Things To Keep In Mind While Applying For A Schengen Visa - All You Need To Know

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What an ease it is to get one Visa and travel across international borders! Yes we're talking about the Schengen Visa, which allows you to travel through 26 different countries within Europe like they are one.

When I was applying for a Schengen Visa, I started looking over web to find the list of required documents and proofs for the Visa, what kind of Visa I need, how much I need to pay as the fee and other things.

I was applying to the Netherlands Embassy, I found some websites and blogs with the complete list(as they claim) of required documents for the application, on the top, the official website for Netherlands tourism gives you a checklist for documents(the best to trust right!)

But, even after getting everything right as per these checklists, there were some things I missed or did not do right. And I ended up spending more time at the application center mitigating those things.

As they say, some things can only be learnt by experiencing ourselves.

So, I’m listing everything here which needs to be done for a Schengen Visa application if you're applying in the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

First Things First

There are a few things you need to know before you start the process of applying for a Schengen Visa.

A) Which Embassy To Apply

No matter what your entry point is, you need to apply for the country where you intend on spending the most number of nights at.

B) What Visa To Apply For

There are two main types- single entry and multi entry.

If you plan on visiting several different Schengen countries on your trip without leaving the Schengen region in between, single entry Visa is fine. Once you leave the Schengen region, you won’t be allowed entry again.

But, if you plan on travelling to London during your trip and return back to Schengen area, you need a multi entry Visa. Basically, if your trip includes leaving the Schengen area and returning back to it, you should apply for a multi entry Visa. Here's the list of Schengen countries.

C) When To Apply

Schengen Visa applications are being entertained by the embassy not more than 90 days before the date of travel. And the Visa approval process does not take more than 2 weeks usually.

D) Where To Apply

VFS is the best way to get your application processed with the embassy. They are big and know what they are doing.

Now let’s get to the list of documents-

1. Flight Booking Confirmation

Yes, you need to book flights for round trip before even applying for Visa. Try to book refundable flights(very unlikely but in case the Visa gets rejected)

2. Accommodation Proof

If you're staying at a friend or a relative, you need their complete details and a written consent from them.

If you're staying at hotels/hostels, you need to present booking confirmations for the whole duration of your trip. Remember, if you're traveling through multiple countries, you need to give one hotel reservation for every country.

One thing to pay attention here, most of us prefer to travel during night to save time and to save on accommodation which is smart, BUT, the embassy needs either accommodation proof for all the nights you're spending in the Schengen area or travel bookings if you're traveling through nights.

Again, book hotels which you can cancel.

3. Application Form

After your bookings are done, you need to fill an application form. Go to this URL and start filling your application form. Take a print-out, paste a passport size photo and sign the application.

Here are the photo specifications.

4. Passport

A passport which was issued not more than 10 years ago, with at least two empty Visa pages and should be valid for at least 3 months from the date on which you leave the Schengen area.

Plus, take a copy of the front and last pages of the passport and a copy each of any previous Visas you had.

5. Proof of Permanent Residence

If the address on your passport is different than your current address, you need to provide a copy of your rental agreement or a valid address proof.

6. Financial Proof

The embassy needs a proof that you are capable of affording your trip expenses. For that, you need to provide your bank statement for last three months plus ITR for last two years. This is a must. If you dont have the ITR documents, you can give FORM-16 alternatively.

To solidify your claim, you can additionally provide your salary statements(last 3 months)

NOTE: Multiply the number of days of your stay by 10,000(if your hotels are not prepaid). You need to keep that much money in your bank account. Trust this calculation, I got rejected for Schengen Visa once for having insufficient funds in my account.

7. Declaration From Your Employer

If you’re employed, you need to provide a declaration from your employer acknowledging your period of absence.

Write an NOC addressing to “The Royal Netherlands Embassy, New Delhi”, get it printed on your company’s letterhead (important) and get the official’s signature with company stamp.

8. Proof of Return

Another letter from your employer, that says that you plan on returning to base and resuming work after your trip.

9. Travel Insurance

A travel insurance that covers up to Euro 30000. If you don't have one that meets the requirements, get one. Approved list of travel insurance providers can be found here.

10. Visa and VFS fee

VFS charges for processing your application to the embassy are Rs 1327 in total. (subject to change)

While the Schengen Visa fee is Rs 4720. (subject to change)

11. Cover Letter

Last but not the least. I couldn't find this document to be listed in any of the checklists I came across online, but this one is as necessary as the others. Write a cover letter briefing about your reason to travel and the parts of Schengen area you intent to visit.

There you have it guys, everything you needed to know before applying for a Schengen Visa.

Get it all right and go on that dream Euro Trip ;) And follow me on Instagram.

2 Comment(s)
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How difficult it is for a freelancer to get Schengen visa?
Thu 08 02 18, 19:35 · Reply (1) · Report
For a freelancer, more than the monetary proofs you need to provide a proof which reasonably justifies that you will return to your home country. This is very important, I got my Visa rejected for this once.
Fri 08 03 18, 15:13 · Report
Hi, What about Itinerary?
Thu 08 02 18, 19:03 · Reply (1) · Report
Yeah so about that, you will have to provide your complete plan if you're traveling to more than one place. An example would be "I am spending 4 nights in XXX city at XXX hotel" And mention this for every place you plan on visiting.
Fri 08 03 18, 15:10 · Report