Note: This is a description of my experience. I do not guarantee this will work for you. Please check with the relevant Poland consulate before applying. If you have further questions about the process, please comment on this post and ask.
Target Country: Poland / Schengen Area
Processing Office: Polish Consulate, London
Processing time: 2 weeks (10 working days)
1. Filled out form
2. Letter from Employer saying that I’m employed
3. Bank statements from last 3 months
4. One passport sized photograph, as per their specifications. Any regular photographer in London should be able to give you these.
5. Current passport
6. £58 processing fee per person. My wife and I applied together, so we paid £106
7. Flight bookings to and from the Schengen area, where the first/main destination is Poland.
8. Hotel bookings for each night in the Schengen area.
9. Travel insurance covering your entire stay.
1. Get an appointment online before going
2. Appointment time doesn’t mean anything. It will let you in through the door. Besides that, arrive at your convenience while the embassy is open.
3.Plan to spend at least 1 hour in queues, even with appointment.
4. If you want multiple entries, make sure you submit hotel and flight bookings for multiple journeys.
5. Don’t get fooled by the long line outside the consulate. That is for people coming for passport renewals. With a visa appointment letter, you can go straight to the door.
Process & Experience:
First we got fooled by the long line outside the consulate. We stood there for 10 minutes, before someone suggested that we go to the door straight away, since we have an appointment letter. That was a huge time saver.
After entering the consulate, there was another queue. They have only 1 visa window, and typically take 10-15 mins to accept each application. We had about 6 applicants in front of us – so had to wait over an hour.
The lady at the window took photocopies of all our documents herself. So we didn’t really have to take photocopies ourselves.
We submitted a copy of our marriage certificate too – but not sure that was necessary.
They took full 2 weeks to process the application. No plea for a quick processing made any difference to them. But the real Shock came when my wife went and picked up the passports.
They had given us a 2-week Mutliple entry visa!!!! How useless is that!! So we can only go on one trip!! This puts us in a difficult situation, since we were planning 2 trips to Europe about 3 weeks apart.
Complete mess. The lady at the counter then graciously (sarcasm!!) says that we should have submitted bookings for future travel as well. No where on their website did it say so. And my previous experience with Schengen visas from other countries taught me that you don’t really need to show bookings for future trips, when applying for the visa. Just for the first trip!! Clearly the Polish consulate does not have well defined or well documented processes. They don’t follow what other embassies do, and they don’t make their own requirements clear up front.
This was overall a disappointing experience for us. I see no reason for applying to the Polish embassy again. The only reason we applied now was because we got a quick appointment. But obviously that was because of f***ed up processes at the embassy.