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Schengen visa requirements for Indians

Discussion in 'Visa and Passport' started by Naman, Jan 1, 2017.

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  1. Naman

    Naman New Member

    I am from Surat and would like to apply for the Schengen visa but before I apply I want to make sure I get everything right and would like to know the Schengen visa requirements for Indians.

    I see a lot of people getting rejected for a visa, so I think its better to be well prepared and fulfil all the requirements before applying.
     


  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Naman, welcome to the forum!

    Schengen-visa-for-indians.

    Overview

    Been dreaming about visiting the living art gallery that is of Italy? Or maybe exploring the land of extremes, of volcanoes and of glaciers, Iceland? What do these two destinations have in common? Well, they are both members of the Schengen Area and fortunately, you can visit both destinations with just one valid visa at hand. This is the Schengen Visa, which allows travellers to travel within 26 countries, all members of the Schengen Borders Agreement. With this type of visa, you can move from one destination to another, as long as the destination you're visiting is a part of the agreement, without having to go through rigorous paperworks and processes. In this little guide, we would highlight the requirements and processes you need to go through to apply for a Schengen Visa and make that dream of travelling to Europe a reality!

    Schengen Borders Agreement - The Members

    The Schengen Borders Agreement allows freedom of movement for the travellers and residents of 26 countries. Some are members of the European Union while others are not. It's important to know which are these countries, so you can better plan your trip and application for the Schengen Visa.

    CountryCountry
    AustriaLithuania
    BelgiumLuxembourg
    Czech RepublicMalta
    DenmarkNetherlands
    EstoniaNorway
    FinlandPoland
    FrancePortugal
    GermanySlovakia
    GreeceSlovenia
    HungarySpain
    IcelandSweden
    ItalySwitzerland
    LatviaLiechtenstein
    Except for Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, all the remaining countries are European Union members. The aforementioned territories are part of the Schengen Area, despite not being members of the EU, through the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Also noteworthy of mentioning is that there are also open border areas with Monaco, San Marino and Vatican, though they are not members of the Schengen Borders Agreement.

    Schengen Visa - How Does It Work?

    You can apply for the Schengen Visa at least 15 days before your preferred departure and not more than 3 months prior to your preferred departure. Upon entry to the point border, any member of the Schengen Borders Agreement territory, you need to have your passport stamped. Thereafter, you won't need to show your passport to any border point, nor does it have to be stamped. However, on your last point of exit, where you would be boarding a flight into your home country from, you need to have your passport stamped by a certified official. Also, you cannot exceed 90 days, or 3 months, of stay within the Schengen Area with the Schengen Visa.

    Schengen Visa - Where Should You Apply?

    Though the Schengen Visa allows for freedom of movement between its neighbouring territories, there are still some guidelines that you need to follow in applying for it. Generally, if you're visiting the Netherlands only, you cannot apply for the Schengen Visa in the Embassy of Italy or Consulate of Latvia. Follow the guidelines below to determine which embassy should you apply to for your Schengen Visa.
    • If you're visiting just one territory in the Schengen Area, you need to apply for the Schengen Visa in the same embassy. For example, if you want to visit the Netherlands only, then you need to apply for the Schengen Visa in the Embassy of Netherlands closest to you.
    • If you have several destinations in mind, you need to apply for the main destination. This is usually the place where you would be spending the most number of days of. For example, if you intend to visit Germany in about three days and Italy in about four days, you need to apply for the Schengen Visa in the latter consulate because you'd be spending more time there.
    • If there is no main destination, meaning you intend to stay in the same number of days for each territory, you can apply for the Schengen Visa for your first point of entry. So if you're visiting Poland first, then Slovakia and then Greece, for three days each, then you can apply for the Schengen Visa in the Embassy of the Republic Poland.
    Schengen Visa - The Requirements

    For a smoother processing of your visa application, make sure you prepare the following requirements in advance. These are the necessary requirements, without one of which can lead to the rejection of your visa application.

    The Basics

    1. Printed, duly completed with a blue-inked pen and signed Schengen Visa Application Form
    • Alternatively, you can also opt to fill in the application form online through this link. You simply input your information online and take a print out of the application form thereafter.
    2. At least two passport-sized photographs, with a light neutral background, showcasing the full face of the applicant
    • Make sure that the photograph was recently taken, at least 6 months prior to application, the more recent, the better.
    3. Valid passport, at least three months validity and with at least two blank pages, issued at least ten years before your application date (In some cases, photocopies all the pages of your passport might be required)
    • You can also submit your old passports for reference of your previous travels.
    4. Required visa fee
    • Adults pay around 60 EUR or 4,268 INR for a 90-day Schengen Visa.
    • Children aged 6 to 12 years old pay around 35 EUR or 2,490 INR for a 90-day Schengen Visa.
    5. Residence permit (For applicants residing in a country they are not citizens of, but have legal residence in the respective country)

    6. Identification proofs
    • Any of the following will do: voter's identification card, driver's license, PAN card, Aadhar card or company identification card.
    Proof of Financial Capacity

    1. Bank statements for the last three months, with original stamps and signature of the bank official (At least Rs. 100,000 on your bank balance for the last three months, consistent, not last minute transfers)
    • If the applicant doesn't have a bank account, some embassies accept traveller's cheques as proof of finances too.
    2. Employment evidences
    • Income tax return, recent salary slips, leave permission from authority and employment contracts (If employed by a company).
    • Business license, income tax return and recent bank statements (If self-employed).
    • Affidavit of support from parents, evidence of student status or letter from university (For students).
    3. Property tax, land ownership title or any other evidence that would prove that you would return to your home country

