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How to Apply for a Schengen Visa

How to Apply for a Schengen Visa

Travel

How to Apply for a Schengen Visa

Anyone who wishes to enter the Schengen Area, for any reason, might be subject to a visa regime based on their nationality. Presently, more than 60 countries worldwide can go into Europe without a visa and stay there for 90 days within a six-month duration.

The process of applying to obtain a European visa is compulsory for your freedom of movement in this vicinity. In other words, you should be careful when processing it.

If you want to apply for a visa to Europe, just keep reading while I give you guides on how to apply for a Schengen visa.

Simple guides on how to apply for a Schengen visa

1. Figure Out Which Schengen Visa Type You Need

This should be based on your reason for obtaining the visa that is needed to enter Schengen. You can apply for the following:

Tourism Visa

Study Visa

Transit Visa

Business Visa etc.

Visa for Medical Reasons

2. Find Out Where You Need to Apply

You should consider where to apply for a visa. There should be a regulated visa submission in your resident country; after this, you have to file your Schengen visa application at one of the following:

Their embassy

One of their consulates

A visa centre where the embassy of your destination country has outsourced visa submission

The embassy or consulate of another Schengen state to which the embassy of your destination country has outsourced visa submission

3. Find the Most Suitable Time to Apply

As regards the time Schengen embassies and consulates worldwide need to process a Schengen visa, there is a scheduled time within which you can file your visa application. The most suitable time for this includes:

♠ The earliest time to file a visa application is six months before you begin your planned trip.

♠ The latest to file a visa application is 15 working days before your travel date.

♠ The recommended time to file a visa application is at least three weeks before your trip.

4. Book an Appointment

The subsequent step involves scheduling an appointment to initiate the application process. Numerous countries offer the option to book appointments online, while others may require you to schedule the appointment in person at the embassy or consulate of your intended destination.

5. Fill out the Visa Application Form

Download the application form and fill it out correctly with the needed information. The application form has the same format, no matter the country involved. Below are some important information you will be asked to provide:

♠ Your personal information,

♠ Information about your background,

♠ Your reason or intention to enter the Schengen Area,

♠ Other information concerning your trip.

6. Gather the Required Documents

The required documents constitute a crucial aspect of your visa application. Typically, these documents are categorized into two groups.

a.The first category includes:

Valid passport.

Two passports.

b.The visa application form.

Proof of financial means

Travel insurance policy. You can easily purchase it online from Europian Assistance.

Round-trip reservation or flight itinerary with their dates and flight numbers stating entry and exit from the Schengen area.

Proof of accommodation, etc.

The other group is the visa-specific requirements. These documents and their requirements are different depending on the type of visa. Also, some of the Schengen member states have their own additional requirements for visa applicants.

7. Attend the Visa Interview

On the day of your appointment, ensure timely attendance for the interview at the specified location. A visa consular will assist you, to whom you should present the required documents.

In the course of the interview, you will be asked personal questions concerning your origin, why you are traveling, etc. Ensure your answers are accurate, straightforward, and aligned with the information on your application form. The session might last for about 10–15 minutes.

Some interview questions include:

♣ Which of the countries in the Schengen, do you intend to visit?

♣ Do you have any family members or friends living in Europe?

♣ What is your reason for visiting?

♣ Who will fund your trip?

♣ Where do you intend to stay?

♣ What is your educational qualification?

♣ Where do you work?

♣ Are you married? If yes, what is your partner’s occupation? For how long have you been married?

♣ Do you have kids? If yes, how old are they?

♣ What is the duration of your stay in Europe?

8. Pay the Visa Fee

After undergoing the above-mentioned process, you will pay a non-refundable administration fee when applying for a Schengen visa, so that your application will be processed immediately.

The member countries have harmonized the visa fees; therefore, they are stationary and remain the same until stated otherwise by the Schengen states.

Presently, the Schengen visa fee is €80 for one person. Children and some particular groups of people will have to pay either a lesser amount or no fees at all, based on their situation. Check the list of Schengen visa fees, their reductions, and exceptions to see if you belong to any of the categories.

9. Wait for an Answer to Your Application

You will wait until you receive a response on your visa application. However, most times it takes about 15 days to process a visa, and sometimes the processing takes a longer time. Which can be prolonged from 15 to 45 days in some countries, depending on the citizens too.

If you receive your visa, ensure you understand carefully the labels on the visa sticker, including the period it allows you to stay in Europe; otherwise staying overtime in the Schengen area might have implications.

What Documents Are Required When Applying for a Schengen Visa?

The following are the required documents for a Schengen visa application:

♣ Proof of accommodation.

♣ A hotel/hostel booking.

♣ A rental agreement.

♣ Visa application form. Fully completed and signed.

♣ A valid passport not more than 10 years.

♣ Round-trip reservation or itinerary.

♣ Travel insurance policy. A document that proves you have travel health insurance for the whole Schengen territory.

♣ A letter of invitation from a host whose house you will be staying at.

♣ Proof of financial means.

♣ Bank account statement not more than 3 months.

♣ Sponsorship Letter

♣ A combination of your bank account statement and a letter of sponsorship.

♣ Proof of paid visa fee. €80 for adults and €45 for children from 6 to 12 years old.

For employees:

Leave permission from the employer.

Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary.

Employment contract.

Current bank statement within 6 months.

For the self-employed:

A copy of your business license.

Company bank statement within 6 months.

Income Tax Return (ITR).

For retirees:

Partner’s valid passport.

Pension statement within 6 months.

If unemployed and married to a European citizen:

An official marriage certificate.

Confirmation of employment letter, not more than three months, from their partner’s employer, stating the position held in the company, including the assumption date.

For students:

Proof of enrollment.

No objection letter from the school or university.

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