I recently tried applying for a Schengen visa in The Netherlands consulate. They gave me a 15 work-days processing time. It's worth noting that from the day I applied I was in contact with VFS (they manage several countries visa applications, including The Netherlands) to check on my application. I found it strange that I never got any confirmation email/nor was I able to track my application via their platform. They kept telling me that the online platform was having issues and that I'd wait for the 15 days. Which I did.

When the time was up, I went to VFS office to collect my passport but when I arrived I was told that my passport wasn't ready, told me that it'd be an extra 2 days. I complaint to them about the lack of communication from their office. Someone else took my case and, after doing some inquires, she told me that the embassy had emailed me about a week ago telling me that I was missing some proof and that, as a result, my 15 days processing time was put on standby (technically only 8 days had passed). The problem is, they sent that email to an email account not related to myself. In the end I ended up cancelling my application because I wouldn't be able to make my trip on the planned dates as the visa process would overlap with it.

I emailed the embassy to complaint about these (VFS was virtually unhelpful). After revising my case, they replied to me. They told me that the email address that they used was the one I provided in 2 different instances (my signed application form and some online form). It turns out that I had mistakenly left box #17 empty (the one that asks for postal and email address). Problem is, the person who received my papers had filled it up by themselves with this random email address without asking me. They even provided a DIFFERENT email address in the online form.

I know it was my mistake to leave box 17 empty, but I believe it was the agent's responsibility to check the application and make sure everything was okay.

I'd like to point out that they didn't accept my application right away. At first they told me that The Netherlands wasn't my main destination and that I couldn't apply via that embassy. I told them that the rules say that if you are traveling to multiple Schengen states and staying the same days on each, you should apply at the embassy of the country that constitutes your entry port. They kept saying that no, that it wasn't correct and that I had to either change my itinerary or apply somewherelse (they couldn't tell me where exactly). I had to leave the office (no phones allowed inside) and call the embassy to get confirmation. The embassy told me that I was in the right and that I should go back and explain to the agents what the embassy told me and to ask them to confirm it with them in case it was necessary. I did, and went back and waited a few minutes and then they told me that my application could be accepted. One would think if they are so picky about something in which they were WRONG, they would be more careful with the overall application.

Obviously I lost money and time, and I'm pretty sure the fees are non-refundable. Do you guys thing I should push the matter further and try and get a refund? Or should I just drop it all together?


So I sent someone today to pick my passport up from VFS office (couldn't go due to work commitments) and it turns out that I was indeed granted a Schengen visa. I'm still puzzled about this whole situation. I never provided the additional information they requested, I actually requested for my visa submission to be cancelled and for my passport to be returned back to me. I'm excited that I got a visa, now let's see if I can get back all the previous arrangements I cancelled because my trip wasn't going to happen.

  • 1
    Enjoy the benefits of the visa that you paid for. Don't give a darn to the puzzling part – Hanky Panky Oct 11 '17 at 18:00
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    You can thank the Netherlands embassy for this. They are absolutely the best people; I had a similar frustrating experience with VFS and when I also complained to the Netherlands embassy, it turns out VFS somehow changed the mobile number in my application(!) and the embassy was trying to contact me, but couldn't and thus refused my visa. Furious I reapplied again and the embassy issued me a visa immediately. Its definitely the Netherlands here, I already had very high opinions of the country but after this episode, they have absolutely won me over. – Burhan Khalid Oct 12 '17 at 7:18

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