I'd planned on presenting a paper of mine at a conference in Paris. The conference starts from 9th May. For some reason, my official invitation letter reached me very late. One of my friends availed the Premium Service Lounge facility in VFS Mumbai and he advised me to do the same to get a visa in such a short time. I'm travelling to Mumbai this weekend and will apply for the visa first thing on Monday 2nd. My flight is also from Mumbai, on 7th. Is there any chance I'll get the visa in this short time? The conference is important for me and rescheduling is not an option (especially as the organizers themselves booked my flight). I can cancel my visit, but they've requested me to let them know 2-3 days beforehand. So my question is, can I possibly get the visa by 6th if I apply on 2nd Morning? I know they always issue the visa inside 15 working days (given in their website) but that's the maximum guaranteed time. Has anyone been in such a situation before and got the visa? And is their some other way where I can get the visa quicker? One of my colleagues suggested that visa applications in the Pondicherry consulate are issued inside 48 hours, but I can't trust the information for sure. Any help or advise will be highly appreciated.
There is no way to tell how fast your application will be processed. It has many factors, and none depend on the VFS premium service - this just expedites how quickly your application reaches the consulate and has no bearing on how quickly the consulate issues their decision.
The guaranteed time for a response is within 15 days; however you may be able to get a response quickly if:
You can show previous travel to the Schengen area; ideally multiple visas / trips.
You have an existing travel history.
Your application provides solid ties to your home domicile.
Your documents do not require further clarification or processing (for example, your bank statements do not show any large random deposits, etc.)
Unfortunately if this is your first time you'll need to provide a scan of your fingerprints and (most likely) be required to schedule an interview.
Therefore, I would not wait at all and apply well in advance.