First VDMA China Seminar about Schengen Visa successfully organized
VDMA quite often receives questions of its member companies in the field of visa and has identified the topic as a hot topic. We selected “Schengen visa – visa procedure, practical problems and current developments” as the first topic for the new series of VDMA China Seminars. In cooperation with the German Embassy Beijing, TLS Contact, POSS Ltd. and the VDMA member company Kocks VDMA China has successfully hosted this event for 20 people.
René Bernard, Business Development Manager has moderated and held the Seminar. He presented figures and statistics showing that the German embassies and consulates worldwide need to manage more and more incoming visa applications every year, e.g. between 2010-2012 around 12-15% more applications every year. The following graphic of the European Commission shows figures for China for C-Visas, i.e. Schengen visas for different categories as well as the refusal rate (according to differing figures from the German Embassy Beijing the refusal rate for Beijing has been 4%).
Visa figures for China's different consulates 2013 (for Germany)
Source: European Commission
The refusal rate of applications for Schengen visas at the German Embassy has been significantly going down during the last four years. The refusal rate for applicants applying from China is also lower than the world average.
Figures of Schengen visa refusal rate for applying countries 2012
Mrs. Nadja Hahne, vice head of the visa section of the German Embassy Beijing has then given a keynote speech about “Schengen visa – Application process of business visas and current developments”. Mrs. Hahne has explained the different visa categories with a focus on the Schengen visa. Very important for the plenum has been the introduction of the visa process. Mr. Hahne then went on to explain the reasons for refusal of visa applications while in China mostly incomplete documentation and non-reliable information regarding the purpose and conditions of the trip are the most common refusal reasons out of nine refusal categories. In the future the so called Visa Information System (VIS) and biometric systems (taking of fingerprints) will more and more increase the security level, help to identify people and fight practices like visa-shopping. In China the VIS will be introduced likely mid of 2015 according to Mrs. Hahne. Last but not least recent changes in the application process have been introduced and practical tips have been given.
In a second lecture Mrs. Snezana Markovic chief of the German department of TLS Contact has introduced the “Visa application procedure – Advantages of processing via the visa application center of the German Embassy”. TLS Contact as the European leader in visa application outsourcing services is the contracted service provider of the German Embassy for its visa application process. In China TLS Contact has 400 employees and service centers in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities now. Customers of TLS Contact can use a very comprehensive communication and information system that includes their website, IVR, SMS notification and a call center, but also face-to-face personal contact points. TLS Contact can deliver personalized lists for each individual applicant. In the visa application process generally speaking the three ways of applications via a representative, via postal and in person are available, while roughly 60% use representative, 20% use postal and another 20% come in person to the center according to Mrs. Markovic.
Mr. Arian Wahidi, International Key Account Manager of POSS Ltd. / Passarge has then given a “Case study – Reasons for rejections in the visa application process”. Passarge is offering visa services and consultation in cooperation with partners in D-A-CH already since 2008. He has presented a case study and has given recommendations to what applicants should pay attention to.
In a last speaker engagement Mrs. Zhang Li, Accountant of the VDMA member company Kocks has presented her very own experience in her lecture about “Visa practice of a German machinery manufacturer - organizational embedment, experiences and problems”. Kocks is a leading manufacturer of rolling mills for tubes, wire rods and bars.
In her speech she discussed another case study and showed the organizational embedment of visa issues in her company.
Mr. Bernard concluded that the first VDMA China Seminar about the Schengen Visa has been a great success and that future VDMA China Seminars are already planned.
Bildquelle : VDMA