Europe is a wonderful continent for self-discovery and to travel around scenic destinations. There are many historical sites to see and wonderful experiences to make lifelong memories, but it was kind of a mission to travel around various countries before 1985. Many tourists were required to obtain travel visas for every country that was on their travel itinerary, which would have added up to a lot of paperwork and a lot of expense before you even set off on the journey. However, the introduction of the Schengen Agreement subsequently eliminates all of these hassles. In effect, the Schengen Agreement paved the way for the Schengen visa to come into being. Getting the Schengen visa for Indians gives you the liberty to travel to all the 26 European without any immigration or border restrictions. Yes, One Visa, One Europe!
Visitors to the Schengen countries now only need one visa for all of the 26 Schengen countries. The Schengen visa can give non-members of the European Union the ability to travel unimpeded throughout the Schengen zone. With great deals easily available on a dream European getaway; there is no reason not to plan a vacation right away. First, it is time to get your Schengen visa!
Here are very important tips to remember when applying for a Schengen Visa.
- There are 26 member states that require the Schengen Visa — Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
- There are two types of Schengen visas; short stay and long stay visa. These visas can be issued for a single entry or multiple entry access, depending on the kind of visa for which you are applying.
- The short stay visa is applicable for the purpose of tourism, visit or business travel. It is issued for a stay period of 90 days with a validity of 6 months. The long stay visa is issued for long term stay purposes such as employment, study, marriage etc.
- You need to apply for a Schengen visa at the Embassy/consulate of the country you will be staying in for the longest period; if you plan to visit more than one country. For eg: Suppose you plan to visit France, Germany and Italy for a holiday. You will be staying for 3 days in France, 2 days in Germany and 5 days in Italy. In such a case, you must apply for the Schengen visa at the Italian Consulate as you intend to stay in Italy for a longer period then other countries.
- You must return to your home country within the permitted period of stay. You cannot extend the period of your stay while in the schengen country.
- The processing time for a Schengen visa is approximately 10 – 15 working days. The processing time is dependent on several factors and can change without prior notice at the consulate’s discretion. Sometimes it can take up to 30 days if more time is needed, and up to 60 days in exceptional cases, for example, if additional documents are required.
- While there might be a few additions to the usual list of documents for some Schengen countries, depending on the country you are visiting. Generally, the documents you need to share are; your passport, photographs, cover letter, Employment letter, bank statements, Income tax returns, flight tickets, hotel reservations or Invitation letter from a family/friend and Travel insurance. For a complete list of Rules and Regulations, click here
Also Read: How to Apply for Schengen Visa
- In order to submit your visa application, an appointment at the Visa application centre (VFS) is mandatory. Every member of the family needs an individual appointment.
- You will need to visit the Visa application centre (VAC) VFS on the day of the appointment. VFS Global Services Pvt. Ltd. is the preferred authorized outsourced partner to most of the Schengen countries in India to collect and process all visa applications. The VAC acts as an intermediary and has no influence over the visa decision.
- Personal appearance of the applicant is mandatory at the Visa Application Center VFS. Travel Agents are not authorized to submit visa applications on behalf of the applicant. When you hand in your application personally during your appointment, make sure that you show them both originals and copies of your papers.
- As part of your Schengen visa application process, you need to submit your Bio-metrics (fingerprinting and digital photograph) and visa documents.
- This biometric data will remain valid for 5 years. Applicants such as children under the age of 12 do not need to have their fingerprints taken. The earliest you can schedule the appointment is three months prior to your trip.
- Once you successfully submit the application, the consulate will issue a receipt with your application reference number. Make sure you make a note of the reference number. You can even track the progress or status of your visa application on the VFS website using the VFS reference number and your name.
Are you already excited to travel and explore Europe’s most popular travel destinations? Trust Akbartravels.com to process your Schengen visa application. The Visa Experts ensure you obtain your Schengen visa successfully in the very first attempt.