Svetlana Stroganova, General Director of Euro-Travel, commented on the situation as follows: ‘Consulate of Germany opens at 8.30 a.m. By the time the bank opens at 7.30 a.m. there are three queues - individual persons, legal persons and representatives of tour operating companies. All of them have arranged different time in the German Consulate and many of them are late’. According to travel companies, bank agents do their best to increase the capacity as only this bank is empowered to accept visa payments.
It would be more convenient if visa payments could be made a day in advance. Besides, it could be more reasonable to pay the fee after documents are proceeded as it turns out quite often that the fee is paid but visa is not issued, said the majority of travel companies’ representatives interviewed by a BANKO correspondent.
Nevertheless, all of them consider the changes not to be a considerable problem. For example, Mikhail Mikhailov, director of Visa Department of CAPITAL TOUR, stated as follows: ‘It is normal. Many consulate sections follow similar rules, thus, the Austrian Consulate receive payments after documents, while in the Italian Embassy they accept payments before application. We need time to get used to the changes…’. Travel companies might experience real problems in May when a number of tourists traditionally increase.