Guidelines on How to Apply for a Schengen
Every person wishing to enter the Schengen Area, under whatever purpose, may be a subject to travel document regime, depending on his or her nationality. You can see the list of countries that must apply for a Schengen travel document here.
If you have never been to Europe before, the first thing you have to do is ask yourself “Do I need a travel document to Schengen Area?” Currently, more than 60 countries around the world can enter Europe without the need to obtain a travel document first, and remain there for 90 days within a six-month period.
The application process to obtain a European travel document is mandatory for your freedom of movement in this area. Therefore, you should be very careful when submitting your Schengen travel authorisation application.
If you need to apply for a travel document to Europe, we can offer support for the whole process. You can get started on your Schengen application with us here.
The full process is as follows:
Figure out which Schengen type you need
Depending on the purpose under which you need to enter the Schengen Area, you can apply for one of the following Schengen types:
- Visiting Family or Friends
- Culture and Sport activities
- Official Visits
- Medical Reasons
Find out where you need to apply
Depending on how your destination country in Schengen has regulated application submission in your country of residence, you will have to file your Schengen application at one of the following:
- Their embassy.
- One of their consulates.
- A visa application center to which the embassy of your destination country has outsourced travel document submission.
- The embassy / consulate of another Schengen state to which the embassy of your destination country has outsourced visa submission.
By your “destination country”, we mean the country where you need to lodge your application, according to the Schengen rules.
Find the most suitable time to apply
Due to the time that the Schengen embassies / consulates worldwide need to process a Schengen, you have an appointed period within which you can file your application.
The allowed period to apply for a Schengen visa is as following:
- The earliest you can file an application: six months before you start your planned trip.
- The latest you can file for an application: at most 15 working days before you intend to travel.
- The recommended time to file an application: at least three weeks before your trip.
Book an appointment
Book a Schengen appointment in order to proceed with your application.
Most of the countries give you the chance to book an appointment online. On the other hand, in others you will need to book the appointment in person, at the embassy or consulate of your destination country.
Fill out the application form
Download the application form and fill it in correctly and honestly.
The Schengen application form has the same format no matter which country’s travel document it is that the applicant is applying for.
You will have to give the following information on your Schengen application form:
- -Your personal information,
- -Information on your background,
- -Your purpose or wish to enter the Schengen Area,
- -Other details regarding your trip.
In order to complete and submit the form correctly, pay attention to the following tips:
Download the latest form of the application since that is the only form accepted.
Make sure you fill out every required gap.
Do not leave any columns blank. If you feel that, there are columns that do not correspond to your case, fill them with NA (No Answer).
Remember to print the form twice. Sign both of the copies at the end.
If you are a minor, your parents have to submit a written consent and sign in the corresponding column of the application form.
Gather the Required Documents
The required documents are a crucial part of your application. Usually these documents are categorized into two groups.
The first group is the standard required documents, which include:
- The application form.
- Valid passport.
- Two identical photos.
- Travel insurance policy. You can easily purchase it online from AXA Schengen or European Assistance.
- Round trip reservation or flight itinerary with dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area.
- Proof of accommodation.
- Proof of financial means, etc.
The other group is the travel document specific requirements.
Attend the interview
On the day of your appointment, show up on time at the facility where you will be interviewed. There you will meet a consular to whom you need to hand the collected documents, as required.
During the interview, you will be asked personal questions about your whereabouts, the intended trip and other travel details. Make sure your answers are firm and correct, and that they comply with the information in the application form and the other documents. The interview may last around 10-15 minutes.
Some of the questions you might be asked during the interview:
- Which countries in the Schengen are you planning to visit?
- Do you have any family member or friends living in Europe?
- What is the purpose of your visit?
- Who will pay for your visit?
- Are you married? If yes, what does your spouse do? For how long have you been married?
- Do you have any children? If yes, how old are they, what do they do?
- How long are you going to stay in Europe?
- Where are you going to stay?
- What is your educational qualification?
- Which company do you work for?
Pay the fee
You will need to pay a non-refundable administration fee when applying for a Schengen , processed in order for your application.
The member countries have the fees synchronized; therefore, they are static and unchangeable until otherwise decided by the Schengen states.
Currently a Schengen fee is €80 per person. Children and some other specific categories will have to pay either reduced fees or no fees at all, depending on their situation. Check the list of Schengen fees, their reductions and exemptions if you belong to any of those categories!
Wait for an answer on your application
Wait until you get a response to your application. Although in most cases it takes no more than 15 days for processing a travel document, there are times when this process takes quite a lot longer. That period can be extended from 15 up to 30 days in some countries concerning some citizens.
If your Schengen is approved
If you get your travel document, make sure to carefully read the labels attached to the sticker in your passport.
If your Schengen gets rejected
If your application gets denied, read the reason why didn’t they grant you travel authorisation and try to fulfill it the next time you apply or if you think your application was correct, and the decision on its refusal was a mistake, you can always appeal the rejection.
Posted on Friday, September 13th, 2019 at 1:10 pm in Uncategorised.