulate in Warsaw, a nice lady gave me all requirement list, I needed a schengen health insurance, bank balance, 60 euro fee etc all requirements which are necessary for schengen visa. Next day I went with all those papers and met with two Chinese workers in Poland who had similar situation but the only difference was my flight is after one week and their was scheduled at 10:35 same morning. Good news they got visa on 9:10 but I am still skeptic about if they could catch that flight since airport is very far. At 9:40 I got my transit so called “tourist visum”. It was really quick. I must say German are really processing visa application faster and better. I called that visa “A visa to your own home”.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:52009PC0091:EN:HTML

http://www.hindu.com/2006/03/17/stories/2006031703041200.htm