Were you planning to visit Spain and Slovakia? Did you already apply for a visa there? Was your travel plan cancelled due to the pandemic? Fret not, there's some good news for you. Spain and Slovakia have announced gratis visas for Indian travellers who had applied for a visa before they travel ban to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic. The embassies of the two countries will not charge you an extra amount for reissuing the visa once international tourism restarts.
The announcement made by the OTOAI
The announcement of this decision was made by Outbound Tour Operators' Association. OTOAI has requested the European embassies in India to issue a gratis visa for Indians who had applied for one at the beginning of the year but could not use it due to the unforeseen crisis that came on us in the form of the coronavirus pandemic.
The OTOAI President, Riaz Munshi said in the announcement that they are pleased with the development and would remain hopeful that with time more European embassies would agree upon issuing the gratis visa. He also added that the OTOAI is aware that international travel will take some time to restart in India, but moves such as this one will help in attracting more people towards international travel with some relief to their pockets.
Slovak Ambassador confirms Gratis Visa
Ivan Lancaric, the Slovak Ambassador, has confirmed the decision. He told the media that the visa section in the embassy will assist the travellers going to Slovakia after they reapply for a Schengen visa. He further added that people whose travel plan was affected by the ban, they can apply for this visa fee waiver individually at the time of the submission of the new application. The Slovak Ambassador has also said that the embassy is keen to promote local travellers to visit Slovakia and gratis visas will be available to all and not just tourists.
Spanish Embassy releases official statement
The Spanish embassy, too, has confirmed the decision through an official statement. It has been assured that they will reissue the visa of travellers without any extra charges. The tourists can file the application at the BLS international that has been outsourcing Spanish visa processing since 2016.
BLS has added a notice to their website where the travellers whose visa validation has not yet begun can change their visa validation period. They will have to submit their passport and a new flight ticket. For those whose applications were already in the validation process, will have to submit a new application with complete documentation. In both, the conditions the travellers will have to bear BLS service charges.