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Today we had our interviews/appointment at French Consulate @ Los Angeles for Schengen Visa. It went well, interviewer didn't ask many questions, just verified all the documents and took passports, fingerprints and pictures. Then asked for FedEx return package and we gave that to him. Asked him how long it will take, he told us that it can take up to 10 days.

My question is, does that mean it's approved? We do not have much time, today is 3rd March and we are planning to take flight on March 14th. We want to buy ticket asap but we are confused whether it'll be approved or even if it's approved, whether we will get our passport back before March 14th.

  • Taking your passports does not mean it's approved. A decision is not reached at the interview stage anyway. – Gayot Fow Mar 3 '17 at 20:02
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No. With Schengen visa applications, retaining your passport does not provide any guidance as to whether the visa will be issued or not. You will only learn of the decision when you receive your passport either with the visas affixed or typically with a generic notice why the application was rejected.

With American consulars on the other hand, holding on to your passport typically means your visa is going to be issued because with a rejection your passport is returned right at the interview.

It is recommended you apply for visas with ample time before your departure (up to three months) so that the timing of issue does not impact your travel. Embassies try within reason to accommodate and expedite last minute requests, however it is at their discretion.

My response is based on personal experience with multiple Schengen visa applications over a period of several years.

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