I am an Indian Citizen and a resident of United Kingdom. I live and work in London, UK. I do have extensive travel history including living in multiple Schengen countries, and Canada in the past. I am currently on parental leave/vacation in India. I had to travel for an urgent Business meeting in France. I read that it was difficult to get Schengen visa appointment dates everywhere so I booked an appointment at VFS Delhi, and have submitted my visa application here. The French embassy has taken more than 20 working days to process the application, and I was not able to attend my business meeting on time.

I just read on this forum that I should not have even applied from my non-country of residence in the first place since the local consulate is best judged to review your case. I now fear that French consulate in Delhi could even reject my application after taking forever. I also would need to travel to Schengen state in the next month again.

My question is - Should I just withdraw my application here and reapply from the UK, or wait for a decision? I work for a fairly large company and I can get an invitation letter to travel to just about anywhere.

2 Answers 2


Some observations:

  • If they are unhappy about your place of residence, the French consulate should not “reject” the application, only decline to process it. That means you should get your fee back and would not get any negative history (no visa rejection decision in the Schengen area and no need to report this as such to other countries). It would still be very annoying but the stakes are lower.
  • The general rule is indeed that you should apply from your place of residence but in practice that's mostly an issue for tourists and people on short visits to other countries, not to people who are back in their country of origin. The way this is enforced is by requiring, e.g., a residence permit from applicants who are not nationals of the country covered by a given consulate. This doesn't apply to you and if your application made it past the VFS filter, I think the French consulate is still likely to process it (even if they don't have to, formally).
  • Even if the general rule is to apply from your place of residence, it is also allowed to apply from another place if you have a legit reason for doing so. And being in India so long that it wasn't practical to apply from the UK during the recommended time frame can be such a reason. So the consulate might simply decide to process your application anyway. In theory, it's better to explicitly explain why you are applying from another consulate but that's not a guarantee of success either.
  • I was not able to attend my business meeting on time. That part is actually more concerning to me, it means there is no valid purpose for your trip anymore. Worse case scenario the French consulate could refuse the visa based on that. This would be enraging since you did have a purpose when you applied but legally unimpeachable.

I would therefore base the decision on your travel plans. Since that business meeting won't be happening and it seems you are considering returning to the UK, it makes sense to withdraw your application and start a new one with a solid rationale, perhaps to another country in the Schengen area. If the purpose of your planned trip to France was still valid and you had no intention to go back to the UK, I would not advise pulling the application only because it was lodged in India.

  • 2
    Many thanks for the very thorough answer - this is most helpful. My company requested a 1-year multiple entry visa in the invitation letter for attending regular meetings with my French colleagues. So, we will have several meetings in the year and the reason for travel to France is applicable. I do want to return to the UK soon; it is OK to work remotely for some weeks, but I am most productive when meeting my colleagues once every week or two. Paradoxically, even though I am born/brought up here, I am longing to go back to my home in the UK.
    – Uninit
    Sep 28, 2022 at 17:40
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    In the application, I also showed a one-way flight from Delhi-London, and then a return train ride from London-Paris. I didn't mention explicitly that I would stay in London, and not come back to India. I hope common sense prevails by the officer judging the application. But many thanks again. I will wait for another week before considering withdrawing the application.
    – Uninit
    Sep 28, 2022 at 17:42
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    Currently, Schengen visa applications are taking a long time in India. That kind of delay might be normal. Oct 3, 2022 at 10:59

Update: I got a Schengen Visa with 2 year validity for France. So, for those searching for the answer, user - "Relaxed" explained it perfectly. You can apply for a visa from your country of origin, even if it is different than your country of residence. I also didn't state any explicit reason for doing so, I guess that it was implied in my application that I would travel back to my country of residence after visiting France.

I actually also withdrew my application. My visa got processed by the embassy the day my withdrawal request reached them. A travel agent friend foretold the same - he told me that the embassy will send you the visa as soon as you give them a withdrawal request. I don't know whether it was that or whether it was already 22 working days that they had already taken, but I got the visa in the end.

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