A few months ago I sent an e-mail to German consulate in Turkey (Istanbul) to ask the status of my C-type visa application. They replied and also told me that the legal processing time for Schengen visa applications is 15 days.

Actually that is very good, but I wonder what "legal" means here. Is it related to Schengen regulations or local laws in Turkey?


"Legal" is describing the Schengen Visa Code, which dictates that visa applications are ordinarily to be processed within 15 days, unless more time is needed:

Article 23

Decision on the application

  1. Applications shall be decided on within 15 calendar days of the date of the lodging of an application which is admissible in accordance with Article 19.

  2. That period may be extended up to a maximum of 30 calendar days in individual cases, notably when further scrutiny of the application is needed or in cases of representation where the authorities of the represented Member State are consulted.

  3. Exceptionally, when additional documentation is needed in specific cases, the period may be extended up to a maximum of 60 calendar days.

Simply, 15 days is the standard processing time defined by European law.

  • 2
    !It takes up to 15 days unless more time is needed" reminds me of XKCD comic 870, panel 1: xkcd.com/870 - Unless "need" has a very specific legal meaning, more than 15 days are needed if and only if it takes more than 15 days, so the statement is pretty meaningless. (This does not criticize the answer, though).
    – DCTLib
    Aug 7 '17 at 12:37