    Proof of Travel Arrangements

    1. Personal cover letter
    • This should include your purpose of visit, planned itinerary and stating all the documents you have submitted for the visa application.
    2. Confirmed hotel bookings
    • Confirmation printouts proving that you have booked a hotel from a third-party website or even from the property itself. If you're staying with a relative, an invitation letter stating that they can provide for the accommodation while you're in the designated country or territory.
    3. Round trip ticket reservation
    • It is not necessary that you should book a flight ticket in advance, without even being assured of the approval of your visa. For this, you can utilise the help of a certified travel agency that can provide ticket reservation for you, without having to buy an air fare ticket in advance.
    4. Health insurance
    • Minimum cover should be at least 30,000 EUR, must be valid in all the Schengen Areas and must be purchased prior to applying for the visa
    For Minors

    1. The Application Form duly signed by both parents, aside from the minor himself/herself

    2. Birth certificate

    3. Identification proofs for parents
    • Notarised driving license, employment identification or passport will do.
    4. Notarised parental authorisation letter (If minor is travelling alone)

    5. Family court order (For single parent with full custody)

    Schengen Visa- The Procedure

    Now that we have all the requirements covered, we go to the application procedure itself. The procedure varies a bit depending on the consulate or embassy you are required to pass your application to. But they generally have the same procedures, though it's best to reach the actual consulate or consular website for a more accurate application procedure.

    1. Most consular offices won't allow walk-in applicants for the Schengen Visa. Thus, you have two options, schedule an appointment via the specific consular branch or schedule an appointment via a certified application centre like VFS. Most consular offices are partnered with VFS Global though some also allow for scheduling an appointment directly via their website. For example, both the Embassy of Italy and Embassy of Portugal don't have direct appointment schedules in their websites so you need to contact their designated VFS Global partners. On the other hand, the Embassy of Estonia allows for scheduling appointments directly through their website. So once you know which consular office you should apply in, check out their website or their VFS Global partner's website and schedule for an appointment.

    2. On your scheduled appointment, bring all the required documents mentioned above. Get a token number as soon as you arrive and wait for your number to be called. It depends on the consular office but most would have your biometrics taken, which would be the taking of your photograph and your finger prints. Usually, the first window would be for the submission of your documents along with the payment of the required fee, the second window would be where your biometrics would be taken and if required, the third window would be for the interview.

    3. Once done, you can then wait for your visa approval. You usually have to wait for 5 to 14 days before knowing whether your visa application was approved or rejected. You can pick up your visa or have it couriered to you address, along with your passport and other documents.

    Conclusion

    This guide highlights the different requirements you need to have prior to applying for a Schengen Visa. It also highlights the procedure you need to follow on the scheduled appointment itself and before that. In a nutshell, first know which embassy or consulate you need to reach. If in doubt, you can always contact the designated consular office and ask them about your concerns. Once you know which embassy to reach, schedule an appointment and prepare the requirements beforehand. After that, the process would be very simple and you can easily get your Schengen Visa, provided you fulfilled all the requirements mentioned above.

    Good luck!:)
     


  3. adrklkol

    adrklkol Member

    Going by Mr. Naman's query, I also want to know that a lady from Kolkata is going to visit her son in London for first time and she would like to visit some of European countries along with her son and daughter-on-law. Is she required to apply for Schengen visa from Kolkata visa apart from normal UK visa? Thanks
     
  4. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

    UK has never been a part of Schengen. To visit European countries you would need a Schengen visa in addition to visa for the UK.
     
  5. SURESH DORAISWAMY

    SURESH DORAISWAMY New Member

    The Shengen Visa for Italy from the VFS services is next to impossible. VFS is playing games with Visa applicants by not giving a travel date and yet forcing the applicants to buy a confirmed ticket. It is so illogical. I purchased 4 tickets to travel on 9th October. I purchased them on 20th September, when VFS said Visa applications will be accepted only after 2 days. This they say after I bought the tickets. The after two days, they pompously announce that Visa Applications will not be entertained until 18th October. Now I am stuck with a confirmed ticket and the Airline - Air India - charges me 33% of the ticket charges as penalty for cancellation.
    I believe that VFS and AIR INDIA are holding hands to rip off the measly old Indian travellers, for who they have scant respect.
    Finally, the four of us, all Senior Citizens and retired, as shelling out Rs.50000, to Air India because of VFS and its arrogance.
    A word to my fellow travellers, DONT EVER TRAVEL AIR INDIA, and DONT TRAVEL TO ANY COUNTRY THAT HIRES VFS TO DO THE VIS ISSUANCE.
     
  6. SURESH DORAISWAMY

    SURESH DORAISWAMY New Member

    NEVER BUY AIR TICKET UNTIL YOU HAVE THE SHENGEN VISA AND ONLY AFTER THAT THE DATE OF TRAVEL CAN BE DECIDED.
    For Shengen visa, you need the salary slip, 3 years tax returns, address proof, identity proof and 2 photographs. If you are young, they want to see your property papers and bank statements for six months. Unfortunately you have to go through VFS services, who are an arrogant lot and think they hold the key to every country.
    They dont respect Indians and try to mess with the Indians whenever they get a chance. They act like our old British Masters. I wish government shuts them down.