Processing Schengen Visa From India
Schengen Nations comprising of 26 European countries are the famous tourist centers. Each Schengen Nation has something unique to offer to its tourist. Visiting France is synonymous with visiting Eiffel Tower, Greece offers a variety of islands and of course, you can’t miss out on Santorini. Italy, a combination of beautiful cities of Rome, Venice, and Florence each offering amazing natural landscapes and beauty.
Enjoying the beautiful architecture in Germany to visiting famous historical sites in Austria and enjoying the winter sports. Visiting Norway to enjoy the Northern lights in the Scandinavian region is a very different experience. Switzerland for its beautiful and amazing landscapes and the chocolates and Spain reminds us of all the adventure sports to be enjoyed with family & friends. All this is impossible without holding Schengen Visa for Indians.
While applying for the Schengen Visa it becomes necessary to know for the country you want to apply and that is decided on your travel itinerary. For applying for Schengen Visa you need to figure where you will be having the maximum stay if you are traveling to multiple countries. As your travel itinerary will be the deciding factor for applying for the visa. The country where you will stay maximum you need to apply for that country’s Schengen Visa.
Schengen Country’s Visa process is completely offline as you need to submit the documents in original and biometrics. Certain country’s form filling is to be done online but otherwise, the process is offline. You need to submit the documents at your nearby VFS center to get your visa processed. It is always advisable to take the support and guidance of the travel agent for making the visa process smooth.
Before starting with the visa process it is necessary to have all the documents ready from the inviter if you have an invite as all the details will be required for form filling and preparing the cover letter.
While applying for the visa you need to take care of certain things such as you must hold a passport with the validity of 3 months from your intended date of exit from the Schengen Nations. You need to prove your financial stability in the home country. You need to prove the social & economic ties in your home country and that you will return before your visa expires. Passports with name remarks are not accepted by the few Schengen Countries Consulate.
Process for Schengen Visa
- Once it is decided on the country for which you will be applying the visa you need to start arranging the documents as per the checklist of that country.
- Fill up the online form with your passport details, travel plans, hotel accommodation, employment details, and inviter’s details if any. Some countries accept online/handwritten forms whereas, the maximum of it has an online form and it is advisable to fill up the form online.
- The next step will be taking an online appointment. Certain countries like the Netherlands and Switzerland applicants have to pay the VFS charges online while making an appointment whereas Norway accepts VFS Fees and consulate fees online while taking an appointment. The rest of the countries accepts payment at the VFS counter.
- Preparing the cover letter with all the details of the people traveling with you, your employment details, inviter’s details if any, and a mention of who will bear the expenses of the trip.
- Collecting all the required documents as per the checklist will be the next step. Overall all the countries have the same checklist except for a few documents which may differ for each country.
- On the day of the appointment reach 15 minutes before the scheduled time. Submit the documents & biometrics at the respective VFS center, make the payment, and collect the receipt for future reference for tracking the application and collection of passport.
- Processing time for a Schengen visa differs for each country. France takes very little time compared to other countries of just 4 – 5 days whereas the rest of the countries take around 12 – 17 days to process the application.
- For collecting the Passport you can either opt for courier service or visit the center for the collection of the passport.
- Original Passports
- Visa Form
- Document checklist
- Cover Letter
- Travel Itinerary / Air Tickets
- Internal Travel Tickets (if applicable)
- Hotel Accommodation (if no invite)
- Pan Card (if applicable)
- Bank Statement in Original with bank stamp and sign
- Income Tax Returns or Form 16A.
- Appointment / Offer Letter
- NOC /Leave Letter
- Company ID card Xerox (if applicable)
- Salary Slips for 3 months.
- Company Registration Papers
- Cover letter on company letterhead
- Bank Statement of the company in original with stamp & sign
- Income Tax returns for 3 years of the company.
- Retirement Letter
- Pension Slips
- Any other financial documents proving sufficient funds (property papers)
- School/College Id Card
- Bonafide Certificate
- Fee receipt for the current year
- Sponsorship letter
- Sponsor’s Passport copy
- Sponsor’s Bank Statement
- Sponsor’s Income Tax Returns.
- Invitation Letter
- Inviter’s Passport copy
- Inviter’s Visa copy/ Residence card
- Inviter’s Employment proof
- Inviter’s Residence proof
The above-listed documents may differ as per the case and requirements of the consulate.
Schengen Visa Fees
|Purpose||Validity||Consulate Fee||VFS Fees||Service Fee|
|Tourist/ Visit||03 Months||80 Euros – Adult
40 Euros -Child
|As per the center, you are applying||1,250|
|Family/Friend Visit||03 Months||80 Euros – Adult
40 Euros -Child
|As per the center, you are applying||1,250|
Note: VFS charges differ according to the consulate you are applying with. Charges in Euros will be charged as per the country’s local currency.
Rejection of the visa
- Invalid, false, or misleading documents can become the reason for rejection.
- Stay period differs as per mentioned in the cover letter and travel itinerary submitted.
- Cover letter inappropriate.
- Incomplete visa form
- Insufficient Finances
- Inviter’s documents are not appropriate
- Documents submitted are not as per the checklist
- Purpose of the visit not proved.
Points to Remember
- Apply visa for the country where the stay is maximum in the Schengen Nation.
- Exit the country before the visa expires.
- Certain Schengen countries require internal travel tickets to process the visa.
- All the documents provided must be as per the checklist.
- Passport must have the validity of 3 months from your intended date of exit from the Schengen Nation.
- Children below the age of 12 years do not require to submit biometrics.
- Biometrics if once submitted is valid for 36 months or 59 months as per the consulate rules.
- In case of the visa rejection, you need to submit biometrics again.
- Visa fees can be paid in Cash or Card at the VFS center wherever applicable.
- Certain Schengen Nations do not accept Name remarks Passport. Hence plan your trip accordingly.