Excited about the Europe Trip! This simple guide will help you get your Schengen visa without paying the so-called “Agents”. Basically, there are four questions:

  1. Where should I apply?
  2. When should I apply?
  3. How should I fill out the form?
  4. What should I submit?

Where should I apply for the Visa?

If You are planning to visit only one single Schengen Country, let’s say you are going to Italy for 10 days then visa application must be applied at the Italy Embassy. Just google it and you’ll get the link to the respective consulate website.

Hey, But I’m visiting multiple countries, where should I apply for my Visa?

No worries, Let’s say you are planning to go to Italy and France on your Honeymoon. Then there could be three cases:

Case 1. You are planning to spend 10 days in Italy and 7 days in France. Irrespective of the fact, which country you are visiting first.

You should apply for the visa at the Italy Embassy as it is the main destination of your trip.

Case 2. You are planning to visit for 5 days in Italy, 5 days in France, 5 days in Spain and 2 days in Monaco. And, you are landing in Spain from your hometown. 

You should apply for the visa at the Embassy/Consulate of the Member State which will be the point of entry. In this case – Spain Embassy would grant you the visa.

Getting Schengan Visa is fairly easy, if you have all the documents in order. And, you should start early preparing you file.

Now, you know where you need to apply for it. The next question is “When should I apply?”

You can apply at max three months (90 days) before your trip. For example, if you are planning to fly on 12th Dec 2018. You can start applying for your visa from 13th Sept 2018. But, it’s always advisable to apply at least 2 months before the scheduled date of departure. In case, if you need to reapply then it gives you a room to apply again.

Does it matter if I apply early or late?

No.

How to fill the Visa Form?

It’s very easy. Just get your passport in front of you and fill in the details as per the order.

Sample Answers:

  1. Surname: Aggarwal
  2. Surname at birth: If you have changed it after your marriage then just mention the old Surname, else leave blank.
  3. First Name, Given Name: Nikita
  4. Date of birth: 01/01/1991
  5. Place of birth: Delhi
  6. Country of birth: India
  7. Current nationality: Leave it blank if you haven’t undergone any citizenship changes
  8. Sex: Female
  9. Marital Status: Married
  10. This portion is for minors. Leave it blank, if not a minor
  11. National Identity Number: Leave it blank
  12. Type of travel document: Tick against Passport
  13. Travel Document Number: Passport Number
  14. Date of Issue: This can be found in your passport.
  15. Valid until: Again, this can be found in your passport
  16. Issued by: Indian Government
  17. Applicant’s home address and email address, Telephone Number: Just fill your information
  18. If you have not yet resided in another country, then mark No. Else fill as per your situation
  19. Current occupation: Current Designation for Employed, For unemployed: None, For entrepreneur: Business Man/ Woman, For students: Student.
  20. Name of Company: Write the name of the company you are working for, your office’s address and office telephone number. For students, mention your school’s name and address.
  21. Main purpose of stay: Mark Tourism
  22. Member State/s of Destination: If you are visiting France, Italy, Spain and Monaco then indicate all countries
  23. Member State of first entry: Spain
  24. Number of entries requested: Check whatever is applicable to you
  25. Duration of the intended stay or transit: Mention the number of days you plan to stay within the Schengen area. In this case, it’s 17
  26. Schengen visas issued during the past three years: No
  27. In relation to #26, Check No again.
  28. Intended date of arrival at the Schengen area: Mention the date of arrival in first city
  29. Intended date of departure from the Schengen area: Mention the date you are flying back to your hometown
  30. Since no one is inviting you to Spain or any other country, Mention the names of your hotels. If you booked through AirBnB then indicate the name of your host. Write the address of your hotel/s or hosts, as well as telephone numbers
  31. Cost of the travel: Check Myself and mark the various means I will be supporting my travel. I checked all that was applicable (cash, credit card, prepaid transportation)
  32. Place and date: where and when you are filling up the form
  33. Signature: Your signature

What to Submit?

Fixed your appointment with Embassy, now it’s time to put together all the documents in order for the application. Always have the original set of documents with you when submitting your application. AND one set of the Photocopy of the original documents because the Embassy will keep the photocopies for their file.

  1. A signed Schengen application visa form 
    1. With the photo on white background (35mm x 45mm) + 1 extra photo
    2. Your face and head should be free from any headgear (i.e. hat, fancy headband, eyeglasses, sunglasses, etc)
  2. Valid passport (3 months’ validity from the end of approved duration stay)
    1. Photocopy of valid and former visas
    2. photocopy ALL the relevant pages (all the pages with stamps showing your travel history)
  3. Coverletter explaining the purpose of your trip 
    1. It should mention your travelling dates and places to be visited
    2. It doesn’t have to be a very long letter
    3. Find a sample here
  4. Details about the trip:
    1. Proof of accommodation:
      • For tourists: hotel or AirBnB bookings vouchers. You can print your hotel reservations from the website where you booked or you can print the reservation details that is emailed to you
      • If staying with a French resident: Hospitality Certificate + copy of that host’s national identity card (if EU citizen) or residence permit (if the citizen of a country other than the EU).
    2. Return flight booking: It is not advisable to buy your tickets without visa approval. Ask your agent for tickets which are cancellable.
    3. Complete itinerary with departure and return dates: You don’t have to be too detailed about this. Just mention “Sept 30 – Oct 04: Spain, Oct 04-Oct 9: Paris”
    4. For the family visit: proof of relationship: birth certificate, marriage certificate
  5. Proof of employment:
    1. Certificate of employment with monthly salary and leave of absence approved by the employer
    2. If self-employed: official business registration for the current and previous year
  6. Proof of income:
    1. Income tax return from the previous year, where applicable
    2. Recent bank statement: Get a printout of your statement and get it stamped from the bank. The accounts should contain enough funds to support your trip. Statement period should be of three months
    3. Credit card statements: If you are showing that part of your travel will be sponsored by credit cards
  7. Identity/ Marital Status:
    1. Photocopy of the first page of your valid passport and relevant obtained visas
    2. If married: photocopy of your marriage certificate
    3. For minors: a notarized affidavit from one or both parents
  8. An international travel insurance (medical expenses and repatriation)
    1. Covering the entire period of the person’s intended stay and valid for all Schengen states. Minimum coverage should be EUR50,000. You can get travel insurance from various online companies. It’s super easy.

You can get the above list from the Embassy website. And you should arrange your documents in the order listed in the requirements list.